UIVO Pet Nat Pinot Noir Blanc de Noirs 2018
While there's a lot of innovation in Portuguese wine, it can still be difficult to get folks to take notice. That's especially true in the Douro, where the large port houses all do good work with dry wines, but there's not much room for the little guys. That's why it's worth paying attention to Tiago Sampaio and his Folias de Baco project. While Folias de Baco Uivo wines are a tribute to native varieties, Portuguese born owner/winemaker Tiago Sampaio decided to further his research abroad spending several harvests in Oregon, working in vineyards and studying oenology. There, he developed a love for Pinot Noir, and upon his return to Portugal, he planted the vine in his high altitude vineyards of the Alto Douro Valley, in the sub-region of Cima-Corgo, where the land is rough, tough and challenging and his vines cling to the slopes between 500-700 meters. This 2018 Uivo Blanc de Noir is a Pet Nat (Petillant Naturel aka Methode Ancestrale) from Tiago's now Pinot Noir vines. It is beautiful and fizzy in the glass, not too aromatic, and appropriately delicate on the palate. The wine's energy, medium body, and acidic lift make for a perfect educational aperitif, or pairing with cheese and charcuterie.
From 2 hectares of 17 year old vines planted on schist and granite soils, the grapes are hand-harvested in September, undergo vineyard sorting and whole cluster pressing with no time on skins. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel with wild yeasts for roughly three weeks under temperature control. Bottled after first fermentation. Disgorged February 2019 with no dosage. Not fined or filtered.