Herdade das Servas – Winemaking tradition Grão Vasco Prova Mestra 2013

From the kitchen to the vineyard, the wines of Margarida Cabaço

Text João Pedro de Carvalho | Translation Bruno Ferreira

The good decisions we make in life sometimes lead us into the path of success. Like many others this is a story of success. It all began when young Margarida arrived in Estremoz and fate dictated it would be there she would find the love of her life, Joaquim Cabaço, descendant of the Cabaço family. Joaquim early learned the art of the fields and vineyard and it was him together with his wife that planted the current vineyard, in 1992. Back then and lacking own wine production or winery all the grapes were sold to producers from the region. On another hand Margarida’s passion by cuisine led her to open one of the Alentejo cuisine temples, São Rosas Restaurant.

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Margarida Cabaço at the door of her restaurant, São Rosas

At some point, and despite all the art and mastery that she puts in her kitchen Margarida felt the need to complement it with something that also had her hand. And so, along with the 2001 harvest the Monte dos Cabaços project was born and the grapes that were previously sold now gave birth to the couple’s first wine, interestingly it was one Syrah produced from a vineyard with three years. From a total of 130 hectares of vineyard, 55 are destined to Monte dos Cabaços project and the rest for their son Tiago Cabaço. Nowadays the range of wines is grew and is broader, the winemaking is in charge of winemaker Susana Estéban but Margarida Cabaço always has the last word.

The selection process starts in the vineyard just as she does with the products that she selects for São Rosas, the quality criteria is always present. The best blends are entitled to age in casks and when they show a higher level they are used for Monte dos Cabaços Reserva. As for the special range of wine named Margarida (which I will not approach for now) are made with the best grape variety of each vintage. The first wine was made in 2005 and nowadays we taste Monte dos Cabaços 2013, which is composed by the Antão Vaz, Arinto and Roupeiro grape varieties and is aged in stainless steel. Shows very ripe and vigorous fruit (citric, apple), lemon tree’s green leaf and white flowers in a direct and forthright set that has some nerve. In the mouth it shows somewhat tense, there’s a balance between the ripe and juicy fruit and the dryness, it’s fresh and has a good finish.

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Monte dos Cabaços Colheita Seleccionada Branco 2013 – Photo by João Pedro de Carvalho | All Rights Reserved

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Monte dos Cabaços Colheita Seleccionada Red 2009 and Monte dos Cabaços Reserva Red 2008 – Photo by João Pedro de Carvalho | All Rights Reserved

Now the reds, Monte dos Cabaços Colheita Seccionada 2009 is centered in ripe fruit, berries and forest fruits, some plum, notes of black chocolate, tobacco, black pepper, fresh and good intensity. Well-structured set, tasty mid-palate and a long finish. For last but not the least is Monte dos Cabaços Reserva 2008 that aged in casks and was made with Touriga Nacional and Alicante Bouschet. An attractive and serious wine with very ripe black fruit wrapped in freshness and some jam, good set harmony with hints of spices and very good concentration with the wood very well integrated. Very engaging and at the same time showing nerve and grab, some austerity even, which is felt in the background. In the mouth there’s a festival of sensations, nerve and freshness with a firm structure the grants it longevity and a fantastic performance at the table.

      About João Pedro Carvalho
      Wine Writer Blend | All About Wine

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