|Rebel, rebel, how could they know?|
I went to the Eyal Maron's Portugese Wine Festival and what I learned can be summed up in two words; Luis Pato. Three words, actually, if you also want to toss in Baga, the Beiras signature grape, The Rebel is one of the Pato's basic wines, with 9% Touriga Nacional and 1% Bical softening the very tannic Baga grape, which, judging by the wines I tasted, is Pato's life calling. This is an Old World wine, with a leathery, sweaty personality, juicy acidity making for a very tasty mid-tier bistro wine. Think of Crozes, think of Anjou, think of a moreish, small-scale wine from a supposedly fringe appellation, made by a conscientious artisan. And then just drink up. (May 3, 2015)
Gin Proof. Sorry, but that's the name of Eyal's import on the back label, and I'm not especially enamored of it. Don't let it put you off, though - if you ever step into his shop, and, if you're a real wine geek, you'll walk out with a smile. And this will cost you 100 NIS.
Luis Pato, Bairrada, Baga Natural, 2012
This as purely natural a wine as can be: no sulfur, acid, sugar or yeasts were added and it's bottled under a screw cap to preserve freshness - which it does, in spades! What really gets me is the same limpid vividness I find in a Moric Blaufrankish or a Graillot Crozes. (May 4, 2015)
I also tasted Vinha Barrosa, 2011, a single vineyard, costing a little over 200 NIS, which seems like a lithe cruiserweight version of the above, an ageworthy wine, at that.