Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas, a lovely Portuguese red

I’m a big fan of Baga, a Portuguese red grape variety. It’s the traditional grape of the Bairrada region, and to me it’s reminiscent of Nebbiolo: quite tannic and difficult, but capable of making ageworthy, perfumed wines.

Luis Pato is one of the top Bairrada growers, and yet he names his wine ‘Beiras’ rather than Bairrada. You can’t really go wrong with his wines. They age beautifully, and drink reasonably well young, too.

Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas 2007 Beiras, Portugal
13% alcohol. From 45 year old vines. Lovely supple, spicy, grippy berry and plum fruits with good acidity. Nice structure here – firm, grippy tannins underneath the ripe fruit. Quite Italian-like with an attractive savoury dimension. Potential for further development, with hints of clove, pepper and balsamic vinegar. 91/100

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