Bastarda, what a great name for a wine, isn't is! It is a word which probably most people would understand regardless of their origin or mother tongue. The name came from the grape variety Bastardo or Trousseau as it's called in the Jura region of France where it's originated. Generally a dark-skinned grape variety which you can find in many corners of the world, including France, Spain, Portugal or the USA for instance, but never made it to world fame, yet...
It's always been one of my favourite varietals, almost like a 'dark horse', a grape, a wine what you wouldn't think too much of, but if you find a good one you will fall in love with. I am a bit of a sucker for thin skinned grapes anyway, which generally produce light easy drinking, sometimes earthy, slightly farmyardy wines (such as Pinot Noir or Loire Cabernet Franc) - and at the same time I also love seriously heavy, full bodied reds for example Priorat or Montsant. So, technically I drink anything apart from petrol :)
This wine made by four guys of Fedellos do Couto (loosely translates as the 'Brats of Couto' - Couto being a manor in Ribeira Sacra in North West of Spain) is a real gem which I found a couple of years ago on a trade tasting in London. First I just loved the label, it reminded me an old movie poster from the 60' after I tasted the wine I just thought this is awesome, we need to have it. I spoke to a couple of the winemakers as well and they are really friendly folks who appreciate if you comment on the result of their hard work.
It is light in colour, fresh on the nose, packed with red cherry flavours and forest fruit on the palate. Tannins are really well integrated and the high acidity balances the wine out extremely well. Silky texture and a touch of greenness makes it incredibly elegant and some lovely sophisticated spice on the finish just creates great complexity and balance in the wine. Two of us drunk a bottle within a couple of hours after dinner but it would work quite well with cold meat, a light chicken dish or fish as well. A great alternative to a Saumur Champigny, or a Chinon.
As summer is approaching I am definitely ready for lighter reds again and I would happily recommend them to everyone, because there is no worse than a wine which doesn't reflect the weather or goes with your mood. :)
Have a go and enjoy summer!