Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Portuguese Whites tasted 6/2013

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Bageiras Quinta Das Bairrada Garrafeira Branco (2011)
Comments: Fermented in 2500 liter wood barrel, on indigenous yeasts then aged in 1000 liter barrels where it is allowed to oxidize a bit. Waxy on the nose with  gorgeous sage, citrus oil and faint vegetal and chalk aromas that are framed with hints of leather and pork fat. Bright on entry and with great fruit early on the medium bodied palate, this shows excellent depth of fruit, superb focus and good tension in the mouth. there’s a wave of late arriving complexity, savory and aromatic in the mouth that leads to a long, complex finish. This has excellent potential to improve in the cellar. A bit of a revelation. 92pts
Average price: $17.02 from 3 stores
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2 Filipa Pato Nossa Calcario (2012)
Comments: 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
Previously available for $21.16
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3 Quinta Do Vallado Branco Reserva (2012)
Comments: Aged in 500 liters, 40% new rest second passage Rabigato, Gouveio, Arinto and Viosinho. A little leesy on the nose with notes of steel, vanilla and flowers adding detail to the citrus/mandarin orange aromas.  Bright acidity  and  fine minerality pop on entry then the midpalate reveals lovely use of oak supporting fine clean orange blossom and white apple fruit that gains a little Chablis like  rock and crushed flower accent in the glass. Complex and complete, this is lovely. 91pts
Previously available for $16.74
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4 Bucaco Branco Reservado (2008)
Comments: So this is made at a fancy hotel in Portugal and for the most part is only avail;be at the hotel, talk about hard to find. However, it's a fabulous wine and worth mentioning if only to alert those who might one day stay at the Hotel Bucaco about this wine. I also enjoyed a 2001 while at dinner at the hotel. These wines are a real treasure of Portugal. Fermented in wood and one year aging,  300 liters, 100% new medium toast, Five to six thousand bottles a year One grape from Dao two from Barriada Encruzado, Maria Gomes, Bical An oxidative sweetness greets the nose recalling cooked white meats which leads to layers of banana, slate, and gentle dried citrus fruits on the nose. With huge acids on entry this shows lovely balance in a clean but obvious oxidative style. The oxidation adds a touch of sweetness and high toned complexity in the mouth with a little VA adding lift to the lime and tart apple flavors. The nice astringent finish shows good length with more banana and creamy almost melony fruit that shows nice depth with the oak very well integrated. There’s some Lopez de Heredia character here. 90pts
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5 Quinta Do Crasto White Blend Douro (2012)
Comments: 2006 was first vintage, granitic soils, 600 meters above sea level, fermented for almost 45 days at 12 to 14 degrees, 2.4 grams per liter, using a cultivated yeast strain from the Douro, Orange blossoms and citrusy aromas greet the nose followed by a bit of melon with a dusty base note and fruit that is rather Quincy Sauvignon Blanc like, except floral tinged rather than herbal. At first this seems  a little sweet then the wine’s high acidity kicks in lending nice dusty cut to the lime/citrus fruit that shows good length with lots of grapefruit on the finish. There’s a bit pith and slightly pithiness bitterness on the finish as well. A pretty zesty wine that should appeal to Sauvignon Blanc drinkers. 88pts
Previously available for $15.99
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6 Quinta Do Casal Branco Falcoaria Classico White (2012)
Comments: 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
Previously available for $13.99
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