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While Quinta do Vale Meão only began bottling under its own label in 1999, the estate has an incredible history. Vale Meão was one of the shrewd acquisitions of the celebrated Douro landowner Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira. In 1877 she purchased 270 hectares of land near Vila Nova de Foz Côa in the Upper Douro, and over the course of the next decade established a model winery, planting all the vineyards from scratch. The Quinta remained in the family and is owned today by Francisco Javier...
The vibrant acidity of Arinto combined with lively fruit notes of Rabigato provides a wine with surprising complexity and freshness.
It was an incredibly atypical year from the Agricultural point of view. During the winter the precipitations registered were extremely low resulting in reduced water reserves in the soils. This lack of water and a very cold winter delayed the budbreak. When spring began, very high precipitation values were recorded. During the months of April and May the rains continued, bringing the need for increased attention to control phytosanitary problems, namely mildew. The month of June brought the beginning of summer, however, the temperatures remained springy, registering fresh and rainy days. Outbreaks of diseases that had not previously been eliminated became extremely difficult to control, with the region experiencing massive downpours. In addition, occurrences of hail further aggravated the damages registered so far. In spite of the difficulty found not only in the Upper Douro but also in the rest of the region, there were no significant problems in Quinta do Vale Meão. With the arrival of August, the temperatures reached very high values, giving way to scalding in some of the parcels. The harvest was delayed compared to normal, and the picking began on 4 September with the Rabigato variety. Despite the difficulties encountered at the agronomic level, the qualitative potential of the wines from the 2018 harvest is very high. This is due to even maturation and low water stress resulting from the high levels of precipitation. The musts were fresh, with good acidity, showing a perfect balance with a good structure.
The grape varietals for this wine are vinified separately. After gentle crushing the grapes are fermented in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature for 15 days. Malolactic fermentation is not promoted and the wine is in contact with the fine lees for 7 months prior to bottling.
- 90 Points -
The 2018 Branco "Meandro" is a 60/40 blend of Rabigato and Arinto, unoaked and coming in at 12% alcohol (a drop from last year, a common theme in 2018s vs. 2017s). It was bottled just a few weeks before this tasting, but it seemed in great shape. Powerful, pointed and moderately aromatic, this most of all has plenty of acidity to lift the fruit and slam it back home. In its youth, this energetic wine is perfectly positioned as a summer white, but it does need just a little more expressiveness. Considering how recently it was bottled, it should show better by the time this report comes out. It should age rather well. It's a nice value.See detailed press review