I don’t think I have ever felt so cold as I have this week in Portalegre. Although nothing like as cold as in the UK where it is currently snowing, the damp cold here quickly gets into your bones and there is really no way of warming up. The buildings seem to capture the cold. A blanket of thick drizzely fog has hung over the Serra all week and, with all the bad news about the local economy, it is thoroughly depressing. Then, this morning there comes a ray of sunshine, both literal and metaphorical. After years of trying we get our first order from the United States and from one of the most respected importers in New York no less. They have just ordered Duas Pedras but it is an excellent start for us in a market that is very difficult to crack. The news lifts my spirits Rui and I taste through all our wines in the clammy adega. We are thinking ahead to our lotes of Pedra Basta 2010 and 2011. Pedra e Alma 2011 seems to have almost blended itself and will be a very worthy follow on to the 2009 which is currently drinking very well indeed.
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