Top 100 Symposium: Luis Pato - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Top 100 Symposium: Luis Pato

We look forward to welcoming Luis Pato at the Top 100 Symposium in New York City. He’ll be pouring the Luis Pato wines on January 14, 2020 at Union Park Events. Here is Joshua Greene’s profile of the winery printed in our 2020 Buying Guide:
A renegade on Portugal’s limestone coast, Luis Pato grows mind-expanding baga. An engineer by training, an artist by temperament, Luis Pato is as enigmatic as the region that produced him. Drive through Bairrada on your way south of Porto and you’ll pass the Vegas-like strip of leitão restaurants, a long line of roadside specialists in roast suckling pig. If you look closely at the road cuts, you might notice the white limestone underbelly of the region. And if you head up one of the unmarked dirt roads into the coastal forest, you might happen upon one of Pato’s ancient vineyards, planted to baga, the cranky, lean, tannic red grape that blossoms in his hands into floral-fruited beauty. Since inheriting his grandparents’ vines in the early 1980s, Pato has spent the better part of 40 years questioning local traditions while sustaining his ancient vineyards. He has tinkered with destemming, French oak aging, and even harvesting bunches early to use for sparkling wine. That early harvest helps to build concentration in the remaining grapes and expedite their ripening before the autumn rains. He’s experimented with baga on its own roots (Pé Franco) and highlighted baga in single-vineyard bottlings that live beautifully for decades…and taste delicious with leitão.
2015 Bairrada Monopolio Vinha Centenaria Vinha Barrosa (93 points) The ancient vines at Barrosa grow 12 miles from the Atlantic, producing the roseate fruit for this cool, comforting red. It starts off with an impression of salt spray and beach rose, brightening from notes of black raspberry to red currant and cranberry. This has the kind of light, simple beauty that makes wine from a great terroir seem effortless.
Taste this and more of the top-scoring wines of 2019 at the Top 100 Symposium in NYC. This story was featured in W&S Winter 2019.

This story appears in the print issue of Winter 2019.
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