The 2014 Tinto, the Estate flagship red, is a blend of 55% Touriga Nacional, 35% Touriga Franca, and 5% each of Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca, aged for 16 months in French barriques. It comes in at 14.7% alcohol. Winemaker Xito Olazabal said: "We are reducing the quantity of the wine aging in new oak. Some of the first editions of Vale Meão had almost 100% new oak, but I found it was too much, so in the last two vintages (2013 and 2014) the wines aged 65% in new barriques, 35% second year..." Bottled a month or so later than normal (because they were awaiting a new Amorim cork guaranteed to be TCA-free), this is rather gorgeous. In many ways, it seems rounder and softer than the Meandro, its second label sibling this issue, but the finish is longer, the flavors are more lifted and it has that old-school mid-palate finesse. It adds caressing texture, too, and then tightens a bit on the finish. The price of this iconic wine has spiked--now five times the price of the second label (Meandro), which is quite a spread. That said, this is fabled terroir and certainly one of the better 2014s. If this develops well, it may be entitled to an uptick.
Mark Squires, December 2016