sexta-feira, 16 de abril de 2021

Quinta de la Rosa LBV Port 2004. Le vin à la bouche!

 EN/PT

    A Late Bottled Vintage Port wine, bottled in 2008 and aged 17 years old (tasted in Jan2021).

    It's a very good example that an LBV Port can age very well in bottle for several years, the perfect example that some LBV's Port wines have a good ageing potential and gain complexity in bottle, especially those traditional style LBV's that are not filtered prior to bottling.

    It was bottled with a worthy solid cork stopper, a "full" or "driven" cork, as opposed to "bar top" cork stoppers that characterize the filtered modern style LBV Port wines.

What's left, the tasting notes and impressions...

    It was tasted at a "cellar temperature", i.e., slightly cooled at about 15 to 16ºC.

    And, yes, certainly it should have been decanted... but it was not, it was served with the necessary care and slow movements, until, at the end, the wine natural sediments began to appear and flow.

    It still kept an intense ruby color but with brown and brick colored tints on the brim. A good LBV Port wine in a good evolution phase (at its best stage?), the years in bottle refined it. It had a pleasant aromatic exuberance with predominante red fruit notes. With a good structure and harmonious, soft tannins, fine, flavor with notes of cherry, cherry jam, cranberry dried fruit, dried hibiscus, nice peppery. Delicate and with a good aromatic final intensity.


Quinta de la Rosa LBV Port 2004. Le vin à la boche!

    Um vinho do Porto LBV, Late Bottled Vintage, engarrafado em 2008, com 17 anos no momento da prova (Jan2021).

    É um bom exemplo de que um vinho do Porto LBV pode evoluír em garrafa durante vários anos,  a prova de que alguns LBV's têm um bom potencial de envelhecimento e ganhar complexidade com o estágio em garrafa, sobretudo quando se trata de LBV's de estilo tradicional, que não são sujeitos a filtragem prévia ao engarrafamento.

    Foi engarrafado com uma digna rolha de cortiça maciça "full" ou "driven cork" por oposição às rolhas "bar top" ou "stopper cork" que caracterizam os vinhos do Porto LBV filtrados de estilo moderno.

O que ficou, as impressões de prova...

    Foi provado à temperatura de cave, i.e., ligeiramente refrescado a uma temperatura de 15, 16ºC.
    E sim, com toda a certeza deveria ter sido decantado... mas não foi, foi antes servido com movimentos lentos e o cuidado necessário até, no final, começar a aparecer  o depósito naturafl do vinho.

    Com uma côr ruby ainda escura e intensa, mas com um anel com laivos acastanhados e atijolados. Um LBv numa boa fase de evolução (na sua melhor fase?), os anos em garrafa refinaram-no, com uma boa e agradável exuberância aromática, sobretudo com notas de frutos vermelhos. É um vinho harmonioso e com uma boa estrutura, com taninos macios, fino, sabor com notas de cereja e compota de cereja, frutos secos como arandos, hibiscos secos, bom apimentado. Delicado e com uma boa intensidade aromática final.   

segunda-feira, 8 de março de 2021

The 2018 Vintage Port

EN/PT

The 2018 Vintage Port comprehensive list, the brands, producer's and their notes

Vintage Port wine cellar, Churchill's lodge, V. N. de Gaia

    After three exciting years of extraordinary vintage Ports, beginning in 2015  that was a very good year with all the climatic characteristics of a classic vintage Port year, difficult to understand when afterwards it turned out not to be a generalized vintage Port declaration between producers. Then, after 2016 and 2017, two historic consecutive classic vintage Port years, a rare event in the long and rich history of vintage Port wine, one would expect a year with fewer vintage Port declarations and not a classic one, for commercial reasons but above all especially considering the main characteristics of the 2018 wine year (more information here: Douro, the 2018 harvest report) which was difficult and certainly different from the mentioned previous ones.

    2018 was mainly a year of Single Quinta Vintage Ports and not full house vintages, as it is a characteristic of non-classic vintage Port years.

