The start of harvest

The heat came early this year and thankfully we have enjoyed moderate temperatures despite the continuing drought. Yesterday, with the sun still shining, we are picked the first red grapes, Syrah and Viognier, followed by the vinha velha (old vines) today and tomorrow. Sugar levels (and therefore potential alcohol) are not that high as yet this year (13- 14 baumé) but the grapes taste ripe and that is a good basis to pick. The first Atlantic depression of the autumn is forecast to hit us mid-week so it makes good sense to gather the best, early ripening grapes befoe the rain. Last year rain fell at the same time then didn't stop for two weeks. 

Scoring

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