We were so impressed with the Syrah-Viognier lote last year that we put four barrels to one side to see how it evolves. Syrah was one of the first grapes to be harvested and, picked before the rain, the wine has developed beautifully with a restrained, Rhone-like character. There is a touch of chocolatey concentration and, above all, great finesse and acidity which is especially evident on the finish. This week we felt confident enough to send a sample of the wine to a Portuguese journalist in advance of the release of Pedra Basta Limited Edition 2013 later this year. I am hoping that this will be the first in a series of small quantities of Limited Edition wines produced when a part of the vineyard has been particularly successful and when the lote in question would change the character of Pedra Basta if it was to enter our main wine. I have always rather eschewed varietal wines in Portugal for their lack of dimension but I can foresee a Pedra Basta Limited Edition – Lote Especial of Touriga, Trincadeira of Alicante Bouschet in the right circumstances.
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