    In summary, 2018 was an atypical, inconsistent and a very challeging year for viticulture in the Douro, that registered an irregular climate that started with a dry and cold winter extending a period of prolonged drought that came from the previous year, with some rain at the end of the season, followed by a humid spring with a lot of rain far beyond what would be desirable, which favoured mildew and powdery mildew attacks and caused vine flowering difficulties and production losses, there was a hail storm at the end of May that caused serious damage in some Cima Corgo sub-region vineyards, and then afterwards dry weather with several heat waves in the summer months, heat that was more concentrated in the month of August. There was some rain in late August, but harvest took place with sunny and dry weather, in which the soil water reserves created in spring were fundamental and also allowed longer grape maturation periods, with good conditions registered in some specific areas, vineyards or vineyard plots and in general in the Upper Douro sub-region.

    Of the 2018 declared vintage Ports, we registered 63 vintage Port brands from 42 producers.

    Some facts worth mentioning related to the wines produced this year:

  • Taylor's registered three consecutive classic vintage Ports, namely 2016, 2017 and 2018, a sequence of full house vintage Ports declared with its main brand.
  • Sogrape, one of the major groups in the sector, declared the 2018 Ferreira, Offley and Sandeman classic vintage Ports, what didn't happen the year before, 2017, the year of the great generalized classic declaration and in which these producers opted for their single quinta vintage Ports (with the exception of Offley that did not produce)
  • The Poças 2018 vintage Port, a classic vintage edition to celebrate the centenary of this house.
  • The first editions of "Bom Dia", a single quinta vintage Port by Vieira de Sousa, and the new label "Kranemann" vintage Port, that marks a new cycle of the historic property Quinta do Convento de São Pedro das Águias.
  • There were also important Port wine houses that decided not to produce vintage Port in 2018, from the start "Niepoort", and among others "Quinta Vale D. Maria" and "Van Zellers & Co.", "Quinta do Passadouro" and "Quinta de S. José".
    The main general characteristics of the 2018 vintage Ports are the small quantities produced and despite the inconsistency of the viticultural year as mentioned above, there were some very well achieved wines of great quality, with great concentration, the consequence of the extremely hot summer, but simultaneously wines with elegance, many tannins, freshness and good acidity. The specific characteristics of the year ended up being better expressed into the single quinta vintage Ports.

    Below, the 2018 vintage Port alphabetical list, indicating the producers and their technical information


O Porto Vintage 2018
A lista completa dos Porto Vintage 2018, as marcas, os produtores e as informações técnicas
Port wine cellar, Ramos Pinto lodge, V.N. de Gaia
   Depois de três anos entusiasmantes de vinhos do Porto vintage extraordinários, com 2015 que foi um bom ano com todas as características de um ano vintage clássico, em que foi difícil perceber como não houve uma declaração generalizada entres os produtores. A seguir, 2016 e 2017, dois anos consecutivos de vinho do Porto vintage clássico, um caso raro na longa história do vinho do Porto vintage, seria de esperar um ano com menos declarações e não clássico, por razões comerciais, mas sobretudo consideradas as características principais do ano vitícola (informação mais completa em: Douro, o relatorio da vindima 2018), que foi um ano com muitas dificuldades para os produtores e muito diferente dos anteriores.

    2018 foi sobretudo um ano de single quinta vintage Ports, de vintages de quinta, e não de full house vintages, como é característico de anos não clássicos.

    Em resumo, 2018 foi um ano atípico, inconsistente e muito desafiante para a viticultura no Douro, com um ano climático muito irregular que começou com um Inverno seco e frio, prolongando um período de seca que vinha já do ano anterior, com chuva no final de estação, a que se seguiu uma Primavera húmida e com muita chuva, muito para além do desejável e que favoreceu os ataques de oídio e míldio, que provocou também dificuldades na floração das vinhas e quebras de produção, houve a tempestade de granizo no final de Maio que provocou estragos nas vinhas, especialmente na sub-região do Cima Corgo. Depois, tempo seco, com várias ondas de calor nos meses de Verão, mas que se concentrou mais no mês de Agosto. Houve alguma chuva no final de Agosto, mas a vindima decorreu com sol e tempo seco, em que as reservas de águas no solo acumuladas durante a Primavera foram fundamentais, e que permitiu tempos de maturação mais prolongados, com boas condições registadas em algumas zonas, vinhas ou parcelas de vinha e, em geral, em todo o Douro Superior.

    Nos Porto Vintage declarados em 2018, registamos 63 vintages de 42 produtores.

