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Tasting notes by Julia Harding MW
18 março 2013

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Luis Pato, Vinha Formal 2010 Bairrada 17 Drink 2011-2015
Barrel fermented and six months in used oak.
Fine, creamy nose, delicate citrus with a touch of apricot. Refined. Intense and with that same slight resin note. Lovely mineral edge to it though it is full in the mouth. (Only Pé Franco has new oak.) Attractive wild edge and great acidity. (JH)

Luis Pato, Vinhas Velhas 2010 Vinho Regional Beiras 17 Drink 2012-2016
Bical, Cerceal, Sercialinho. Bical on clay-limestone soil. Cerceal and Sercialinho on sandy soil. Unoaked.
Cedary citrus on the nose and o n the palate. A creamy texture opening up to lemon and apricot fruit with that cedary character on the aftertaste. Terrific freshness and energy. Just a baby. (JH) 12%

Luis Pato, Vinha Formal 2009 Bairrada 17 Drink 2013-2022
Clay-limestone soil and sun until mid afternoon. High limestone content.
Pale straw. Fabulously inviting nose of baked apples and a touch of orange and honey and central Portugal's cedary resinous note. Highly aromatic. Much more cedary on the palate, so fresh as well as rich and full bodied. Mouthfilling depth. Very young and more to come. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinhas Velhas 2005 Vinho Regional Beiras 17 Drink 2008-2015
Pale gold. Fabulously intense and complex aroma - honeyed cedar, herbs and balsam, a touch smoky but also fragrant apricot-like aromas. Elegant and lively on the palate, such a light touch after the intensity of the aroma. Fascinating and refined. Seems as if it might even be a little reductive or perhaps that is the mineral component coming through. (JH)

Luis Pato, Vinhas Velhas 2003 Vinho Regional Beiras 16.5 Drink 2007-2012
Bical. Last year that Pato made this wine from Bical grown on sandy soils (50%), later on from vines grown on chalky clay from Vinha Formal. 25% Cerceal on sandy soil and 25% Sercialinho. Bical from chalky clay is richer in the mouth.
Bright pale gold. Lots of cedary notes on the nose. Resin and herbs. Intense freshness and yet quite broad in the mouth. And gently honeyed. Rich and long but with that seam of acidity. More developed than average because it was a warmer year. (JH) 12.5%

Luis Pato, Vinha Formal 1999 Bairrada 17.5 Drink 2005-2015
Bright mid gold. Toasty and nutty like Hunter Semillon on the nose even though there is far more weight on the palate. Lemon marmalade on toast. Toasty on the palate too, tasting not bone dry. Rich and intense and long and resinous (linseed?) on the finish. Not sure what you would eat with it as there is just so much concentration and strong flavours. Really assertive, verging on aggressive, and marked freshness even with all that power. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Formal 1998 Bairrada 16.5 Drink 2004-2018
The first vintage of white Formal. Quite a bit darker gold than the 1999. First bottle badly corked.
Second bottle: mid gold. Wonderfully inviting aroma: gentle notes of spiced honey, cedar/resin, bitter orange, then a fine combination of heather honey and a more savoury cedary flavour on the palate. Assertive. Fully dry, fresh, long. A love-it-or-hate-it wine. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinhas Velhas 1995 Bairrada 16.5 Drink 2000-2014
Bical, Maria Gomes, Cerceal.
Deep orangey gold. Honeyed, just a touch of linseed, even a little minty, orange notes too; really developed on the palate but not oxidised. Fresh, complex, just a tad rustic. Long though. (JH) 12.5%

Luis Pato, Vinha Formal Bruto Rosé 2009 Bairrada 17 Drink 2012-2014
Baga and Touriga Nacional. Picked 25 August, fermented 30 days in second-use 650-litre French oak.
Very pale orangey pink - like Tavel rosé. Delicate red fruit on the nose, lightly fragrant. Fine, sustained mousse. Dry, quite sober, persistent, refined. Mouthwatering and easy to drink even though it is not simple - the fruit softens the acidity. Good alone or with food. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Informal Rosé 2010 Vinho Espumante 17 Drink 2011-2012
100% Baga fizz. Single vineyard. 'Baga da Vinha Pan'. Crown cap.
More red fruit than in the Quinta da Moinho. High citrus acidity. Tight and so fresh and zesty. More depth and length and more open than the Quinta da Moinho. (JH) 12%

