Quinta da Boa Vista Ruffia 2016Spicy boi
Of utmost priority to Crunchy Red Fruit is working with small houses. We are a small business and we love to support other small businesses. This includes many small wineries, but also includes small importers and distributors. When you buy from small houses, you can find wines that aren’t widely available.
This wine is imported by Bliss Wine Imports, based in San Francisco. Our good friend Andrey Ivanov has been quietly seeking out exceptional wines from the far corners of Europe, specializing in Austrian and Portuguese wines produced in small quantities and made with minimal intervention.
This wine is from Quinta da Boavista, a small winery based in Portugal’s mountainous Dão region. Winemaker João Tavares de Pina has been producing organic, naturally-fermented wine for decades now, you might say before it was cool. There were no aesthetic considerations driving them; it’s just how they operate. There’s an honesty and frankness to this wine that caught me off-guard. Plus, the label is a ridiculous cartoon of someone being caught as a "Ruffia” or ruffian, a lowkey outlaw doing things their own way.
The Ruffia red is a blend of three grapes grown in the Dão on bare granite soils. The grape you taste the most in this blend is the Jaen, which goes by the name of Mencía in Spain. If you’re wondering where all that smoky, peppery, savory quality comes from, it’s most certainly driven by the Jaen grape. Touriga Nacional, which is the main grape used in Port production, provides velvety red fruit, and Rufete provides acidic backbone. Note the extremely low alcohol content at 11% as well—this is a wine that drinks effortlessly.
I shared this with a winemaker friend and he said “it smells and tastes like a pastrami sandwich,” which…is a little extreme. But he’s right that it’s filled with peppery, savory funk. That’s what I love about this wine. We talk about full and light-bodied wines a lot these days, but few wines fall into the truly medium-bodied camp. This is definitively a medium-bodied wine. So when it’s time for grilled white meat, fire-cooked veggies, or a wine to sip while you ponder the meaning of terms like “spicy boi,” drink this Quinta da Boavista red.
- Blend40% Jaen, 40% Rufete, 20% Touriga Nacional