It has been a hair shirt start to the year. I have been on a self-imposed detox since 4th January with no alcohol, coffee or red meat and some fairly wicked herbal supplements which make things move, if you get my meaning. Another three days and it comes to an end so I am really looking forward to a glass of wine. This detox has been made more challenging by the awful winter weather. In north Derbyshire where I have been for Christmas and New Year we have had snow continually since 20th December. It is snowing again today. In Portugal it has been raining hard and the barragem on the Quinta is thankfully full to overflowing again having been empty at the start of last month. A received an e mail at the weekend from Paul Symington at his quinta in the Pinhão valley (a tributary of the the Douro) saying it looked like Switzerland!
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