The rebel does it again
Having written over 200 of these weekly wine columns for the Algarve Resident since I started in 2012, I’m sure that my favourite Portuguese winemaker, Luís Pato from the Bairrada region, has been mentioned more times than any other. So, accuse me of favouritism if you care to, but the fact is Luís Pato continues to surprise and impress me, year after year.
It’s not for nothing that one of his wines is called Rebel, as Luís Pato is well known in oenological circles as a bit of a rebel, and this is what I like so much about his approach to winemaking; he tends to go against the grain.
Pato is one of the few producers in Portugal who holds back significant quantities of his wines, both white and red, for prolonged bottle-ageing in his cellars. For instance, I once wrote here about his 2003 Vinha Formal white made from the Bical grape, that was only released onto the market 10 years after bottling. It is still available and is superb.
But now to this week’s wine, daringly sealed with a flip-top, but this is no cheap pop. What we have here is a very classy dry rosé sparkler made from the Baga grape (around €13 in shops). It is quite dark in colour considering today’s pale pink trend in rosé with lush raspberry notes on the nose, good acidity in the mouth and a dry lingering finish.
This is the 2013 vintage, only released onto the market this year. An ideal wine to pair the Bairrada’s most famous region dish of suckling pig, but it also proved to be an excellent partner for the rich and creamy saffron sauce in the rabbit recipe I wrote for this week’s edition (click here).
By Patrick Stuart