We now have all the Syrah and Viognier in the winery along without half of the young-vine Aragonez. The weather has been cooler over this weekend with variable amounts of cloud, but with the forecast for another fairly hot week ahead we change our strategy and decide to start picking the old vine fruit tomorrow while it is still in good condition. With the sun’s rays now at a lower angle but still strong there is an increasing risk of raisinisation. I take advantage of the cooler weather by walking round the vineyard, tasting grapes. The old vine fruit (including Alicante Bouschet) is mostly ripe. There places by the trees along the edge of the vineyard where the birds are attacking the grapes which is a sure sign they are ripe (fortunately we don’t suffer from many bird problems here). We have a large crop of Cabernet this year but it still tastes green and herbaceous. We will leave this until last, after we have picked the Touriga Nacional and the Alicante Bouschet (2003).
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