Quinta do Mouro Gold Label 2012
The 2012 Tinto Gold Label is a preview of this prestigious bottling (bottled in July 2014, scheduled for release in October 2017). It is a blend of 55% Alicante Bouschet, 25% Aragonez, 10% Touriga Nacional and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 18 to 24 months (depending on lots) in new French oak. It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. This seems a bit on the elegant and understated side for a Gold Label, but it compensates nicely with its enlivening freshness. Granting that the oak is somewhat subduing everything just now, this is surprisingly lively, the freshness eventually cutting through the wood and giving the fruit some lift. When young, to be sure, they always show too much oak. That gets better. On the second day tasted, for instance, it was far better in integration of its wood. On the third day, it was pretty fine and delicious still. Meanwhile, for as long as it was open the fruit was lifted and lingering, filled with flavor and finishing with a juicy blast. Just a bit tight now, this is a wine that will be easy to drink and appreciate, but it shows, too, that it has intensity and a gripping finish. Will it acquire the complexity that the 2011 Gold Label (also reviewed) is just now beginning to show? That's one interesting question, but this certainly has some room for development in the cellar. All about the potential just now, it is probably good that the 2012 is not yet released. It is an interesting comparison with the 2011, by the way--it seems to hold its own, while being slightly different in style. The 2011 has become a bit sterner while this is a bit brighter. Often, I liked this 2012 better for its lifted flavors, but it is a coin flip at the moment. We'll see if they separate in time--and how.