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Quinta do Cabeço

Oboé, symphony of the Douro

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Oboé family
Sat at the table, we talked with José Miguel, oenologist and owner of Quinta do Cabeço, in Tabuaço, Douro. Accompanied by stunning views over the vineyard, we relished the delicacies, which, Raquel – Miguel’s wife – kindly served us, while we tasted a magnificent red – Oboé – produced on the estate. But before we get to know the history of the ‘Oboé’ family – as we choose to nickname them – let’s discover the wines of the house and walk the paths of the estate. At Quinta do Cabeço, the grape varieties are: Touriga Nacional; Touriga Franca – this latter variety used the most, representing about 35% of the production and producing wines with a very fresh and elegant profile, complexity and pleasant depth; Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca (the variety used the least on the estates). These are the four main wine varieties grown on the estate. Highlights among white wines include Malvasia, Rabigato and Viosinho, but there is also a touch of Fernão Pires. In terms of premium wine, Oboé Som de Barrica Tinto certainly makes it mark. «It’s our recent baby, which we want to make it big», acknowledges the José Miguel. The current blends allow them to have a diverse and distinctive product range, of consistent products. We’re curious and so we ask José Miguel, «Why have you given your wines names of musical instruments?» He replies, «We have a bassoon (fagote in Portuguese), which is in the house (in the living room); it’s very old and has belonged to Raquel’s family for three or four generations. As the fagote has always been a presence in her mother’s house, and grandparents house, and because we think that wine is music, it is very closely associated. The fact that the instruments do not have a translation also helped in the choice».
Quinta do Cabeço’s premium wines are available for between €5 and €70, for the reds, and between €5 and €37, for the whites.
And now, let’s tell the story of the ‘Oboé’ family. The story of José Miguel. It all began a few years ago, when he completed his studies (in 1993). He started out working at Symington – he did his internship there. Later on, he was invited to join the Quinta do Crasto team. Then, in 2001, he decided to risk it on his own in the wine market. He began his own project. He set up the company. In 2007, he took another step. Purchased the current facilities. That is when Quinta do Cabeço came about. And later, he built a high-quality winemaking and ageing centre, equipped with very good machinery, making it possible to increase wine production and to produce wines with a truly fine ‘sound’. And the main mission is to listen to the vibrant Douro region, creating special and different wines, which are guided by the richness of aromas and flavours. Just like the instruments that give them their names, whereby the intention is that each note of each grape variety is unique and discernible within the complex rhythm of the estate’s exceptional terroir, respecting its original profile and requiring no more than what nature is willing to offer.
José Miguel and Raquel would like one of their children, João Miguel or Francisca, to one day continue the business, but, above all else, they would like them to follow a profession that gives them joy, with which they can identify, and that they carry out their work passionately. «In a family wine business, it just doesn’t work if there’s no passion. There are many variables during production as care and attention, as well as know-how, are all very important», says José Miguel. That’s how we end our conversation, at an altitude of 375 m, enjoying the valleys in between the hills and toasting with the 2015 Oboé Superior, a modern wine. So, just as in music, we start by tasting the Fagote (bassoon) and end with the Oboé.
Editorial Team
T. Editorial Team
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