Luis Pato, Quinta do Moinho Rosé 2010 Vinho Espumante 16.5 Drink 2011-2012
100% Baga fizz. Single vineyard. Some bottles will be late disgorged. Made from free-run juice. Will lose colour because there's been no skin contact – only the short time between the vineyard and the winery.
Bright salmon pink. Very fresh, tight, lots of fruit – citrus and apple but also a red-fruit flavour. Fine bead. (JH)

Luis Pato, AM 2010 Bairrada 16.5 Drink 2012-2016
Baga. Interrupted ferment followed by cryoextraction. AM = Abofado Molecular.
Bright cherry red. Sweet, intense and lifted red cherry fruit. Smells like quite a bit of VA. Delicious essence of cherries but with convincing freshness and juiciness. Soft tannins, bags of energy, the flavour quite simple at the moment. I wonder how it will age? (JH) 9%

Luis Pato, Pato Rebel 2010 Vinho Regional Beiras 16.5 Drink 2012-2015
Baga. Deep cherry colour. Rich and quite dark-fruited for Baga. Rich, soft cherry fruit but still has Baga-fresh acidity even though the tannins are uncharacteristically smooth - but then this is what Luis Pato was aiming for. You can't get away from the dry, food-friendly finish. Sour-cherry freshness on the finish but a carressing texture. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, BTT 2009 Vinho Regional Beiras 16.5 Drink 2013-2017
BTT = Baga, Touriga Nacional and Tinto Cão.
Deep crimson. Fragrant, slightly dusty small dark-berried fruit. Hint of sweet oak spice and toast and perhaps eucalyptus and more red fruite d as it opens up. Lovely fragrance. On the palate, so rich and juicy and fresh and scented too. Real depth of fruit but has the freshness to match. Dense, sandy tannins. Long and satisfying. GV (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Formal Touriga Nacional 2008 Vinho Regional Beiras 16.5 Drink 2014-2018
Inky dark core. Delicate dark fruit on the nose. Dark and restrained. More austere than Pato’s BTT, finer tannins but less pleasure, at least at the moment. After time in glass – lots of oak char and a touch of coffee. Very marked by the oak at the moment. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Quinta do Ribeirinho Pé Franco 2011 Vinho Regional Beiras 17 Drink 2013-2023
Baga. Ungrafted vines.
Lovely (white) peppery and dusty nose with intense but introverted red fruit aromas - the raspberry and graphite character of Loire Cabernet Franc but without the leafiness. Going back to it, there's also a definite minty character. Bright and lively and so fresh with a firm tannic structure - though the tannins are super-fine – that is a perfect fit with the depth of fresh,vibrant fruit giving excellent balance even now. Becomes more fragrant in the glass. Minerally chew on the finish. Tight and energetic. (JH) 12%

Luis Pato, Valadas Vineyard Pé Franco 2011 Bairrada 17 Drink 2015-2020
Baga. Ungrafted vines.
Smells so much sweeter than the Quinta do Ribeirinho Pé Franco 2011, with some mocha overlaying the ripe sweet fruit. Blind, I would have thought it was aged in Amercan oak. I don't know if there is more oak but it certainly seems to show more. Very chocolatey on the palate, like cherry milk chocolate, caressing and generous and concentrated. Lovely freshness to undermine that sweetness on the mid palate though the finish is chocolatey too. (JH)

Luis Pato, Quinta do Ribeirinho Pé Franco 2009 Vinho Regional Beiras 19 Drink 2017-2040
Baga. 1,000 bottles and 100 magnums and 50 double magnums. 19th-century label (turned sideways to show it needs to be laid down). Planted 1988 ungrafted on sandy soil. 2.5 ha. 8,000 vines/ha instead of more usual 4,000. One bunch per plant. Very small bunches. 3-metre roots. 'The poverty of the soil is the richness of the grapes.' This vineyard is usually the first to reach phenolic maturity. 100% new oak.
Deep garnet. Amazing nose: spicy oak, and just a little toasty but something perfumed like lily of the valley. Smells rich and inviting. Full and sweet. Dark intense damson fruit and just a touch minty. Rich, voluptuous and yet fresh and structured. Intensity is amazing and seems effortless. Dense but forgiving tannins. Concentrated and endless. Caressing and rich. Unspittable. (JH)

