It has been so much cooler over the weekend and today. The thermometer was showing 11oC at 8 o’clock this morning and should reach a maximum of around 27oC today. A cool wind is blowing off the Serra, making life much easier for the pickers in the vineyard. We are starting on the younger vine (2003) Alicante Boushet today, usually the last grape to be picked. Some of the fruit form the upper part of the vineyard is showing raisinisation which will unfortunately boost the baumé but the fruit from the centre of the vineyard is looking good. Fortunately, due to the more severe pruning that we gave the vines this year and the green harvest in July, we have much lower yields than last year so we should achieve a better balance in the wine. The Touriga Nacional that we picked on Friday and Saturday is now fermenting and looks characteristically floral and fruity even though it doesn’t have much structure as yet. Our weakest link as always looks to be the Trincadeira which, now that it has finished fermenting and in vat undergoing malo-lactic, is a bit green and herbaceous. I really thought that we had avoided that problem this year but it seems not. I wonder, not for the first time, whether Trincadeira is a grape for us here in the Serra. Perhaps I should seek to re-graft part of the vineyard onto Syrah which has performed really well this year.
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