There are few rules when it comes to building a portfolio, but one gold standard is that if you start with quality, you will attract more of the same. Fílipa is good friends with Alvaro Castro and Mário Sérgio (not to mention Heidi Schröck), Vasco Croft loves her wines, and you can guess the rest.
This daughter of legendary Bairrada producer Luis Pato began by producing wines in the larger appellation of Beiras (and the Dão). She purchased a small winery in Bairrada, which she has now significantly expanded (by digging downwards!) Eventually, it is assumed, she will reunite with her father’s estate, but, in the meantime, she has carved a big international name for herself by dint of her strikingly expressive and honest wines, so reflective of her own character. We have sold out of all her still wines and anxiously await the new vintages.
Filipa has been methodically buying up small parcels of old-vine Baga (particularly) throughout Bairrada. This has enabled her to make a larger palate of wines, including this one, which is intended to showcase the nature of her incomparable region. Aged in a combination of foudre, amphora and pipas, it is a forceful yet fine ambassador, nicely contrasted to the more delicate charms of the Post Quercus.
Fílipa’s “basic” Baga is a conscious effort to present the grape in a kinder, gentler fashion while capturing its singular aromatic and structural characteristics. She goes from strength to strength.
For her trophy white, Fílipa uses only her best and oldest Bical grapes from the Ois do Bairro, where stony clay overlays an extremely chalky subsoil. Fermented burgundy-stye in 500 liter barrels with batonnage every two weeks until bottling in May, this is always rated one of the top whites in Portugal. A study in contrast, with creaminess balanced by an assertive flinty character – as if Meursault were made in Sancerre.
Fílipa’s devotees have been waiting impatiently for the return of her “basic” white (of which we are allocated a measly 50 cases). Her slogan is “without make-up”, and like all the greatest beauties, this wine will melt your heart with its clarity, sincerity and persistence. If this all sounds a bit anthropomorphic, we can only say that the best wines have qualities which have to be described in human terms.
The magic that Fílipa wreaks on the recalcitrant Baga has to be seen to be believed. Inspired by burgundy, she tames the beast and offers us a wine of breathtaking perfume and improbably silky texture. A wonderful juxtaposition to the more rugged style of her friend Mário Sérgio at Qunita das Bageiras.
(80% Baga, 20% Bical) Let Filipa describe this for us—Raspberries and strawberries on the nose, the palate has the freshness and body of the Baga grape and the creaminess of Bical. She says, I believe that Baga and Bical in Bairrada are like the Chardonnay and the Pinot in Champagne. They need each other to make a balance. we will just add that the farming is organic, only indigenous yeasts are used, and there is very little RS…