Filipa Pato Nossa Branco 2009, a very singular, single vineyard Bical

At the London, Manchester and Edinburgh tastings of my 50 Great Portuguese Wines, I’d place a bet on Filipa Pato’s Lokal Silex 2008 having evoked the most sighs of pleasure.  Many a smiling person came up to me then and afterwards to express how it was for them.   My own notes started “Puts me in mind of a really sexy Loire Cabernet Franc” and concluded “a beautiful, heady, yet finely honed wine,” so no shortage of consensus on this one!  

In Edinburgh, Filipa (pictured with Tom Cannavan, who will be selecting the next 50 Great) gave me a bottle of the latest vintage of her 100% Bical white.  Here’s a wine that couldn’t be more different from the Silex – it’s not heady, nor could I hand on heart describe it as sexy, but don’t get me wrong, I really liked it when I opened it last week.  It’s just one of those wines that’s more intriguing, challenging even, than sensual, if you know what I mean.  If you sigh, it’s because the words to describe it have eluded you or perhaps it’s down to its chameleon-like quality?  At any rate, here’s my note for this singular, traditionally vinified single vineyard wine from very chalky subsoils over stony clay:

Filipa Pato Nossa Branco 2009 (VR Beiras)  – yellow with green and gold glints.  Wet earth on the nose and, in the mouth, it’s initially quite full and slightly creamy with lemony fruit and a nutty edge, brazil nut (incipient oiliness?)  Peach and wet earth notes build in the mouth, though the finish is stony, gravelly even, tauter than expected too with a Gruner Veltliner lifted peppery edge emerging as it sits in glass.  It’s an engaging wine, with lots of palate presence – a great food partner which would work well with robust fish or white meat dishes, like a fish tagine for example.  Very good.  13% abv.

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