Baga is a small, thick-skinned grape that is thought to originate from the Dão region in Portugal, where it is blended with other varietals. With an old reputation for being austere and unapproachable, it’s no surprise that Baga was originally used to make bulk wines that were inexpensive. This wasn’t helped by the fact that Baga is highly susceptible to rot, especially in the early autumn rains.
Now, Baga is more commonly found in Bairrada, Portugal, thriving in its temperate maritime climate, clay soils, and sunshine, producing single varietal wines ranging from elegant rose wines to juicy, light reds or bold, structured wines. Often compared to Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo, Baga offers tantalizing notes of blackberry, dried cherry, cocoa, smoke, and hints of tar. Baga red wines sing alongside roasted pork and braised beef ribs, while the roses are perfect with smoked trout.
The Duckman is a fictitious character meant to question almost everything. Maria Pato, the daughter of famed Portuguese winemaker Luis Pato, created this project because of her love of the region and varietals, so much so that she felt constrained by conventional Bairrada winemaking. Enter this unforgettable blend of Baga and Touriga Nacional. It’s a perfect balance of ripe wild fruit, softness, and power. Try this one with slow roasted white or red meats, salmon, and chilly evenings with a favorite book.
Grape Photo Credit: Fanerofito. Baga Grapes. 5 Sept. 2021. Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baga-cacho.jpg.