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QUINTA DO VALE MEÃO Meandro Branco 2016

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(89-91) Points

The 2016 Branco "Meandro" is the fourth vintage of this Douro Superior white, an equal blend of Rabigato and Arinto, mostly unoaked but for one barrique (about 6% of the juice) in used wood. It comes in at 12.5% alcohol. This was not quite bottled when seen, but it was the final blend and ready for bottling in a week. Showing fine solidity and a smooth, rather concentrated feel, the Rabigato gives this body and the Arinto gives it a crisp edge, cutting through the initial impression of dense fruit. It evolves and opens nicely. Even Xito Olazabal, the winemaker, was unsure how well this might age, and there is no track record to speak of. It seems beautifully constructed, well balanced and built to hold for five years easily, perhaps ten. Let's start here.

September 2017

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