    Alguns factos dignos de destaque neste ano:
  • Na Taylor's foram três anos consecutivos de Porto vintage clássico, 2016, 2017 e 2018, numa sequência pouco comum de três full house vintage, declarados com a marca principal.
  • Um dos grandes grupos do sector, a Sogrape, assumiu 2018 como um ano clássico com os Porto vintage das marcas Ferreira, Offley e Sandeman, o que não aconteceu em 2017, o ano da grande declaração clássica generalizada, ano em que estes produtores optaram pelos seus single quinta vintage Ports (com excepção da Offley que não produziu).
  • A edição do Poças Porto vintage 2018, uma declaração clássica que celebra o centenário desta casa.
  • As primeiras edições do single quinta vintage Port "Bom Dia" do produtor Vieira de Sousa e o primeiro vintage da "Kranemann", que marca uma nova fase da histórica quinta do Convento de São Pedro das Águias.
  • Houve também importantes casas de vinho do Porto que não produziram Porto vintage em 2018, desde logo a "Niepoort" e, entre outros, "Quinta Vale D. Maria" e "Van Zellers & Co.", "Quinta do Passadouro" e "Quinta de S. José".
    Apontam-se como principais características dos vintages de 2018, as pequenas quantidades produzidas e, apesar da inconsistência do ano vitícola, houve alguns vinhos muito bem conseguidos e de grande qualidade, com boa concentração, consequência do Verão extremamente quente, mas simultâneamente, com elegância, muitos taninos, frescura e boa acidez. As características especificas deste ano acabaram por ser melhor expressas nos vintage de quinta ou single quinta vintage Ports.

    Apresentamos a lista alfabética dos Porto vintage de 2018, com indicação das casas produtoras e informação técnica associada.

 

 ©Hugo Sousa Machado

more information on previous Vintage Port declarations (links below):

mais informações sobre declarações anteriores Porto Vintage (nos seguintes links):

The 2017 classic Vintage Port - O Porto Vintage clássico 2017


terça-feira, 2 de fevereiro de 2021

The Port wine that had a "Vintage Character"

EN/PT

    "Vintage Character" was a Port wine designation and category that was in common use until 2002, when its use on Port wine bottle labels was no longer allowed by the I.V.P. (at that time, the Port Wine Institute, the entity responsible for supervising, certifying and promoting the Port Wine Denomination of Origin). While in effect there was a ban on any date reference associated with the designation, thought to avoid possible and probable confusion with the superior Port wine category of genuine Vintage Port. Apparently this limitation was not enough and since that date the designation was no longer admitted.

    In fact, it was an equivocal wine description that could lead to misurderstandings. It was a Port wine from the ruby family, no date on the label as already mentioned, but, quite contrary to what its designation might lead to understand, it had no resemblance to a Vintage Port wine, for two main reasons. First of all, not only it was not a wine from a single harvest of vintage, it was in fact an undated wine that resulted from a blend of several quality ruby Port wines of recent harvests, that obviously did not necessarily coincide with classic vintage Port years. Secondly, unlike Vintage Port, it was a wine which was kept in large capacity wood vats (called the "tonéis" and "balseiros") for a longer period, on average 3 or 4 and up to 5 years, an ageing method that allowed the wine to preserve a lively and dense colour and the fruit intensity aromas and flavours.

    These were considered Port wines that could be of superior quality, generous, with a rich colour and good structure.

    They were produced mainly for the British market, where they were very popular and were part of the portfolio of almost all the main Port wine houses, traditionally represented the particular style of each house.

    In rough terms, "Vintage Character", "Vintage Style", or even "Vintage Type" (were also admited mentions) Port wines as referred to on the "Krohn Rio Torto" back label, currently correspond to the much more objective and unambiguous "Ruby Reserve" special Port wine category, that on bottle labels can also assume the mentions "Reserve", "Special Reserve" or "Premium Ruby".

Krohn Rio Torto "Vintage Character" back label



O Vinho do Porto que tinha um "Vintage Character"

    "Vintage Character" foi uma designação e categoria de vinho do Porto que vigorou até 2002, data em que deixou de ser admitida a sua utilização nos rótulos de vinho do Porto, naquela altura, pelo I.V.P. (Instituto do Vinho do Porto, a entidade responsável por supervisionar, certificar e promover a Denominação de Origem Porto). Enquanto vigorou, existia a proibição expressa de associar qualquer data à designação, que impedisse a possível e provável confusão com a categoria superior dos vinhos do Porto Vintage genuínos. Ao que parece, essa limitação não foi suficiente e a designação deixou de ser permitida.

