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2012 Vinhas Velhas Tinto, Luis Pato

2012 Vinhas Velhas Tinto, Luis Pato

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From 50 year old vines this is a more serious beast – reminded us more of northern Italy than Portugal in style. Red fruits, spice, hints violets. Good weight and concentration, red currents, cassis, damson – earthy notes, spice; feels quite ‘high-toned’ (Barolo like) beautifully balanced – excellent structure. The tannins are fine, powerful; velvety – an excellent wine.
The 2012 Vinhas Velhas red is a Baga that takes us into the modern era (and the regional Beira Atlântico appellation) in this issue's small vertical. This is lighter styled and fruity, lacking a bit of gravitas, but irresistible if you want to drink it young. While it is deliciously fruity just now, there are some controlled tannins lurking underneath that will support this wine. It is also wonderfully fresh, the acidity likely to serve it in good stead, too. While early maturing--almost Beaujolais-esque in its youth, when tasted--it certainly can age. This is a no-brainer buy, likely to please everyone from geeks to novices. 2016-2033 90pts - WIne Advocate #227

Luis Pato is considered something of a rebel, a ‘maverick’ if you forgive the use of this overused word these days more often applied to someone who wears a bright neckerchief rather than the individual that genuinely follows his own path and then has to perhaps face the consequences.

He took over from his father Joao at Quinta do Ribeirinho in Bairrada on the Atlantic Coast where the Pato family have been making wine since the 18th century, and made his first wine in 1980; a pure version of the local Baga grape (imagine a cross between Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir). In 1985 Pato started to introduce new ideas such as de-stemming and using new French casks, the use of rotary fermenters; these changes and many other other variations away from the considered norm led to him being ostracised from the DO 1999, and thus his wines now labelled as 'Beiras DO', a Vinho Regional DO that covers both Bairrada and Dao. Ironically, he is now probably the best-known wine-producer in the area, and has now been joined by his daughter Filipa who has her own label Filipa Pato Wines.

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    Luis Pato
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    Red Meat
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