Ameal Reserva 2020: the complexity and ageing potential of wood ageing

Ameal Reserva 2020: the complexity and ageing potential of wood ageing

Quinta do Ameal is releasing the 2020 harvest of Ameal Reserva. Made with Loureiro grapes exclusively sourced from the Marinhas vineyard, Ameal Reserva 2020 is aged in French oak barrels and, for the first time, in Austrian oak foudres. This complex wine showcases the variety’s capacity to produce high quality wines with excellent ageing potential.

Ameal Reserva, previously known as Ameal Escolha, began in 2000 with the first experiments in ageing Loureiro in French oak barrels. This unique wine was a milestone in the history of Quinta do Ameal and the wines of this region. Now, with the 2020 harvest, Quinta do Ameal is once again innovating, using Austrian oak foudres for fermentation and ageing.

According to Lourenço Charters, Winemarker at Quinta do Ameal, “We have experimented with using higher capacity barrels in search for an even better balance between the wine and its ageing maturation. It is our belief that Ameal Reserva 2020 demonstrates the true flexibility and potential of Ameal’s Loureiro grape.

The Marinhas vineyard, the source of Ameal Reserva 2020, lies at an altitude of 26 metres, with deep and coarse granite soils that have both sandy and clay textures. This soil, less fertile than average in the area, produces lower yields, but with more concentrated and well-balanced fruit. Agricultural conditions in 2020 heightened the grapes’ ripening and concentration, while maintaining the typical acidity of the region.

Hand-harvested, the grapes were fermented in 500-litre used French oak barrels and a new 2,000-litre Austrian oak foudre. Twelve month’s fine lees ageing in the same containers was followed by six months of ageing in bottle.

Complex citrus and floral aromas and distinct spice notes from the barrel ageing, Ameal Reserva 2020 has concentration, good volume, and a long and persistent finish. It will develop well over the next 20 years.