This has been quite a week. Not since 2002 have we had so much rain during vintage. Our saving grace is that we picked the Trincadeira early – if not it would have been thoroughly infected by bunch rot by now. We have sold off most of this year’s Trincadeira to another producer. I really feel for growers in the Douro who will be picking slightly later than us, especially those with old, interplanted vineyards where there is a percentage of Tinta Amarela (i.e. Trincadeira). The rain has mostly come in the form of heavy thundery showers rather than continuous rain but last night and this morning it has been continuous and torrential. As I write this the skies are grey and the forecast is for more unstable weather. I don’t see our remaining Alicante Bouschet ripening fast! Alicante is always the last variety to ripen and from tasting the grapes on the vine today, they are still under-ripe. Of the wines that we have so far, the Syrah/Viognier is looking the most promising (as it did at this stage last year) with good structure. The Touriga Nacional is fresh and aromatic and the old vine fruit (still fermenting) shows good freshness but lacks the concentration for a potential Pedra e Alma.
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