Luis Pato, Quinta do Ribeirinho Pé Franco 2008 Vinho Regional Beiras 17+ Drink 2015-2025
Rich, spicy dark fruit. Blackberry and juicy damson. Rich but so fresh and primary. Finest of dry tannins and so fresh. Texture is relatively dry and a little austere but very elegant. Upright and not quite sure of itself yet. Mouthwatering finish. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Quinta do Ribeirinho Pé Franco 2005 Vinho Regional Beiras 17 Drink 2011-2018
Mid garnet. Fragrant and spicy plus the beginning of sweet fruit decay into more complex aromas and flavours. Very fine tannins and lively freshness, the wine just moving into its second phase of complexity. Tannins are fine but still firm. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Quinta do Ribeirinho Pé Franco 2003 Vinho Regional Beiras 16.5 Drink 2010-2018
Very different aroma from the 2001. More subdued mulberry and blueberry and a little bit stalky but ripe strawberry too. Perhaps less depth than the 2001 but it's silky, fresh and harmonious with red fruit freshness on the finish. Just a little drying on the finish and a bit leathery in texture and flavour. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Quinta do Ribeirinho Pé Franco 2001 Vinho Regional Beiras 17.5 Drink 2011-2026
Gorgeous aroma – rich and sweet and developed but with a subtle eucalyptus note still in evidence even with all that tertiary complexity; blackcurrants steeped in alcohol without any overripe jamminess. Silky, fresh and full of energy. Still so much fresh bright fruit on the palate even after all this time in bottle and with all that undergrowth seeping in. Shapely tannic backbone. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinhas Velhas 2009 Vinho Regional Beiras 17 Drink 2013-2019
Baga. 45-year-old vines. 12 months in new and used French oak.
Bright, deep cherry red. Lively red cherries on the nose too. Red fruit and a little herbal on the palate. Pure and concentrated without excess weight. Fine, taut and juicy, already surprisingly approachable. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinhas Velhas 2001 Vinho Regional Beiras 16.5+ Drink 2010-2020
Deep garnet with soft pink rim. More meaty and savoury on the nose than the 1995. Still very young and strapped in with the tannins though there's fruit at the core to fill out the structure. Still pretty tight but fine grained and fresh and persistent and finishes more savoury. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinhas Velhas 1995 Vinho Regional Beiras 16.5 Drink 2000-2015
Mid garnet with brick rim. Youthful aromas of soft red fruit and vanilla, just the beginning of mulched leaves but the fruit sweetness prevails. Then quite austere on the palate but fresh, dry, and tannins still pretty firm. Much better harmony than the 1988. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinhas Velhas Touriga Nacional 1988 Bairrada 15.5 Drink 1995-2013
Deep bricky garnet at the rim, dark-cherry core. Tomato leaf and sweet/sour berries on the nose. Tannins very dry on the palate. Drying out. Drink up with food. (JH) 12%

Luis Pato, Vinha Barrosa 2005 Vinho Regional Beiras 18 Drink 2011-2030
Baga. Barrosa (barro = clay) vines at least 80 years old. Often the earliest Baga vineyard to reach maturity.
Deeper ruby than the Vinha Pan. More intense on the nose and more spicy. Richer and denser with that old-vine concentration. Slightly darker fruit flavour. Acidity is just as fine but less evident. A little more velvety on the palate. Tannins thicker. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Barrosa 2005 Vinho Regional Beiras 16.5+ Drink 2012-2020
Vines 80–90+ years. Clay-limestone soils.
Deep crimson. Rich, dark fruited – dark cherry – with the merest hint of eucalyptus. Then much drier than I expected on the palate, not as muc h of a whole as the Pan 2005. Fine-boned structure, hard to tell how it will age because it doesn't seem to have the mid-palate weight to balance the structure for the very long term but it could make old bones in a more austere style. But see my other tasting note on this wine, which leads me to think this was not a great bottle. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Barrosa 2003 Vinho Regional Beiras 17 Drink 2008-2018
Baga. Darker, almost plummy notes at first but also a touch herbal. Sweeter on the palate and really quite soft and gentle but still dense and fresh. A little leathery. Freshness comes back on the finish. (JH) 13.5%

