Vale Meão 2008: latest release from one of Portugal's greats

Vale Meão is one of the great Douro estates, responsible for some fantastic wines since their first vintage in 1999. This is the latest release: the 2008, which is a good vintage in the Douro. It’s following on from the fantastic 2007, and so most Port producers will not declare it. But the early signs are that it is almost as good, and some 2008s will be better than the same wines in 2007. For table wines, it might mean a bit less hype and better availability for the top wines.

Quinta do Vale Meão 2008 Douro, Portugal
14.5% alcohol. This is pretty serious. It’s ripe and rich, but also very fresh and balanced. Aromatic, intense nose of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with some violet notes, as well as woody spice and mineral notes. The palate has real concentration with ripe red and black fruits with taut, savoury mineral notes and hints of cedar and tar. Very fine with structure from the tannins and acidity providing a platform for future development. The ripeness makes it approachable now, but this will age beautifully, I reckon. 94/100

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5 comments to Vale Meão 2008: latest release from one of Portugal’s greats

  • It’s curious you would put 2008 on the same level as 2007 for dry wines – my early tastings (mostly of lighter wines) suggested that 2007 is superior by a margin. I find the 2008s lighter, with tighter tannins, and a bit less fruit than I’d like many times. On paper this would be a good vintage for those estates which emphasises finesse, such as Noval, but not so much Vale Meao.

  • In style; how much do they differ in general; 2007 and 2008? In Douro that is..

    Thanks,

    Niklas

  • Wojciech – I said almost as good. I think 2007 seems a bit better overall, but 2008 has a lovely freshness.

    Niklas – 07s have an amazing forward fruit quality. 08s seem a bit tighter, with more apparent freshness, and bright fruit.

    I’ll be able to report in more depth on Tuesday when I taste a large selection of the top 2008s.

  • Thanks Jamie. The few 08’s I’ve had so far from the Douro seems to fit in on your description. Had the Qta do Judeu a month ago (red & white) and they were both lovely restrained and mineral driven wines. Can’t wait to read your report on 2008!

    BR,

    Niklas

  • Look forward to tasting this wine, and others, at the New Douro tasting today in London.

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