There’s a saying in Portugal that goes em Fevereiro, chuva; em Agosto, uva (‘in February rain, in August grapes’ – it rhymes in Portugese!). This winter has been very wet and it continues to rain in March. I arrived in Lisbon today, the second day of spring, to find the segunda circular ring road at a standstill, ankle deep in white slush from a hailstorm. The temperature was 6oC. I don’t think that we will be getting many grapes in August where we are at relatively high altitude (though we migh just pick some white grapes before the end of the month). But the barragem is full and ground water levels are high so there will be no shortage of water this year. The Alentejo looks verdant, even luxuriant, after such a wet winter.
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