Marquês de Marialva and the emblematic Bairrada grape varieties

Published : 10/29/2021 - Categories : Best of the year

Marquês de Marialva and the emblematic Bairrada grape varieties

Baga is Bairrada's queen grape variety, being the predominant red variety in the Region, but not only: according to the Instituto do Vinho e da Vinha (Wine and Vine Institute) there are 8.258 hectares of this variety, which represents 4% of the national viticultural area and puts Baga in the sixth position in the list of the most planted red grape varieties in Portugal. 

Its presence is not limited to Bairrada but can be found in Trás-os-Montes, Douro and Dão, among other regions. It is a grape variety of high production, with small bunches of small berries and late ripening. 

In Bairrada, in clayey soils and with good sun exposure, Baga is able to mature properly and produce very dark wines, concentrated in aroma and that can age in bottles for many years. An excellent example of this ability is the Marquês de Marialva Baga Reserve Red 2015.

It has enormous versatility since it produces red wines, but also rosés and Blanc de Noirs, mainly in sparkling wines.

Bairrada was the pioneer in Portugal in the production of natural sparkling wines, 125 years ago, by the hand of Eng. Tavares da Silva, in the current facilities of the Estação Vitivinícola da Bairrada, who 'imported' to the Region the precepts of the Champagne method (Classic Method of fermentation in bottle)

In the white grape varieties, the highlight goes to Bical, which is typical of the Beiras region, namely Bairrada and Dão (where it is called 'Borrado das Moscas' due to the small brown stains that appear on the ripe berries). 

Along with Maria Gomes, Bical is one of the most important Bairrada varieties. It matures early, so its berries keep plenty of acidity. It is very resistant to rotting but particularly sensitive to oidium.

The wines produced with this variety are very aromatic, fresh and well-structured as the Marquês de Marialva Bical Reserve White 2018. 

Peach and apricot notes are the most distinctive aromatic traits, sometimes accompanied, in the more mature years, by discrete and sensual notes of tropical fruit. The grape variety presents excellent results when aged in wood, especially when in prolonged contact with the lees. 

In Bairrada, Bical is widely used in the production of sparkling wine and is often blended with Arinto and Cercial. 

If you are a fan of the Bairrada region, be sure to try these magnificent wines from the region's most traditional varieties. Excellent choices!

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