Tuesday, April 13, 2021

2019 Uivo Renegado: A Tasty, Portuguese Field Blend of Old Vines

As I've often said, some of the best wine values in the world can be found in Portugal. I'm here today to  discuss another one of those excellent values, a $15 wine which impressed me for several reasons, and which I think will please my readers as well.

Folias de Baco is a wine-making project founded in 2007 by Tiago Sampaio, whose family were grape growers in the famed Douro region of Portugal. Tiago's initial studies in agriculture were in Portugal but he traveled to Oregon to receive his PhD in Viticulture and Enology. It was in Oregon that Tiago acquired some of his most important wine-making philosophies, including a passion for creating more natural wines. Tiago works with family estate vineyards, with many old vines, located in the Alto Douro in the sub-region of Cima-Corgo, Even though the vineyards are managed by organic agriculture, they are not certified as such.

Tiago produces at least a dozen different wines, some under the Uivo brand. The term "Uivo" translates as "howl", and has a number of different connotations. On the wine label, it states, "Uivo, a howl back to nature!"

The 2019 Uivo Renegado ($15) is a unique wine, a field blend of more than 25 indigenous grapes, both red and white, in a rough 50/50 mix. The vines are 70+ years old, and grow on 2 hectares of schist and granite at an altitude of about 650 meters. The grapes are trod by foot in large granite lagares, and undergo spontaneous fermentation with wild yeasts. About 5% of the wine is aged for six months in 2-3 year old chestnut barrels and the rest is aged in cement. It's also not fined or filtered, and has only an 11.5% ABV. This is definitely a more natural wine.

How can such a wine only be $15?

The wine has a dark pink color, resembling a Rosé, and on the nose, there are red berries and subtle herbal notes. On the palate, it's crisp and fresh, with tasty cherry and strawberry flavors, and a savory element, a subtle melange of herbs and spice. There is also a hint of spritz, which enhances the refreshing nature of the wine. It possesses plenty of complexity, especially at this price point, and has a pleasing finish too. This wine went well with a filet, and would be great for grilled meats this summer. Or just sipping it on its own on a warm summer day. With such a low ABV, you can easily have a couple of glasses. 

I'd recommend you buy this by the case! 

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