    Na realidade, era uma designação equívoca, que se prestava a mal entendidos. Tratava-se de um vinho do Porto da família ruby, sem data, mas ao contrário do que a sua designação poderia levar a entender, não tinha qualquer semelhança com um vinho do Porto Vintage, essencialmente por dois motivos. Em primeiro lugar, não só não era um vinho de uma só colheita ou vindima, era antes um vinho que resultava da lotação de vinho do Porto ruby de colheitas recentes, produzido a partir de um lote de vinhos de qualidade de vários anos, obviamente, não forçosamente de anos vintage clássicos. Em segundo lugar, ao contrário do Porto Vintage, era um vinho que era mantido em madeira, em tonéis ou balseiros de grande capacidade, durante mais tempo, em média 3 ou 4 e até 5 anos. Este método de envelhecimento permitia que o vinho preservasse uma côr viva e densa e a intensidade de fruta nos aromas e sabores.
    Eram considerados vinhos do Porto que podiam ser de qualidade superior, generosos, com côr intensa e boa estrutura.

   Eram produzidos sobretudo para o mercado britânico, onde eram muito populares e faziam parte do portfolio de quase todas as principais casas de vinho do Porto, tradicionalmente representavam o estilo da casa.

    Em termos aproximados, os vinhos do Porto "Vintage Character", "Vintage Style" ou mesmo "Vintage Type", como se refere no contra-rótulo do "Krohn Rio Torto", correspondem actualmente à mais objectiva e menos ambígua categoria especial dos vinhos do Porto "Reserva Ruby", também denominada "Reserve", "Special Reserve" ou "Premium Ruby".

   
©Hugo Sousa Machado

domingo, 29 de novembro de 2020

Douro, the 2020 harvest general report

(a versão PT aqui)

A very difficult, challenging and atypical year

The truth is that in the Douro wine region no two years are the same and there is no wine year that can be considered as "normal"

The granite lagares at Quinta do Passadouro winery, Vale de Mendiz, Pinhão river valley.

    The 2019 harvest ended in mid-October with the first autumn rains, that lasted through the months of November and December, that were very rainy months, an important fact for replenishing the soil water reserves, after months of drought and none or insufficient rainfall. In mid-December, a late autumn with rainy weather, heavy, persistent and intense rain across the Douro demarcated wine region, also in the Upper Douro sub-region that usually has lower average rainfall values. The "Elsa" depression and the intense rain, caused the river Douro water level to rise (which rose 11 meters in the Peso da Régua quay), the Pinhão village riverside area was flooded, and in the Vilariça valley, at the mouth of the river Sabor, there was flooded farmland.

    In general, temperatures remained in line with average values for this time of year.

Winter

    Winter marks the beginning of a new cycle in the vineyards, temperatures drop and the vines enter a phase of vegetative rest and dormancy - silence prevails in the vineyards at this time of year. In this cycle the vineyard renovation works begin with prunning the vines, which is decisive for their growth and development and for the final result of the harvest, for the quality of the wine and even for the longevity of the vine.

    The end of the year and the beginning of 2020 without rain and with dry weather, then in mid-January rain returned to the entire Douro region.

    It was, in fact, a very rainy winter which made it possible to replenish the soil water reserves and the available water. 

    Late January wiht temperatures above average, whuch lasted until the end of February in hot and dry weather. According to the IPMA (Portuguese Sea and Atmosphere Institute) seasonal bulletin, we had the warmest February since 1931 and by this time a drecrease in the percentage of water in the soil available to plants.

____________

"The 2020 vintage was undoubtedly a challenging vintage. Along with the delicate sanitary moment we are experiencing, which led us to establish several preventive measures to combat COVID-19 in order to avoid any problem that could jeopardize the normal course of the harvest, also the climatic year did not facilitate. 2020 turned out to be a hot and precocious year, with very low yields, in which grape varieties like Touriga Franca suffered more from the excessive heat. The problem of lack of water combined with the high temperatures felt, put the vineyards most exposed to stress causing the grapes to ripen quickly, forcing us to speed up the harvest so as not to let escape the desidered maturation window. It looks like a year that will bring wines with a lot of concentration ans structure, robust and with potential. It remains for us to wait and monitor its evolution.".

(Ricardo Pinto Nunes, Churchill's Winemaker and Production Director)

____________

Quinta do Passadouro winery, Vale de Mendiz, Pinhão river valley.

