00 Luis Pato, Beiras Vinha Velhas Baga Red
I wonder if Chave would have anything to say to Pato after tasting this wine. It is decidely influenced by the incredibly smoky and rich, yet often tight and lean wines of France's Cote-Rotie. Yet, this 60-year-old-vines Baga is so powerful that what I really wonder is how great an influence Pato must be to the Rhone. Like many Portuguese wines, the aroma never settles down--but this one isn't trying to be pretty. Peppercorns and green mustard seed blend with a bouquet of herbs, freshly blacktopped road, and hogs. The soil is fresh from all its years--I can feel it moist between my toes--as it carries into the decadent palate. Crude earth turns to chicory, coriander seed, dry dark chocolate, chewy licorice, and smoky raw cocoa nibs in the face of ripe wild berries.