The Tiago Teles reds uncharacteristically are not made of baga, but of other Portuguese grapes. I love them nonetheless. The 2016 Gilda — 70 percent castelão and 30 percent alfrocheiro — is earthy, floral and fresh; medium bodied and complex enough to require repeated sips to try to get to the heart of its mystery. The 2015 Maria da Graça is 90 percent alfrocheiro with a touch of merlot and the remainder bical, a white grape, likewise fresh and floral, with a high-toned citrus quality that lifts the wine. Both bottles are around 12.5 percent alcohol and cost around $20.
Ms. Laufer has one Bairrada producer in the NLC portfolio, Sidónio de Sousa, a small, family operation that makes a fascinating array of wines, including a rosé brut nature, a lightly fruity, spicy pink-tinged sparkling wine made from young baga vines that is a steal for under $14.
The same might be said for the 2013 de Sousa Colheita baga, under $15, tasting of fresh, ripe, dark fruit, with a slight vegetative touch — it reminded me of charred jalapeño — that added complexity.
De Sousa also offers an occasional experimental baga. A 2009 Vinho d’Autor ($40), was made from baga grapes that Paulo Sousa, the winemaker, believes did not fit into either the Colheita or the Garrafeira, its higher-end baga. The Vinho d’Autor was decidedly old school: structured and tannic, rich and mouth-filling (but not heavy), long and delicious, just what one would want with roasted meats.
Maybe my favorite de Sousa wine, however, was a white, the 2016 Reserva Branco, lively, linear and mineral, with the aroma of fresh flowers. The ’16, about $20, was the first vintage of this wine, Ms. Laufer said, and only a small quantity was produced.