Spring

    It was a Spring with very difficult conditions, in which permanent monitoring, constant attention and a lot of work in the vineyards was necessary.

     In the first days of March there was some rain throughout the region.

    The first signs of life in the vineyards start to appear in early March, vines are beginning to burst, and in the Douro the vineyard landscape is reborn with nature blooming. At this stage the vineyard cycle is advanced, the bud break(1) registered on 3rd March and the appearance of the first leaves and shoot growth on the vines was 2 weeks early, the same happened with the vine flowering.

    From the moment the vines start to burst, the rest ends and work beggins on the vineyards that will only end at the end of the harvest.

    The last days of March and the beginning of Spring with hot days and then, surprisingly, on the last day of March, there was a temperatute drop and the cold painted the highest vineyards with snow, approximately at an altitude of 700 meters (in Mesão Frio, Vila Real and S. João da Pesqueira), a fact practically unrecorded at this time of year (an effect of climate change?), a situation that can damage the vines. These days there was news of some vineyards that suffered damage from frost (in the Cima Corgo Douro sub-region) with the consequent production reduction.

    At the beginning of April the works on the vineyards continue with the green prunning essential to ensure balance and control over the quality of the vine's production. In the middle of the month, the loose leaves and the first bunches begin to appear. This is followed by the control of the vigour and excessive vegetative growth and the first preventive treatment.

    An early May with temperatures well above average (some days with about 2ºC above average values) throughout the Douro wine region. In the middle of Spring, in mid-May, between the 7th and the 14th there was some precipitation in all the Douro sub-regions with consequences in the vineyards. The rainy Spring was one of the instability factors that would mark the wine year. 

    The unstable weather, heat, rain and humidity, all conditions met for the appearance of mildew and powdery mildew -  a wet Spring always means more work in the vineyards - which determined e greater need for treatments and a lot of work in viticulture, to prevent the spread of this fungal diseases and its treatment, and the inevitable cost increase and declines in production. This year there was a great pressure of mildew and powdery mildew in the vineyards throughout the Douro wine region.

    It was a year with a very low birth rate (which reflects the average number of grape bunches per branch left after prunning the vines) which was below average and the vine flowering occured in the last week of May. 

    This period was characterized by a great climate irregularity in the whole region, with high temperatures well above average in the last week of May (4 to 5ºC above average temperatures) and later in June (on the 12th) temperatures dropped and it rained across the Douro.

____________

"The 2020 harvest started very early, in the third week of August, both for the earliest white grapes and red grapes from warmer and drier areas. At the end of the first week there was a drying grape phenomenon, especially the Touriga Franca variety, which quickly led to a high concentration of sugars in the grape berries. In quantitative terms, there was a very sharp drop in production in both the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. The Baixo Corgo sub-region which is significantly more fertile and humid, experienced slight declines in production. Regarding quality, whites are rich and expressive, while reds will need more time to show themselves.".

(Óscar Quevedo, Quevedo Port wine Producer)

____________

After pressing the masses (grape skins and pips that came out of the lagar) at Quinta de la Rosa, Pinhão.

Summer

    The formation of the grape bunches takes place, the berries growing and the bunches closing. On the 20th of June the first changes in color and texture of the berries, which annouce the veraison, according to the popular proverb "Santiago (on Santiago's day) paints the berry". There was an antecipation of 1 week to 10 days for some red grape varieties such as Tourga Nacional and Touriga Franca.

    The grape ripening marks a very important phase of the wine year, it is the beginning of the accumulation of sugars and the progressive loss of acidity in the grape berries, determinig factors for the wine quality. It is trough the sun that the grapes gain color, sugar and the various components that will determine the final wine aromas and flavors.

    Work continued on the vineyards with the guidance of the vine vegetation growth for aerating the grape bunches. 

    On the 22nd of June there was a change in climate, and increase in temperature and a low humidity level, an intensive, scorching and agressive sun which caused scald in the most exposed bunches (a phenomemon known in the region as the burning of Saint John (24th of June is Saint John's day)). This year this phenomenon was quite violent and even reached vineyards at a higher altitude, and along with the vine low birth rate, caused a drop in the quantity of production. Tinta Barroca and Touriga Franca were the grape varieties that suffered the most from these conditions.

