With the heatwave continueing we have to start picking and I miss the start of vintage. This is the earliest we have ever picked (we would normally expect to start around 15th September) after one of the hottest Augusts in memory. We expect a week or two of intense heat at this time of year but this heatwave has now lasted for the best part of a month and looks set to continue. The Trincadeira planted in 2000 is already approaching 16 baumé due to the raisinisation of the grapes so we have to pick to save the crop. Everyone from the Douro to the Alentejo needs to pick at the same time so the pressure is on and there is a shortage of labour both in the vineyards and in some wineries. All these consultant wine makers cannot be in the same place at once. In the meantime, due to commitments in the UK, I watch from afar. Still we have a good team in place in the adega this year and I feel they will do the best they can in the circumstances.
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