Text José Silva | Translation Bruno Ferreira
Visiting Quinta do Vale Meão is always a pleasure, a delightful adventure even. It’s one of the Quintas that belonged to D. Antónia Adelaide Ferreira (one of the most known), which has now for many years belonged to her great-great-grandson Vito Olazabal, a man of the Douro with deep knowledge of the region and passionate for its land, vineyards and wines. He’s married to Luísa Nicolau de Almeida (daughter of Fernando Nicolau de Almeida) who is also viscerally connected to the Douro. Their sons live and work there, Xito works in the vineyards and winemaking, Luísa in the hard task of marketing and selling those nectars of excellence. The Douro runs in their veins; they’re a family with “patine” … On a recent visit, at the time of Encontros do Douro Superior, we were greeted, as always, with the simplicity and friendliness, quality and good taste typical of them.
In a new area by the pool, parents and daughter (the son was abroad at the time) presented us with the best, as usual.
The landscape, right there in front of us, spoke for itself and it is very difficult to describe: the grass field right next to the pool (where the kids play football), the vineyards extending to the river and, at last, the morphology of this superior, bright, full of light and unique Douro.
Then it was time for a commented tasting, led by Vito. The tasting was accompanied by several snacks that were spread across the table, at our disposal. The Meandro white, quite fresh, was already running through the glasses, and the easy talk alternated with the superb landscape that is possible to experience there. This white is great, the nose is somewhat exotic, attractive, full of freshness and elegance, followed by a palate that combines freshness and acidity, with ripe white fruit and citrus notes leading us to a slight minerality. Always feels like having another glass.
Already in conviviality mood, we were invited to go up to the huge terrace that runs alongside the house, with huge trees that provide a soothing shade to the sun’s inclemency. There, next to the swimming pool’s overlooking railing, the tables were set and well-equipped for the meal.
Regional bread, some curious crispy orange peel strips and a traditional “Caldo Verde” exhaling an amazing aroma, delicious. Then it was time for the Meandro red 2013, and the big news, the Monte Meão 2013 made from grapes of the Cantina vineyard, with the grape variety … Baga! That’s right, Baga in the Douro Superior!!
The wine is great, full of structure, intense, with claw, very balanced and excellent acidity, a nice surprise.
As a main dish we savored roast cod in the live coal, chipped, with baked potatoes and egg, olives, sprinkled with parsley. To accompany the main dish, a tomato salad, another of vegetables and a “porretas” salad (a salad made with green stalks of leeks, very tasty). By then we were also already drinking the Quinta do Vale Meão 2013, a delicious bomb, full structure, bulky, very fruity, intense, an extraordinary wine, one of the great reds from the Douro Superior. The conversation went on very interesting with humor and good mood of the hosts. With so many other stories to tell, if we could stay there until the sun has set.
But it was time for the end of the meal, with a nice cheese board and a delicious squash and almonds cake. Many continued in the reds, others went for the Port Vintage Vale Meão, from the year 2001! Wow!
A delightful interpretation of what a great Vintage is. A perfume, an essence, full-bodied, vibrant acidity to balance the set, that’s all we need for one last peek at that landscape that never tires… At the time of parting, one last look back, to the huge gate that displays with gallantry in wrought iron: Quinta do Vale Meão – Antónia Adelaide Ferreira – 1894.
A family with “patine”…
Quinta do Vale Meão
5150-501 Vila Nova de Foz Côa
Tel: (+351) 279 762 156
Fax: (+351) 279 762 207