Pato Rebel is made by Luis Pato at Quinta do Ribeirinho, in Bairrada, where the Pato family have been making wine since the 18th Century. Luis Pato is a maverick, ground breaking and imaginative wine-maker who took over from his father Joao Pato and made his first wine, a pure Baga, in 1980. In 1985 Pato introduced started to introduce new ideas to Bairrada such as de-stemming of Baga grapes and the maturation of wine in new French casks. Luis Pato is continually looking forward, he is a genuine rebel, who, with a mix of science and revolution has introduced many innovations including rotary fermenters. This, amongst other things, has led to him being ostracised by the Bairraida DO (he left the DO in 1999). His wines are 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. He has now been joined by his daughter Filipa who has her own label Filipa Pato Wines.
Luis Pato has 60 hectares of vineyards which are planted with the red grape varieties Baga, Touriga Nacional and Tinto Cao. The white grape varieties planted are Maria Gomes, Bical, Cercial da Bairrada and Sercialinho (relatives of the Sercial of Madeira).
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.”
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Pato Rebel is designed to be a wine that shows that Baga 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.
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.
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.
Luis Pato is also a member of Baga Friends, a group of like-minded Baga producers who have got together to educate the consumer about the Baga grape variety.
The Baga Friends are,
António Rocha (Buçaco Wines)
Dirk Niepoort (Niepoort)
Filipa Pato (Filipa Pato Wines)
François Chasans (Quinta da Vacariça)
João Póvoa (Kompassus Wines)
Luis Pato (Luis Pato Wines)
Mário Sérgio Nuno (Quinta das Bágeiras)
Paulo Sousa (Sidónio de Sousa Wines)