Quinta da Pellada
Dao - Portugal
The 2015 Primus Quinta da Pellada is a field blend, mostly Encruzado and Bical, with many other traditional grapes. It was aged for six months in well-used French 400-liter barrels (ranging from two to six years in age) and is another of the whites coming in at 13.2% alcohol. When last seen, it looked pretty brilliant—it needs to be, because it has also become very pricey, particularly in the USA. Bargain hunters may look to Castro's other Brancos this issue, which looked quite brilliant for their levels. This does have some bragging points, though. More elegant and showing more finesse than the lower level, this has the longest finish of the group. Despite its elegance, it is remarkably persistent. An earlier bottle seemed a bit reductive, with a touch of gunpowder, but the second was well balanced. The reductive nuances do tend to blow off with air and age. Meanwhile, it is amazing how graceful this seems while being so long and persistent on the finish. Finally, it has the greatest upside potential of the whites. This will be the one that turns complex and intriguing as it ages. Perhaps that is what you really get by trading up. It may age better than anticipated too.