The wines of Luis Pato, Bairrada star

Luis Pato is perhaps the most famous face in Bairrada, even though he’s had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the regional authorities, that led him for a time to drop ‘Bairrada’ and move to labelling his wines as Beiras, the larger regional appellation.

Pato is known as a modernist, but he makes wines that [...]

The wines of Quinta das Bágeiras, Bairrada

Mário Sérgio’s Quinta das Bágeiras is one of the leading wineries in Bairrada. He created the domaine in 1989 from 12 hectares of vines he got from his grandfather, and grew it by a further 16 to its current size of 28 hectares spread over 10 different vineyard plots.

The wine style here marries a modern [...]

Quinta de Baixo, Bairrada, with Dirk Niepoort

Dirk Niepoort has long been interested in the terroirs of Bairrada. He thinks that the combination of the chalky clay soils and the Baga grape variety makes this potentially the best terroir in Portugal, even though he acknowledges that in many respects the region is a bit messy. ‘It is not the easiest variety in [...]

Lunch at Rochelle Canteen with a rare, brilliant Baga from Luis Pato

So, today. Lunch at Rochelle Canteen in Shoreditch. My first time. This is a remarkable restaurant housed in an old bike shed, and it’s only open weekday breakfast and lunchtimes. And it has no licence, so it’s BYO. But the food is amazing. Serious, and delicious.

Tucked away in a courtyard – part of an old [...]

Two from Niepoort: Bairrada and Dão

Douro star Dirk Niepoort has branched out in recent years, acquiring vineyards in Dão (Quinta da Lomba, an old vineyard purchased in 2013) and Bairrada (Quinta de Baixo, purchased in 2012). It may even be (and this is clearly heresy) that Bairrada has Portugal’s best terroirs, so it will be interesting to see what Dirk [...]

In Lisbon with the young winemakers of Portugal

So I was in Lisbon. For one night only. The occasion? The ‘Young Winemakers’ tasting. Vadio, Conceito, Hobby, Clip and Carmelao are five young-ish Portuguese producers (with six winemakers in the group – Hobby has a couple) who have collaborated together to market their wines jointly. It’s a really good idea.

Joint marketing efforts like [...]

A few nice Portuguese bottles from The Wine Society

Ah, Portugal. One of my favourite wine countries. Here are three good bottles from The Wine Society that are affordable and tasty.

Campolargo Alvarelhão 2011 Bairrada, Portugal
This is brilliant. It’s from a variety that’s also grown in Galicia, where it is known as Brancellao (it was a component in this wine reviewed recently), and which makes medium/light [...]

A brilliant Bairrada from Filipa Pato

As most of you know, Portugal is one of my favourite wine countries. There’s lots happening here, with new great wines emerging all the time. This is a brilliant new wine from Filipa Pato, daughter of Luis, and it’s a field blend of mostly Baga from a vineyard of chalky subsoil with stony clay. It [...]

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 [...]

A lovely Portuguese red: Casa de Saima Colheita 2008

Really like this.

It’s a Portuguese red wine from the Bairrada region, made by one of the top producers in this area, Casa de Saima. Now they’re known as traditionalists – defenders of the Baga grape, which is what the region’s top reds are made from. This, however, is quite a modern-styled wine, with some Merlot [...]