Portugal and Pato
The Pato family (daughter Filipa and father Luis, each owning their own vineyards) is gonna blow your mind with a couple weird and wonderful bottles, while a couple other Portugese wines provide a more familiar yet equally delicious contrast. Don't let your tastebuds miss out!
Vadio Bairrada Branco 2017 A blend of 50% Cercial and 50% Bical, aged for eight months in old French oak, one might say this is made in "the international style", as it is super clean and fruity. We like to think, however, that the character of the local grapes, as well as the Atlantic coastal situation of the Bairrada region, are very evident. It has a fresh nose, with notes of green melon, lime, and oyster shells, while the palate is concentrated, with an oily texture and rich fruit flavors. The saline and maritime character returns on the finish, and allied to vibrant acidity, banishes any notion of heaviness. It is a wine that changes and evolves in the glass, and it will likely improve for at least a few more years. Put it on a table full of seafood, or next to a citrusy roasted chicken. Filipa Pato Post Quercus Branco 2017 You gotta love this lady's motto "Authentic Wines Without Makeup". One of the coolest wines around, Filipa's Post Quercus Branco typically disappears quickly from the market. The formula is simple: organically grown Bical grapes fermented and aged on the skins clay amphorae. The wine is pure and complex: rich stone fruits and citrus, silky texture, spice and brine, unlimited potential at the table. It comes in a 500ml bottle and only 2000 bottles were made, so this treasure will run out a little earlier than the others... motivation to get here early! Luis Pato Baga Bruto 2013 Well, you've probably never had anything like this before. It's either a light red or a dark rose, and it's bubbly. So you're like "dude, I've had Lambrusco, I know what that's like", but I assure you "you do not". Made entirely from the Baga grape and hailing from the cool 2013 vintage, this has the character of an aged red wine and it is something to serve with food. Super savory and earthy on the nose, with notes of tobacco, dried flowers, moss, sea breeze, dried orange peel, tamarind and red cherry, it is full of intrigue. There's a hint of sweet fruit on the mid-palate, but it is fresh, tart and firmly dry through the finish, with notes of herbs, licorice, sumac and a bit more red fruit emerging and lingering. It's quirky fellow but also pretty much brilliant. This is what you want for your next herby tomato soup and funky grilled cheese. It'll also be perfect for a charcuterie platter. Susana Esteban Aventura Tinto 2016 I remember meeting Susana Esteban many years ago at a trade tasting. At the time she did import her wines to America. I gave her a few names and said "I will buy your wine, if it's in Massachusetts". I didn't know what they would cost when they came here, but I knew they might easily be closer to $20 than $10. To say I'm content that this tasty tinto is $15 would be an understatement; I'm thrilled! The 2016 is a blend of 40% Aragones (aka Tempranillo), 40% Touriga Nacional and 20% traditional varieties of the Portalegre region. Full of dark fruit flavors, it is a juicy style with hints of blue flowers (that's the Touriga Nacional) and spice. Medium-bodied, silky smooth and exuberantly fruity through the finish, this is gonna be a real crowd pleaser.