What am I: Tiago Sampaio is a brilliant young winemaker who is making some of the most exciting and affordable natural wines in Portugal. His project, named Folias do Baco, works with old vineyards in the Alto-Douro that has been in his family for many years. Tiago is also a PhD level viticulturist and enologist obsessed with the health and vitality of his vineyards. This focus shines through every wine that he makes and reflects his overall philosophy on winemaking. The grapes are grown using organic viticulture, and the plots are situated between 500-700 meters above sea level. Many of the vines are over 80 years old, but Tiago also has new plantings of both traditional Portuguese varietals common to the region and newer grapes such as Pinot Noir.
This mono-varietal version of a well-known Douro red grape is a perfect expression of the varietal’s unique qualities. It gives you a taste of what it can bring to a blend when used in that way. Here, alone, it shows that it is a fairly delicate, elegant grape, with qualities that remind one of Pinot Noir. The wine is bright, with clearly present red fruits like raspberry and sour cherry. These red fruits and higher acidity are somewhat tamed and rounded through up to 12-months of aging in oak barrels, a mix of both new and used wood.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Douro
Grape Varieties: Tinta Francisca
Alcohol by volume: 13%