Série Ímpar

Bairrada, bairrada

‘Série Ímpar’ translates as ‘Experimental Series’ and is a new venture from the winemaking team at Sogrape. Their winemakers have been tasked with finding something new and innovative that they would like to experiment with – be it a grape variety, a zone or a production technique. The first wine in this series is a Sercialinho from Bairrada.

According to ‘Wine Grapes’, there were just nine hectares of Sercialinho planted in the world in 2010, all of which were in Bairrada. The esteemed Luís Pato, who until now has been the only producer of this variety, thinks that its high acidity makes it comparable to Riesling.

Sogrape’s Quinta de Pedralvites estate in Bairrada has a 2.5 hectare plot of Sercialinho. When António Braga (of Azevedo) arrived in the region, he began vinifying all the different grape varieties on the estate separately and was struck by the character of the wine that came from the Sercialinho plot. Like Luís Pato, he was impressed by its acidity. “I didn’t choose it for its uniqueness, but because it produces a wine driven by acidity, with an original yet classical aroma and with all of the ingredients to be capable of wonderful bottle ageing”, he explains.

In 2017, he decided to give this late-ripening variety special treatment and fermented the wine in 500 litre barrels, one third of which were new oak. António decided against malolactic fermentation, in order to retain the tangy vibrancy that characterises this variety. However, the wine did go through a short period of bâtonnage post fermentation in order to encourage better integration of the oak, while still retaining the taut fruit that gives the wine its definition.

Only 1,900 bottles of this wine were produced. It is young and intriguing, with a nose that opens slowly in the glass to reveal a crystalline purity of lemony, waxy fruit. On the palate, the understated oak gives a lovely texture to the wine, while the acidity corsets the fruit, and drives the intensity of flavour through the finish which is, thanks in part to its 12% of alcohol, fresh and pure. It is a restrained yet compelling wine that will, we are certain, find its way into the pantheon of great Portuguese wines.

 

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