Luis Pato, Vinha Barrosa 2003 Vinho Regional Beiras 16 Drink 2010-2015
Vines 80–90+ years. Clay-limestone soils. 'My best wine is the Pé Franco but I will be famous for the Barrosa' is apparently what Luis Pato tends to say.
Like the Pan, the 2003 is more bricky than the 2001. Looks older. Tea-leaf aroma, tobacco, tomato leaf. More open than the 2001 but tarter to o, less well balanced overall. Leaner in the middle but still juicy on the finish. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Barrosa 2001 Vinho Regional Beiras 17.5+ Drink 2012-2026
Vines are 80-90+ years. Clay-limestone soils. Deep garnet with soft pinkish rim. Highly aromatic – sweet red cherry, light touch of eucalyptus, some spice. Lots of pure fruit and much less tertiary than the Vinha Pan. Finely wrapped by the dry sandy tannins, so youthful still and needing time for the palate to become more scented like the nose, for those tannins to release the fragrant fruit. A little bit stern on the finish now but all in harmony for a still-long future. Bags of cherry-red fruit hiding on the finish. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Barrosa 2001 Vinho Regional Beiras 17.5+ Drink 2013-2028
Baga. Red plums and spice and just a touch of woody undergrowth. Firm, dense – like rough velvet. Mouthwatering freshness but great concentration as well. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Barrosa 1997 Bairrada 17.5 Drink 2007-2026
Baga. Garnet starting to show some brown. A lot of spice and less undergrowth than on the Vinha Pan at first though it develops in the glass. Perfumed nose and great sweet/fresh contrast on the palate. Rich and dense and long. Velvety firm tannins. Very long and surprisingly taut at the end and still quite a grip even though it has that initial smoothness. (JH) 13.5%

Luis Pato, Vinha Barrio 2001 Vinho Regional Beiras 17.5 Drink 2012-2024
Deep garnet, darker than the 2000. More coffee and walnuts than in 2000. Definitely more savoury. Less muscular than the 2000, less expressive on the nose, more sinewy but also more finesse overall in the structure. Firm grip still there on the finish. Really only just starting to drink now. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Barrio 2001 Vinho Regional Beiras 17.5 Drink 2013-2025
Last vintage before the vines were replanted.
More open than the Moinho even though it has not been aerated as much. Pepper and spice and red fruit again and a little bit of eucalyptus. Moreish and full flavoured and warm without the warmth of alcohol. Mouthfilling and yet still fresh. Dense, tense complexity. (JH)

Luis Pato, Vinha Barrio 2000 Vinho Regional Beiras 17 Drink 2010-2022
Chalky clay soils in the Barrio vineyard. Deep ruby with brick rim. Aromas already quite developed – red fruit, tomato leaf, eucalyptus, spice and pepper and you can smell the freshness – red fruit coming back to prevail. Hint of polished wood. Firmly structured around both the tannins and the acidity but lithe as well as dense. Muscular but not a body builder. (JH) 12.5%

Luis Pato, Vinha Pan 2005 Vinho Regional Beiras 17.5 Drink 2011-2030
31-year-old vineyard. Luis Pato's best vintage up to 2009. Pure Baga. This was the first year he did not do a green harvest because he started to use the less ripe fruit for the sparkling Informal – a green harvest with a purpose.
Deep crimson. Complex nose of red fruit and cedary and just a hint of eucalyptus. On the palate, dry and fresh but with a rounded sweetness of red fruit even though the tannins counteract the sweetness. Juicy and so fresh. Concentrated and silky even though the tannins are still so present. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Pan 2005 Vinho Regional Beiras 17 Drink 2013-2025
20% vines are 80+ years old. Dark, youthful garnet. Rich dark fruit overlaid with light eucalyptus aroma giving it a herbal/medicinal character. Sweet and aromatic. Strongly aromatic on the palate, has the freshness you'd expect of Baga and is a little austere but very different from the 2003. This is more elegant, though the tannins still exert a firm grip without suppressing the juicy finish. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Pan 2003 Vinho Regional Beiras 16.5 Drink 2008-2015
Baga. Developing more quickly than normal quickly because it was a hot year. Has those same woody notes as other vintages but also some undergrowth showing. Complex and quite spicy, and the tannins are soft. Spice and salt and pepper come out with age. Still has fine red fruit. Thicker tannin than the 2005 but still quite a grip. Softer and less elegant. (JH) 13.5%

Luis Pato, Vinha Pan 2003 Vinho Regional Beiras 16 Drink 2008-2015
Deep garnet but older looking than the 2001, more brick at the rim. Odd nose at first, a bit stinky, then bloody and meaty with air. Then some red cherry eventually emerges. More marked acidity and leaner than the 2001, much more ready to drink but a bit lean in the middle for a very long life? (JH) 13.5%

