The first real heat of the year with daytime temperatures rising above 30oC for the first time and remaining above 20oC at night. Thunderstorms are forecast so the heat wave may not last long. I have a team working in the vineyard all week carrying out a monda, cutting off all the bunches on the newly planted Touriga Nacional, Syrah and Aragonez. This gives the vines a chance to establish themselves before we take the first proper harvest in year three or four. Fruit set has been variable this year with both Trincadeira and Aragonez showing desavinho (millerandage). A small section of Trincadeira is also suffering from oidium despite our best efforts. Due to the heat, our vineyard workers start at sunrise (6.00am) and work until 1pm when it is time for a sesta (siesta). Once again we have a potentially huge crop of Alicante Bouschet and half of it is being cut to the ground.
19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)
17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)
15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)
13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)
10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)
8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)
Below 8 Faulty