Baias e Enseadas Malvasia Reserva de Colares 2021
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Colares is one of the smallest appellations in the wine world and one of the most unique. Vines are planted essentially on the beach near Sintra, a quick drive from Lisbon, in crater-like holes in the sand are are surrounded by fences that do their best to protect them from the harsh winds coming from the Atlantic. The appellation, only 50 acres today, is constantly threatened by oceanfront development in the forms of hotels and tony real estate. The only legal Colares producer for most of the 20th century was a cooperative, and today only 2-3 producers make Colares. Baias e Enseadas is a recent addition to this tiny cadre, and it is working with vines in clay instead of sand but the wines are unmistakable as Colares, as in the most intense and salty oceanic wines in the world.
Their Malvasia from Colares is a different biotype of Malvasia than you would see elsewhere in Europe, but it is still powerfully aromatic and opulent, with dried peach, waxy, smoky notes, tangy lemon pith, cream, and ocean salt, finishing with a briny umami that is unmatched in any other wine. As far as 'big' white wines go, this is one of the most haunting, complex, and startling ones you'll come across. Jonathan Kemp