Encruzado

 
This might be the one variety with the most potential for grabbing some white wine market share. Similar in some ways to Chardonnay, at least in the examples I tried, but a very clear, crisp and vibrant Chardonnay. 
 
 
Soft notes of barrel fermentation greet the nose followed by deep and perfumed aromas of  linden flower, yellow fruit that recalls quince.  Bright and a little viscous in the mouth with a base of lightly sweet toast, this shows fine tension and clarity on the palate. Subtle and long with  nice mineral river stone and steely accents drive the  wonderfully focused palate that extends through the finish which shows a hint of mandarin pith. This is still a bit young but so very well put together. 89pts
 
 
 
Oaky, nutty, cool climate Chardonnay like nose is buttery and smoke filled and very influenced by wood. On the palate this shows rich flavors of caramel and melon in a lean, crisp and focused style that is a little rustic on the finish. Snappy, sapid and focused. 87pts
 
 

Bical

 
I'm not sure what to make of Bical yet, though the Nossa makes a compelling argument for it one can't be sure if that is the grape talking or the very skilled hands of Filipa pato. 
 
 
 
Bical 100%
 
Barrel fermented and matured in mixed French oak casks for six months
 
Lots of oak influence on the assertive smoky, bacon fat, pork fat nose. This shows some sweetness on entry balancing the fairly prominent acidity all supporting lots of yellow apple fruit with an edge of marzipan adding sweetness. This turns clean, precise and bracing on the long, tart, mineral laced backend that shows fine depth and a sweet mint gum note. The finish turns fairly rich and a bit weighty with a lingering mineral water note on the finale.  A fascinating wine. 91pts
 
 
Dusty, sandy and pithy on the nose with decidedly chalky overtones to the estery white peach fruit. While very light in the mouth this is really very fruity in a very light super fresh style that shows off clean, crisp pithy green fruit leading to a modest finish. Perhaps a bit of a small wine but very refreshing. 85pts

Fernão Pires

 
I liked both examples of Fernão Pires that I tried, both having attractive minerality and great clarity. More research is in order though since both examples came from the same winery making it hard to separate the variety front he winemaking, but still both were really attractive so I look forward to the research!
 
 
 
100% Fernão Pires
 
Half barrel fermented then aged for six months in wood.
 
Mineral and tropical on the nose with aromas of citrus fruits framed with a little almond cream. On entry this turns quite floral in the mouth in a very elegant, clear and precise style that shows great cut and almost salty minerality. Flavors of apple with clear lemon juice accents dominate the mid palate along with very subtle wood tones that lead to a finish which gains a bit of a spicy undertone. This feels young and I bet it improves over the short term but it’s already fabulous. 90pts
 
 
100% Fernão Pires
 
Very mineral, floral, and almost Gruner like on the nose with aromas of green fruits and even a hint of white pepper. A bit low on the palate though with plenty of acid and a nice deep chalky mineral vein embedded in fairly intense bitter apple and pineapple flavors. There’s nice length to the fine golden fruit flavors that show a faint persistent pithy note and a hint of raw nut and mandarin orange on the fairly long finish. 88pts