Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cabecao - A New Varietal?

679. 2006 Sociedade Agricola de Vale do Joana - Grou Vinho Tinto (Vinho Regional Alentejano - Portugal)

I'm getting pretty darned close to having tasted a hundred different varietals and, thereby, completing the requirements to join the Wine Century Club. For some time now, I spend a good amount of time wandering through the wine aisles on the lookout for yet another varietal that can speed up my cause. I figured I'd lucked out finding this bottle that prominently featured "Cabecao" on the label. I thought "that's a varietal I haven't run across before." It could easily happen with a Portugese wine and the country's myriad of indigenous grapes.

Turns out that Cabecao is a region in Portugal - not a grape. All was not lost though. I've since found out that the wine is a blend of Aragonez, Touriga Nacional and Syrah. I've already counted the latter two on my WCC application - but Aragonez, that's as novel as Cabecao - except that it's just a local name for Tinta Roriz and, this, I've heard of. The good thing is that I was surprised to find out that I haven't actually listed it yet. Yippee.

Cabecao and the winery are located in the Alentejano district in the South of Portugal, an area long known as the country's "bread basket" - but, probably being better known for its wheat, olives and cork than its wine though. Over the last couple decades, like so many other regions throughout the world, the region has seen an influx of investment and equipment and noteworthy wines continue to appear nowadays.

The Nunes Barata family is now into its sixth generation of winemakers; however, the current generation of brothers started this venture with the 2004 vintage being its first. With the Grou Vinho Tinto, they've gone in a decidedly New World direction. The region is hot and, unlike most of the country's winemaking regions, it doesn't feel the influence of the Atlantic Ocean to any great extent. This gives the winemakers the option to go for a more modern, ripe fruit driven style.

The wine comes into our market around $28 though and I'm not sure that I'd be so quick to pick up another bottle - especially since I won't be able to add another varietal to my WCC application. It just didn't stand out enough for us at that price. It's still good to branch out and try new regions and new wines though. After all, isn't a primary component of an Odyssey?

1 comment:

  1. eu acho divinal!Eu sou da terra de que fala no seu post!Adoro o vinho e peço que reconheçam os nossos valores e não deixem morrer nossas tradições!Ajudem a salvar o que o Alentejo tem o vinho,o azeite e cortiça!bem hajam!