O pintor chegou. ‘The painter has arrived’. In local parlance this means that the grapes are changing colour and we have veraison in the vineyard. First the Aragonez and now the Trincadeira grapes are just starting to change colour. Earlier in the year we were at least a week behind but now we can expect to be harvesting in the second week of September – about normal. It will be a large crop, our largest yet, not just because of the new vineyards coming on stream but also due to the winter rains and good conditions at the time of flowering. In the Douro they are expecting a record crop of between 303,000 and 360,000 pipes, 100,000 more than last year. This has serious implications as the Port benefício is likely to be around 100,000 pipes leaving two thirds of the crop for unfortified wine. The price of Douro wine is certain to fall with implications for grape growers throughout Portugal.
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