With the last two ferments slowing down, I spend an hour or so tasting through the 2011 vintage. I am excited by the vinha velha this year; deep and dense with broad ripe tannins. The Syrah / Touriga destined to make Duas Pedras also looks very good indeed. If Syrah performs this well here on a regular basis I am inclined to plant some more. The Aragonez from the young vines (planted in 2006) is also quite promising; fresh, fruit-driven and showing some structure. Likewise the Alicante Bouschet which at this stage is as black as ink but will add freshness and verve to the Pedra Bastalote. The big disappointment, once again, is Trincadeira. The old vines have performed well but the young vineyard, now 11 years old, has produced wine that is lacking breadth and depth. After the heavy rain at the end of August maybe we panicked and picked just a bit too early but we probably had no option given Trincadeira’s alarming tendency to rot. In the Six years that I have owned Quinta do Centro we only have one year when Trincadeira has performed tolerably well (2009). I need to re-think this variety as it doesn’t seem at all suited to the Serra de São Mamede.
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