Tiago Cabaço, .COM Branco 2009 Estremoz



Congratulations to Adnams buyer Alastair Marshall for sniffing out thiscom_branco bargain when he went to the wine conference in Oporto, Portugal, last December. It is made by a young producer in the Alentejo, Tiago Cabaço, who specialises in his own native region of Estremoz, advised by oenologist Susana Estéban. (The wine's official designation of origin is Vinho Regional Alentejano.)  I loved its massively fruity, interesting impact on the palate. Being from such a plump vintage, I wouldn't expect it to last particularly long but why wait?

It tastes as though many varieties go into this smartly packaged blend and indeed the producer's website confirms that it contains Portugal's admirably nervy Arinto as well as Roupeiro, Antão Vaz, Verdelho and even imported Viognier. It's fruity, really round and complex, unlike anything else I can think of, and fun.

Alastair Marshall writes that when he saw that this producer's wine ranges were called .COM and .BEB, he assumed a high level of techiness but claims that when he first met Tiago, he didn't even have a website. The key apparently is that if you add an E to the end of these two suffixes, you get respectively 'eat' and 'drink' in Portuguese. Of course!

I'd just suggest that you take advantage of this evidence of Portugal's singularity when it comes to wine production, and enjoy the evidence that its white wines can be every bit as interesting as its reds. For the moment, Adnams seems to be the sole stockist known to wine-searcher.com. Let's hope that changes soon, as I do think this wine should be drunk this year, ideally.

The photo is taken from the Vinhos do Alentejo website.