Text João Pedro de Carvalho | Translation Jani Dunne
We’re already deep into Autumn, the time when days grow shorter and time seems to slow down. Perhaps this is contradictive, seeing as days are longer half-way down the summer, and although we have more time to do things, we still don’t notice time passing by. By this time of year, nuts, pumpkins, pomegranates and apples come into the scene; it’s time for quince, but most of all, for chestnuts. Just speaking of chestnuts triggers the smell of the roast chestnuts down the streets of our towns in cold and foggy days.
So many times I went out to get a handful rolled up in a newspaper cone, almost always made of Yellow Pages that tainted our hands, and I would run back home to eat them one-by-one by the fire. Nowadays, I still buy them on the streets. Even though my house is now in the centre of town and no longer has a fireplace, and even though the powers that be removed the old paper wrappers because they thought it would make us all very ill. Now they use different kind of paper. But what matters is that the flavours and the memories I retain are worth it, even if just for a split second; almost always alongside a glass of Port. Most often, it’s a bottle of LBV I usually have at home, already open. This time, it happened to be a 2010 Barão de Vilar LBV, with oenology work by Álvaro van Zeller. It’s almost an early celebration of São Martinho [St. Martin], usually remembered on the 11th November, and when they say “you eat the chestnuts and taste the wine”, or “on São Martinho day, go to the wine cellar and try the wine.”
In this case, it’s the kind of wine I really enjoy during this season, when the lower temperatures start settling in, the rain starts to show, and just like the LBV, the Barão de Vilar is very ready to be drunk, given the freshness of its red fruits, the light austerity that Autumn brings us, and that in the mix of such typical scents and flavours of this time of year. It fills the need for pure pleasure that flashes when we lean back on the couch. Very steady, it doesn’t waver, nor does it give any cause for concern, and that’s why I like it; excellent effectiveness at accomplishing what it was made for. These days, it seems harder to find wines that leave us satisfied and embraced with their satisfaction/quality/price ratio.
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