00 Homenagem, Beiras Vinho Tinto
Start with a droning bass drum and slowly bring in the eerie, half-silent leak of violins. Then the oboe and bassoon, piece unto piece building until one of the strings turns louder, riles the conductor into sweats, and everyone just stops and listens. Homenagem, a duet of baga from the great Luis Pato and touriga nacional from Quinta de Cabriz, is a dynamic movement of wine that, as a whole, is far greater than its parts. And while the floral, haunting touriga and the brawny, peppered-rare-sirloin baga play well together, Pato assertively commands his aria. The fresh black pepper intensifies along with smoky whisps of sandalwood, melting tannins, harissa, and dark Bordelais fruit. Whatever "nagem" means, I'm now one bottle closer to home.