Luis Pato, Vinha Pan 2001 Vinho Regional Beiras 17+ Drink 2012-2025
Baga. Velvety garnet colour. Back to some cedary freshness. Lovely tight classic Baga red fruit, still quite young though complex with a touch of undergrowth. Tight and juicy and sweet fruited but so elegant and very long. Really pretty tannic still. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Pan 2001 Vinho Regional Beiras 17 Drink 2011-2021
Deep garnet with a hint of brick. Savoury aroma – liquorice as well as undergrowth and dried walnuts with dried red fruits, into jam, hiding underneath. Pretty dry tannins, quite austere, tightly held in its tannin corset though the tannins are like fine sand. Fresh and moreish – needs food and a long evening to open up in the glass. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Pan 1997 Bairrada 18 Drink 2007-2022
Baga. Rich warm garnet colour. Wonderful aromas of leathery and spicy red plums and still that lovely fresh red fruit of Baga. Sweet decaying undergrowth but then a streak of red fruit still there. Developed and yet so fragrant. Still structured but tannins are resolved and beautifully balanced, then that freshness turns up again at the end. Changes in your mouth as well as in the glass and goes on and on. Fabulous. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Vinha Pan 1996 Bairrada 17.5 Drink 2005-2016
Baga. Bright, dense ruby. Delicate and fragrantly sweet. Some leather and spicy damson. Difficult to describe. Dry and yet still so juicy. Fine tannins and also lively and in balance and long. Freshness of acidity seems to have kept the fruit fresh. Scented red fruit on the mid palate. Coming back to it, it seems to have become more delicate and the red fruit has reappeared. (JH)

Luis Pato, Quinta do Moinho 2001 Vinho Regional Beiras 17+ Drink 2014-2030
Much darker than the Barrosa 2001. Spicy black fruit. Leather and undergrowth, and again the herbal edge. Darker fruit, taut and more austere though tannins are very fine. Freshness less evident. Closed up and a little reduced. Not filtered. Doesn't have Baga's red fruit but it has all the structure. (JH) 13%

Luis Pato, Quinta do Moinho 1999 Vinho Regional Beiras 16.5 Drink 2005-2016
Moinho = windmill. After 2000, there were several vintages without a Moinho (fruit went into Vinhas Velhas).
Deep garnet again and looks more than a year younger than the 1998 but smells a good deal more developed. Strong undergrowth and earthy notes and meat extract. Much more fluid on the palate than the 1998, with a better future more likely. Firm but fine grained and fresh though the tannins are still very present on the finish. (JH) 13.5%

Luis Pato, Quinta do Moinho 1998 Vinho Regional Beiras 16 Drink 2006-2014
Clay limestone. Deep garnet with brick rim. Sweet and a little jammy on the nose. Fig jam but with a savoury, slightly earthy overlay plus the vestiges of tart red-fruit aroma. Firm, dry, a bit of a block of flavour at the moment as if there were a dam on the mid palate preventing the wine from spreading on the finish. Pretty obdurate in its grip. Hard to tell how this will age. (JH) 13.5%

Luis Pato, Quinta do Ribeirinho Primeira Escolha 1997 Bairrada 17 Drink 2007-2020
75% Baga, 25% Touriga Nacional. Sandy property that belonged to Pato's family. Decanted (on Pato's advice).
Deep bricky red, garnet core. Sweet red and delicate senescence. Quince marmalade as it opens. Autumnal undergrowth, perhaps very slightly minty and cedary. Fragrant. Then unexpectedly dense and rich and velvety on the palate. Such unexpected richness, chewy and smooth at the same time. Surprisingly powerful. (JH) 12.5%

Luis Pato 1980 Bairrada 16.5 Drink 1990-2015
Pato's first wine. 100% Baga.
Deep tawny red. Delicious aroma when first open: a little leafy, lots of undergrowth, and also a sweet spiciness of dried red fruits, dried plums, perhaps also dried tomato, coffee. So much going on. More savoury on the palate, walnuts, a little earthy, dried tomato a gain. Fresh and not drying though it is clearly a senior and the aromas become less enticing with air. (JH) 12%

Luis Pato, AM 2009 Vinho Regional Beiras 16.5 Drink 2012-2015
Sweet red made from 100% Baga from the Vina Pan vineyard. AM = Abofado Molecular.
Deep dark like elderberry juice. Sweet, intense aromas of damson, plum, elderberry and black cherry, jammy spice too. Smells soft and warm. Excellent combination of sweetness and tannic grip. Can't quite see this as an aperitif, as Pato suggests on the label, but it's delicious. More a meditation wine. Delicious with dark chocolate – counteracts the tannins and highlights the juicy fruit. For drinking while the fruit is at its peak though I dare say it would last a lot longer. (JH) 10%
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