Douro 2017



Regulated designation
Denominação de origem controlada (DOC)
Touriga Nacional 55 %
Touriga Franca 40 %
Winery's website

About this winery

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...

See the QUINTA DO VALE MEÃO detail page for more information on this brand

Notes about product

The winter of 2017 was extremely hot and dry. From November to March, precipitation values were very low when compared to the average. These values healthy phyto-sanitary conditions with an absence of diseases (mildew / powdery mildew), but the lack of rain brought less vegetative expansion than what would be desired, both in the development of foliage and in the development of the bunches. With such low values of water being recorded in the soils, plant development was limited, leading to an anticipation of about three weeks in the cycle. As the levels of sugars and acids soon approached the intended values, it became clear that is was necessary to anticipate the harvest. We started harvesting the white wines on August 16th with the Rabigato grape variety, and the red wine harvest began on the 17th with the entry of the Baga grape variety in the winery. This was followed by the Tinta Amarela and Tinta Roriz harvest (19 and 21, respectively). The first Touriga Nacional grapes entered the winery on August 24 and Touriga Franca on August 30. Having the harvest started earlier, it also ended a few days before the usual dates, with the last grapes being received on September 20th. Although the year was hot and dry, the plants resisted well to the extreme dryness recorded, keeping the foliage in good condition until the harvest. From the enologist point of view 2017 will be quite interesting allowing for wines with a very good structure, with a perfect balance of acidity, soft and harmonious wines, with a good potential for aging.

Winemaking notes

Each grape varietal is harvested and vinified separately. After being crushed and destemmed in granite mills, they are trodden by foot. Subsequently, they are transferred to vats where fermentation takes place for eight days. After fermentation, part of the wines undergo malolactic fermentation in barrels. The wine is aged 16 to 18 months in 60% new and 40% second-fill oak barrels.

Tasting notes

Very concentrated in colour. Deep and complex nose with lots of aromatic nuances, yet maintaining the balance between them. In the mouth it is vibrant, in a set of great elegance, showing an excellent integration of the wood, a surprisingly large variety of flavours, and a very long aftertaste

Press reviews

 Wine Enthusiast

- 100 points -

Cellar Selection

April 2020

This is the latest release from an estate that was founded in the 19th century by the legendary Dona Antónia Ferreira at a time when the upper Douro was almost inaccessible. This wine continues the line of magnificent wines created by her descendants. It is structured and dense yet poised. The rich dark fruit has melded with the tannins, although both will take much more time to fully develop.

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Wine Spectator

- 96 points -

February 2020

A powerful yet elegant red, offering a finely crafted array of steeped cherry, ripe raspberry and baking spice flavors, interwoven with violet, toast and schistlike minerality. Sinewy tannins and tangy acidity offer a powerful and refined structure, along with herb and smoky details on the seamless finish. Should age nicely. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Roriz.

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Wine Advocate

- 95 points -

Mark Squires, February 2020

The 2017 Tinto is a 50/40 blend of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, with Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca filling out the blend, all aged for 16 months in 50% new French oak. It comes in at 14% alcohol. This was last seen as an unbottled sample in Porto. It is now in bottle and in the USA. As this has settled in, it seemed a little less impressive—at first and on opening. A calling card here will be the intensity of fruit flavor. Yet, while it is certainly very ripe, it never seems jammy or sweet. It retains precision, and it becomes somewhat more complex as it airs out. The tannins are ripe enough so that this is actually approachable now, but there is some tannic pop, and this needs development. It would be a mistake to open it today. Come back around 2025 for better results. Yet it still seemed too understated on opening. In fact, the next day it seemed somewhat ordinary at first, ready to roll. I was wondering if it deserved more than a very low 90s score. Yet it woke up with an hour in the glass, gained weight and fruit flavor and coated the palate nicely. There were hints of seared beef and chocolate. Suddenly, it was mid-90s. As long as it was open, it kept getting better—and more powerful. It became impressive again. That's a good sign. It remained accessible, but it became more interesting. Overall, this looks like a beauty. At the moment, I'd favor the 2016, but both still need to settle down. It will be interesting to revisit both when they have about another five years of age on them.

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