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Cabeças do Reguengo “Vira Cabeças” Tinto Alentejo ‘19
When people ask us what they should know about Portuguese wine, our first piece of advice is to ask about the “where.” Portugal is a relatively small country, with much climatic diversity and terrain. If you learn first about where the wine is from, it will teach you quickly about what to look for in terms of body, flavors, and acidity.
The 2019 “Vira Cabeças” is a perfect example of the importance of learning about the “where.” This small winery is located in a remote part of the Alentejo wine region. Typically, when thinking about wines from the region, you come up with full-bodied reds, likely from the subregions of Borba, Redondo, Reguengos, or Vidigueira. Those areas tend to be lower altitude, flatter, and overall warmer.
There is one portion of the Alentejo region, spread far away from the “main” part, tucked into the hills of the Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede, close to the town of Portalegre. It is here that João Afonso in 2009 bought a beautiful piece of property with century-old vineyards and created Cabeças do Reguengo. If you ever have the chance to visit the property with João, you’ll see the passion that he has for the land, and his dedication to making wines that speak of the terroir.
“Vira Cabeças” is one of twelve wines that he produces, a field blend from five different parcels and over twelve different grape varieties. This is a classic example of how in Portugal, the focus is on the place rather than the variety. The wine is fermented with natural yeasts and aged in 1,000-liter barrels, a portion of which are new. This has beautiful red and dark fruit aromas, showing a sunny climate, but also has freshness and herbs, reflecting the elevation and surrounding natural plant life of the property. He makes just 2,650 bottles of this beautiful wine. Pair it with grilled lamb chops.
Cabeças do Reguengo
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