jueves, 7 de marzo de 2013

Pato Rebel, Luis Pato, Beiras 2010


"Pato Rebel has aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate, spices and slight resinous notes. The palate is full, but has an elegance typical only of Baga, and shows bright red fruits, juicy black fruit (blackberry and blackcurrant) and fine, earthy tannins. Try with red meat dishes, grilled or baked fish or barbeques". farehamwinecellar

“One of the finest Portuguese winemakers, Luis Pato also likes to portray himself as a rebel against the wine establishment. This wine revels in its pure Baga character, packed with earthy tannins yet also rich in its black currant fruit.”  89 Points, Wine Enthusiast

- Pato Rebel is designed to be a wine that shows that Baga grape variety can be aromatic with soft tannins. It is a blend comprised of 90% Baga, 9% Touriga Nacional and 1% of the local white grape variety Bical. It is made with a shorter maceration period than some of his other wines with strict control of fermentation temperature in order to produce a wine that is good for drinking early, from a year after harvest.

Baga is the traditional red grape of the Bairrada region but recent law changes have meant that more producers are using alternative grapes. According to Filipa Pato, Luis Pato’s daughter, “unfortunately this grape is being abandoned in the region in a dramatic fast way.  Part of the heritage of old well located Baga vineyards was lost in the last decade.”

Luis Pato says that "Baga can resemble both Nebbiolo from Barolo and Pinot Noir from Burgundy but describes the Rebel as being closer in profile to the aromatic delicacy and strength of the latter".

- Winery history: The Pato family has been producing wine at Quinta do Ribeirinho since, at least, the eighteen century. João Pato started to bottle the wine from his vineyards in 1970, becoming the first winegrower in Bairrada region after its demarcation. His son Luis Pato inherited this nonconformist and pioneer spirit and in 1980 produces his first wine, a pure Baga from an exceptional quality and absolute rareness that is sought by appreciators as a treasure.

. In 1985 begins 2 revolutions at Bairrada: destems Baga grapes and matures the wine in new French oak casks.
. In 1988 he plants Baga from ungrafted vines to understand pre-phyloxera wines and produces the first Vinhas Velhas’ wine from Portugal.
. In 1990 participates, for the first time, as a judge at International Wine Challenge, a contest that he assumes as a tasting school and a guidance that shows him new wines and the volatility of the consumers’ taste.
. In 1995 produces wines from single vineyard: Vinha Pan, Vinha Barrosa and Quinta do Ribeirinho Pé Franco.
. In 1998 he buys Vinha Formal to produce his top white wine from single vineyard.
. In 1999, by personal choice, leaves DOC denomination, and labels his wines as Regional Beiras.
. In 2001 he makes his first «harvest of precision», picking from the same vineyard at the end of August to the production of the sparkling wine, and at the end of September to the production of a more concentrated red wine.
. In 2005, he makes his first wine with his daughter Filipa, the FLP, using the cryo-extraction method.
. In 2008 he presents his first sparkling wine from single vineyard, the Vinha Formal, from Bical and Touriga Nacional.
. In 2009 he produces his first natural sweet wines (White, Rose and Red) that he calls Abafado Molecular.
. In 2010 he creates Informal and Quinta do Moinho, white sparkling wines from Baga grape harvested from the first picking of a single vineyard: Informal is from Vinha Pan and Quinta do Moinho from homonymous vineyard.
. In 2011 appears Fernão Pires, the first red from white grape, with 94% Maria Gomes (aka Fernão Pires) and 6% Baga's skins.

- Price: £14


Bairrada is a DOC of the Beiras (Beira) region in the central northern area of Portugal. It is known for producing rich, deeply colored red wines made from Baga, Castelao, Rufete (Tinto Pinheira) grapes.

Beiras is relatively wide, as Portuguese regions go, and stretches from the Atlantic coast right to the border with Spain (about 100 miles/160km). It was traditionally a single region, but was later split into Beira Litoral (costal Beira) and Beira Interior (inland Beira). The latter name survives today in the form of the Beira Interior DOC. Bairrada is located in the western, coastal half of Beiras, and enjoys the moderate climate influenced by the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. In terms of soil profile, the majority of Bairrada vineyards have limestone-rich clay soils (barro is Portuguese for 'clay'). This terroir continues eastwards into the Dao wine region, where some of Portugal's most highly prized vineyards are found.

Baga typically makes up the lion's share of Bairrada's red wines, and accounts for more than three-quarters of the area's red-wine grape plantings. Prolific and late ripening, the variety's large crops are often threatened by the risk of autumn rains blowing in from the Atlantic, one of the more significant challenges facing Bairrada vignerons each vintage. Baga-based wines are typically deeply colored, highly acidic and very tannic (a consequence of their small berries and thick skins), so modern Bairrada winemakers now use Merlot, Cabernet and Touriga Nacional to add softness and depth.

Bairrada white wines are dominated by Femao Pires and Bical. Bical is a very popular white-wine grape in Bairrada and Dao, and has acquired the affectionate nickname Borrado das Moscaos ('fly droppings'). After approximately five years, Bical wines often have aromatic qualities similar to those of aged Riesling. Femao Pires (also known as Maria Gomes) is Portugal's most widely planted white grape, used more intensively in the south than the north.

For centuries Beiras has suffered the repercussions of a significant event in the wine history of Bairrada, its westernmost viticultural area. In the early 18th century the British appetite for port (produced in the nearby Douro valley) was reaching fever pitch, creating significant commercial opportunities. A number of Bairrada producers were caught exporting their Bairrada wines as port, and a number of legitimate port producers were found blending Bairrada wines into their own to increase output. Wine legislation and regulation was in its infancy back then (tokaj and port were among the first), but so valued was the port name that the Portuguese government took immediate action to maintain its purity; Sebastio Jose de Carvalho, the country's vehemently nationalist First Minister, ordered that all vines in Bairrada be uprooted. The stain on Bairrada's reputation lasted well into the 20th century, and only in 1980 was the area finally granted official recognition as a Portuguese wine region.


Baga a dark-skinned grape variety used to make red wines in the central coast of Portugal. It is particularly prevalent in the Bairrada region, where Baga vines far outnumber those of any other red wine variety. The neighboring Dao and Ribateio regions also use Baga, traditionally in blends but increasingly in varietal wines.

Baga is notable for the thickness of its grape skin in proportion to the size of the small berries. Its name means 'berry' or, perhaps more evocatively, 'droplet', although neither of these terms capture the tannic, astringent nature of many wines made from Baga grapes.

A dry, warm growing season is required to get late-ripening Baga berries to full phenolic ripeness. Fortunately the variety also has a naturally high level of acidity, which means the grapes can be harvested late in the season without the resulting wine seeming flat or baked.

Baga is far from the easiest of varieties to cultivate for the production of high quality wines. The vines are high-yielding, which makes them an attractive prospect for bulk, or lower quality wine production. Making distinctive wines with structure and balance from the variety requires great care and attention in the vineyard.

Baga is highly resistant to powdery mildew but susceptible to other forms of rot, which take hold particularly in the damp autumn conditions common along Portugal's Atlantic coast. The humidity of the maritime climate here means that viticulturalists are faced with an important decision at harvest time: picking earlier will help avoid rot but carries the risk of overly tannic, acidic wines, while picking later allows the grapes to ripen fully, but carries the daily threat of rot-inducing rains.

A staggering proportion of the Portugal's Baga crop is used in Mateus Rose, the popular medium-sweet rose.

Synonyms include: Tinta Bairrada, Tinta Fina, Tinta Poeirinha.

References: farehamwinecellar and wine-searcher 

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