2010 Luis Pato "Rebel" Beiras (Previously $20)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 PATO REBEL is 90% Baga, the rest Touriga Nacional, meant to be drunk young. While this is certainly softer than Pato’s big boy wines, it has quite respectable depth and it is utterly charming, soft, velvety and likely to find Pato a new audience. Given modern trends, he may be dismayed if some consumers actually like this about as well as his more cellar-worthy wines, but it’s not impossible. If you do, you can stick your tongue out at him, too (echoing the label with the funny picture of Pato). With nice texture and some solidity in the mid-palate, it is fruity and flavorful. It goes down easy, but it certainly seems like a complete wine. Grant that this lacks the power and big structure of his top brands--as time goes on, the equation will change and they will separate more. Yet, it seems pretty fine just now. This looks like a crowd pleaser, a boon to casual drinkers and wine snobs alike, interesting, tasty and also reasonably priced. Drink now-2019.
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.
One of the finest Portuguese winemakers, Luis Pato also likes to portray himself as a rebel against the wine establishment. This wine revels in its pure Baga character, packed with earthy tannins yet also rich in its black currant fruit.
Fashioned in an early-drinking style from compact clusters of old vine Baga, 10% Touriga Nacional and 1% Bical, Pato's goal is to prove that Baga, a fiercely tannic grape, can be tamed and softened into a smoothly aromatic wine. The result is almost Pinot-like in texture, but with the enticing briary blackberry fruit, dark cocoa and resinous character intact. A versatile wine that's perfect for late-summer barbecues.