Bitterly cold in the serra. Bright sunshine by day (I don’t think I have ever seen such brilliant blue skies) and a hard frost by night. I get up early and go to the adega to taste both our 2007 and 2008 from barrel while my senses are at their keenest. The ‘07s have settled down well. The Trincadeira is soft, sweet but rather lightweight and only some of it will make it into the final blend. However it is compensated by some delicious casks of vinha velha (from the old vines); rich, ripe and foursquare with lovely savoury integrated new oak.
My Vineyard Blog November 2008
Quinta do Centro: the world feels a very different place since I was here last.
At Patrick Grubb’s Madeira Tasting in London I run into the head buyer for one of the UK’s leading independent merchants. He tells me that due to the current economic uncertainty they have a complete moratorium on buying more wine. His chief worry is that customers will drink their cellars rather than buy more in the circumstances, something that had crossed my mind as well.
Pedra Basta 2006 is one of over 50 Portuguese reds in a comparative blind tasting for a UK consumer magazine. I am on the tasting panel (although the marks I give our wine don’t count). I find that when all is revealed at the end I have given it an embarrassingly low mark. My note reads ‘good structure but overbalanced’. It is my Cliff Richard moment! The wines in the tasting were served too warm (stuffy office temperature) and this brings out the alcohol in wines with 14% abv and more, making them look heady and unbalanced. But this is not meant as an excuse.