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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...
As a result of the traditional pressing, Meandro shows an intense greenish colour. It has the vibrant acidity of Arinto combined with the lively fruit of the Rabigato. Great density and freshness.
The year 2017 was extremely hot and dry. From November to March, precipitation values were very low when compared to the average. These values allowed healthy phyto-sanitary conditions with an absence of diseases. 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.
After being slightly crushed, the grapes were cooled down and pressed in a traditional vertical press. The must was transferred to small temperature controlled vats to complete vinification. Each grape variety was vinified separately and the wine was aged on lees for seven months.
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The 2017 Branco "Meandro" is a 60/40 blend of Rabigato and Arinto, unoaked and coming in at 13% alcohol. It was set for bottling about a week after this tasting. This has fine concentration for the level, but the acidity underneath—my second impression—cuts the richness (my first impression) beautifully. In this big 2017 vintage, somehow the winery still maintained a feeling of some freshness. This is nicely done and a bargain. It may well improve with a little age, and it should age well.See detailed press review