Folias De Baco Uivo Renegado Vinhas Velhas 2019
Tiago Sampaio, a renegado in human form, established his label in 2007, having completed his PhD in Oregon. Falling for Pinot Noir stateside, he planted it in the Douro in 2001, where his enjoyment of the Burgundian grape’s delicacy and freshness has heavily influenced his style. Happily, his family owned vineyards around Favaois, whose elevated climes are famous for producing white wines - aromatic Moscatels, traditionally fortified for DOC Moscatel do Douro production. Tiago cultivates vineyards between 500-700m – a mix of inherited old field blend vineyards and new plantings, where the boundary pusher has planted Alvarinho and Tinta Francisca. He also consults at Aphros, the leading biodynamic Vinho Verde producer.
Is it a red, is it a rosé or a palhete, as blends of red and white grapes are traditionally known in Portugal? Whatever, this eye-opening, dusky pink wine certainly flies! Ironically, I was introduced to it at a judges’ dinner at the Australian Alternative Wine Variety Show in 2016. It was my wine of the night and I wasted no time visiting with Tiago Sampaio to find out more. Being a 50:50 blend of white and red grapes (and thanks to vine age, whole bunch ferment and skin contact), it is characterful, provocative even, compared with a conventional rosé. Bone dry, fleet of foot, very fresh, Renegado has a delicate bouquet of white pepper, pink peppercorn, herbs and flowers to its mineral-sluiced al dente redcurrant and wild berry fruit. Lightly chill and go. 11.5%