This espumante comes from 30-year-old vines planted to several plots of chalky-clay soils in the family’s São Lourenço and Óis do Bairro vineyards. The grapes are hand-harvested and spontaneous fermentation takes place in stainless steel with ambient yeasts for three weeks without temperature control. Romy is vinified in the traditional method and aged in bottle until released. It is unfined and unfiltered.
A lovely translucent pale pink with the cherry blossom notes of Baga along with white peach and nectarine are underpinned by an earthy minerality. Bright acidity and just a touch of tannin provide backbone to this incredibly delicious and refreshing bottle. This finely wrought, totally natural rendition of Bairrada wines will leave you wanting more from both her and this exceptional coastal region.
Maria Pato comes from one of the most distinguished winemaking families in all of Portugal. Her father, Luis Pato, is known as the King of Baga and helped bring international attention to both the Baga variety and the wine region it hails from, Bairrada. Her older sister, Filipa has become equally famous and is making some of the most terroir driven wines on the west side of Iberia. She also works with Baga and helped expose how transparent and versatile the variety can be. So, it's no surprise that Maria dove head first into Baga production.
Just like her sister before her, she has managed to carve out her own identity. Her project Joao Pato aka Duckman is named after the ancestor that started her grandfather Joao who lived from 1920 until 1986. Her goal is to bridge the past with the present. She does this by producing artisanal, handcrafted, sustainably farmed wines in tiny quantities made with indigenous grapes grown by her and her family.
Her cellar practices are decidedly old-school, using neutral vessels of cement and oak as well as some steel tanks. Only indigenous yeast is used, and the wine gets very little sulfur if any at all. Sparkling wines are made using method ancestral (Pet-Nat) or methode traditional, which are the bulk of her production. She leaves both herself and the region's name off the label believing that each wine speaks for itself and its origin without any outside guidance. Usually adorned with a pop art duck in varying hues and patterns, the artwork is as equally impressive as the wines themselves.
All three Pato’s work with a bevy of indigenous Barriada varieties but, like her father and sister, Maria hangs her hat on Baga. As we said before, Baga lends itself to be made in several ways. Its thin skin allows it to be made into delicious sparkling wines, both white and rosé, as well as every style of red under the sun. Naturally high acidity keeps it racy and fresh while its characteristic fruit, filled with sour cherry and rose petal, lends itself to a wide range of structures.
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