Wine Enthusiast 95 'Cellar Selection'
"The estate is owned by the Olazabal family, descendants of Antonia Ferreira who created this and many other estates in the 19th century. This is a major wine, ripe and full of rich tannins and concentrated fruit. It is always one of the longest-lived wines from the Douro and this vintage has the structure and the fruit weight to develop well. An attractive spicy, smoky character adds extra interest. Drink from 2022."
Wine Advocate 94
"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."
Wine Spectator 93
"A supple and suave red, displaying a concentrated profile of tangy raspberry, cherry and red currant fruit, backed by a firm, integrated acidity. White pepper, leafy and spice details linger into the finish, structured by muscular but refined tannins. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made."
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