Tasting notes: Alianca Bairrada Baga
Alianca Bairrada Baga. Rich smoky black fruit aromas, with star anise, clove and a touch of spicy oak, lead on to a complex palate. Ripe bramble fruit and plum flavours are backed by well-structured tannins and a touch of dark chocolate – all lifted by balancing acidity.
A great match for the local speciality – suckling pig; but works well with many Chinese dishes too such as pork belly, ribs and duck.
Grapes are sourced from Quinta da Rigodeira in Bairrada, which became part of Aliança’s estate in 2000. The wine spends 14 months in new French oak barrels.
One of Portugal’s largest and most progressive producers with 600 hectares spread across estates in five regions from Douro in the north to Alentejo in the south. Winemaker Francisco Antunes oversees what must be one of the most diverse ranges in Europe, from the 3rd largest Portuguese rose brand (Casal Mendes) to some of the country’s most impressive premium reds from estates in Douro, Dao, Bairrada and Alentejo. Arguably, Francisco’s greatest achievements lie between these extremes, a range of mid-priced wines from native varieties, full of character, quite distinctly Portuguese, but at the same time approachable and with fresh, modern fruit.
Although not accredited, since 2015 the Bacalhôa group is regularly audited for the scope of its ethical, social and environmental work, always with a green result. In 2020, it is planning a SEDEX Membership Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) audit of its labour and health and safety policies. It is also planning to fully convert one its vineyards to organic viticulture as soon as possible.