Filipa Pato comes from a legendary winemaking father; Luis Pato is revered as one of the most significant producers in Bairrada and considered a pioneer who brought a struggling region back to life. Following in her father’s footsteps, Filipa studied chemical engineering before trying her hands at winemaking. After a stint at Château Cantenac Brown in Bordeaux, she spent a year working at Finca Flichman in Mendoza and later, Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River. Upon returning to Portugal in 2001, Filipa decided to blaze her own path rather than work alongside her renowned father. With a focus on terroir and minimal-intervention winemaking, she produces ‘Vinhos Autênticos Sem Maquilagem’ or ‘Authentic Wines Without Makeup’ alongside her husband, Belgian sommelier and restauranteur, William Wouters. Filipa likens Bairrada to Burgundy, considering they both offer chalky soils, slopes and wineries in the midst of villages, each of which produces a different expression of wine. Filipa strives to achieve a similar recognition for Bairrada’s micro-climates to which end she and her husband have leased or bought all the good old vineyards they could find. While they are not yet ceritified, they practice biodynamic principals in the vineyards and produce a wide variety of stunning wines from indigenous varietals only including Baga, Bical, Arinto, Cercial and Maria Gomes.
This blend of 80% Bical and 20% Arinto is one of those wines that you want to savor, as each sniff and taste reveals something new and intriguing. The nose is intensely fragrant with notes of roasted hazelnut, candied lemon and burnt orange peel. On the palate, which feels concentrated yet supple, notes of almond nugget, vanilla bean, juicy apricot and caramel emerge. The hints of sweetness are beautifully balanced by a bright and focused acidity and while 10% of the juice was fermented in 500L oak casks, the only impression of wood is the mouth-coating texture and subtle plumpness in the wine. And despite the confectionary flavors found on the palate, the finish is refreshingly dry, unveiling cleansing notes of meyer lemon and chalky minerality.