Monte dos Cabacos Branco
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Rui Abecassis, founder of Obrigado: “Monte dos Cabaços is clearly one of the very top producers in the Alentejo. People make all the difference and often in this business their personality and life clearly define the project and ultimately the wines they produce.”
Joaquim and Margarida Cabaço are from Estremoz, from a little village beautifully called GLORIA- but one gets a sense of a more cosmopolitan background. In fact, its no surprise to learn they have both lived in Paris, Buenos Aires and Milan. They opted to come back to countryside life in the early 1980s. In 1982, they moved to an old house that had no fridge or electricity. Still, they invited people over all the time, and Margarida learned how to cook on a wood burning stove. With her husband Joaquim they reconstructed the house into a charming puzzle of new rooms and huge fireplaces, had 4 children, started Monte dos Cabaços winery in 1983 and finally, opened the restaurant S. Rosas in 1994, one of the most acclaimed in Portugal.
While there is plenty to be said about Chef Margarida Cabaços pleasant food and her architectural aesthetics, but we are here for the family winery and wines, so here goes:
MONTE DOS CABAÇO (translates to Cabaços House) was founded in 1982 in Estremoz, a city famed for its marble. Joaquim is an experienced viticulturist, and between 1992 and 1998 he bought an additional 30 hectares of carefully selected land and decided which varietals to plant. Today, Monte dos Cabaços has a total of 80 hectares at an average altitude is 400 meters. Joaquim continues to sell the majority of the fruit to neighbors and uses its best for the Monte dos Cabaços wines. The winery has a small team: Joaquim as viticulturist, famed winemaker Susana Esteban as winemaker, and mother Margarida and daughter Marta Cabaço responsible for the daily logistics of the business. Harvesting has been done by the same team for the past 20 years. Monte dos Cabaços stays true to the Alentejo quality of tranquility and patience. In order to showcase the very best that their wines are capable of expressing, they delay release of their wines until ready. In that vein, their current releases are 2 year old whites, and 6 and 7 year old reds.
62% Roupeiro, 26% Arinto, 12% Antao Vaz. Vines planted from 1982-1992. Tended in clay and loam soil at 400 m (1,312 ft) elevation. This is a vegan wine.
On its own or with fish and seafood, as well as lighter poultry and pork dishes. The clean flavors of Asian cuisine are a terrific match as well.
Vinification and ageing
Gentle cold pressing, fermented at low temperatures. Kept in small stainless steel vats with temperature control until bottling.
300 cases (6 pack)
The essential Alentejo white blend: Roupeiro (62%) also goes by the name of Dona Branca, and is an aromatic grape known for melon and peach flavors. Planted in Alentejo for the freshness and bright acidity it brings to a blend, Arinto (26%) is an important contributor in balancing wines produced in hotter areas. Antão-Vaz (12%) is well adapted to Alentejos climate, and adds firmness, body and a vibrant tangerine aroma.