At this time two years ago we had unseasonal heat with temperatures in the low 40s. This year it is relatively cool (low to mid-20s) and dry. There is no disease in the vineyard apart from in one corner where oidium seems to have spread across the road from my neighbour's untreated vines (no doubt a member of the local co-op who has given up). I meander round the property tasting the grapes. The new Trincadeira vineyard (planted in 2000) has yielded fairly well with compact bunches of small, fairly dark sweet berries. If we can't produce a really good wine from these grapes this year then I will start re-grafting this part of the vineyard next year. The Alicante Bouschet, now registering around 12 baumé, still tastes rather astringent and clearly needs at least another couple of weeks to ripen. The Cabernet Sauvignon looks disappointing. The yields are tiny and the grapes are small and herbaceous. Fortunately it makes up a very small part of the vineyard. It looks as though the Aragonez will perform very well again this year with good yields and even ripening. I find that I am warming to Aragonez and, despite its local reputation, I like Trindcadeira less and less.
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