Luis Pato &

Luis Pato 'Vinha Pan' Baga Bairrada 2013

Regular price$68.00
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Press 2 • April 2024 Direct Press Selection

Does Baga have the potential for greatness that Nebbiolo is known for? Luís Pato certainly thinks so, and has fought hard for this unique grape that is planted in the rural Bairrada region, located mid-coast between Lisbon and Porto. Baga certainly has the tannin and the astringency needed for extended aging, though in some cases this is so pronounced as to make it as angry as an old man returning soup at a deli. As an admitted contrarian, Baga has always appealed to me with it’s ornery attitude and meaty, iron funk. For the moment it’s still possible to find library releases of old Baga that will blow your mind for a fraction of the price of old Burgundy or Nebbiolo, so that’s another perk of joining the cult of this cantankerous cultivar.

The 2013 Vinha Pan is Baga from the Panasqueira vineyard, with chalky soils south-east exposition. It's known for producing the most Nebbiolo-like wines at the Pato estate. It's in great shape now but you can also put this aside for a few more years if you like. You don't have to decant it but we noticed the tannins resolving and the wine developing nicely after 45 minutes, so decanting will help if you can do it.

Sour cherries, brambly berries, leather, and mesquite. There's a fine balance between primary fruit, savory notes, stony minerals, and a lingering dark chocolate undertone. We even picked up hints of brisket and Cracker Jacks. There's a lot happening in this wine! Fair amount of tannins, firm and grippy, well integrated...and they soften beautifully with some air. For a wine of this age it's still surprisingly fresh. It's more medium bodied than you would think, and as such would pair nicely with fatty spiced meats; charred, crispy mushrooms; roast duck, steaks, or a flame grilled Portuguese chorizo, aka Chouriço à Bombeiro, if you can get your hands on one. Jonathan Kemp and Nico Haunold 

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