To London for a tasting of Portuguese wines organised by the Wine Society in the splendid setting of the Merchant Taylor’s Hall. I am speaking at a ‘workshop’ for 60 people to introduce Portuguese wines and choose Quinta do Ameal 2009 Vinho Verde, and Blandy’s 10 Year Old Verdelho to show alongside Pedra Basta to illustrate the diversity of Portuguese wines. The Ameal is wonderfully pure and steely, 100% Louriero from a vineyard that is now fully organic which must be hard graft in cool, damp Vinho Verde country.
My Vineyard Blog November 2010
We are enjoying an early verão de São Martinho (‘St Martin’s summer’) which usually coincides with St Martins day on 15th November. The temperature was in the mid-twenties yesterday with the clearest of blue skies all day long. The warm weather has brought out swarms of vinegar flies out and we have to be very careful in the winery, mopping up every drop of split wine.
After torrential rain and storms at the end of last week we now have perfect autumn weather with clear blue skies and daytime temperatures around 18oC. The autumn colours are spectacular and from the veranda of the adega it is possible to pick out different varieties in the vineyard from the differing shades of the leaves. Two emblematic red wines with dinner at Tomba Lobos in Portalegre. Quinta do Vale Meão 2008 is a triumph; soft yet multi-layered with hidden structure and broad, ripe tannins underlying.
With the malo-lactics just about complete we spend the day in the adega racking the wines off the lees and tasting the 2010 vintage. We have some good and some not so good wine, the result of some heavy yields in parts of the vineyard. The Trincadeira from the 2000 vineyard has performed surprisingly well this year producing a lightish but attractive fragrant, fruity wine with firm tannins and without the herbaceous quality that we sometimes get with this variety. A good result. The Touriga Nacional – Syrah - Viognier blend also looks good.