Global warming, the effects of climate chage in the region

    The last days of June and July with very high temperatures all over the Douro region, well above average and very low humidity levels. In Pinhão, Quinta da Roêda (Croft) there was 8 consecutive days with maximum temperatures above 40ºC and also a very high minimum temperature, the hottest day with a recorded temperature of 42,73ºC. According to the IPMA data, July was the warmest month since 1931. In general, the data recorded for the country for the period from January to July 2020, aswell as the month of July, were the hottest of the last 90 years. Still the period between January and mid-September was the warmest since there are records (1850) and of the 17 warmest years recorded, 16 have occured since 2000 until now. What beggins to be a pattern of consistently hotter years is a concern for the region.

    In the 3rd week of July, the veraison's phase is ending.

    The harvest is approaching, in the first week of August the grape bunches are in full maturation stage, in search of the perfect sugar and acidity levels. At the beginning of August the weather remained dry and with high temperatures still above average, and in some parts of the Cima Corgo and Upper Douro sub-regions temperatures were above 40ºC.

____________

"...in climatic terms in was a very atypical and quite difficult year, despite having a rainy winter and spring that guaranteed us some water support in the soil, but we had a hot year, a July that was perhaps the hottest July in yhe last decades and the months of August and September continued to be hot, we had low birth on the vines, we had problems of flowering and development, we had to do more treatments, there was grape scalding, in short a number of factors that lead us to conclude that our estimate is that we have a reduction in production by about 25 to 30%, to be very positive...".

(Álvaro Martinho Lopes, viticulture responsible at Quinta das Carvalhas, Real Companhia Velha)

____________

The harvest

    At the beginning of August early vintage signs were confirmed, a harvest that started very early with white grapes, between the  middle and the last week of August.

    Between 17th and 20th of August, it was very important the rain that fell in some quantity throughout the region and that arrived at the right moment to releive the effects of excessive heat in the vineyards and to try to manage maturation, but it also had the consequence of accelerating the ripening process.

    The very hot days remained during harvest time, causing scalding in some vineyards, and at a first stage in some cases there was a difficulty in starting the harvest, since the excessive heat and the lack of water, caused some stops and irregularities in the ripening of grapes, and then right after, the need to harvest and quickly take the grapes to the wine cellars to avoid the rapid loss of acidity, the high levels of sugar and the increase of the potential alcohol content, the consequence of the grape berries dehydration, the main concern was trying to preserve some of the ideal balance between those essential elements that will always be reflected in the wines. 

    There was a need for permanent monitoring of maturation and constant adaptations and changes in the harvest logistics and more than ever it was very important trying to achieve a perfect coordination of viticulture and oenology.

    September continued with high temperatures and with rain recorded throughout the region between the 17th and the 20th.

    It was an early and very short harvest, which ended before the last days of September. Some examples, at Quinta de la Rosa, in Pinhão, it was probably the most antecipated and the shortest harvest recorded on this property. At Quinta da Roêda, also in Pinhão, it was the second earliest harvest recorded (after 2017). At Quinta dos Malvedos, located in a transition zone between the Cima Corgo and the Upper Douro, the harvest lasted less than three weeks. At Quinta das Carvalhas, in the Cima Corgo sub-region, there was an antecipation of the cycle in about 10 days, It was the most antecipated harvest in the last 20 years.

After the harvest

    It was undoubtedly an atypical year, very complicated and difficult, of low production, with a low birth rate and a low yield on the vines, a short harvest and a reduction in production of aroud 30% and even 40% in some properties.

    Despite the general considerations that are recorde here, we must not forget that the Douro is an immensely varied region, in its sub-regions, microclimates, vineyard locations, different altitudes and exposures, the different grape varieties, in short, very diverse terroirs, that always allow the existence of particular cases that escape a more general analysis and some of the factors that characterized the wine year.

    The weather instability in spring, in the months of April and May, which favoured the severe occurrence of mildew and powdery mildew started to be decisive and forced many vineyard treatments. The vine flowering was not ideal for the bunches to thrive and there was great heterogeneity with weaker yields than usual. Also, the excessive heat and the scalding ir caused in the grape bunches, that continued during the harvest, making it difficult to achieve good  balance in the grape maturation between acidity, sugar and pH.

    However, with a break in production, there was also a greater concentration and intensity in the wines produced, with a greater structure, as well as the higher sugar levels allowed longer fermentations and greater extrations, very important when we consider Port wines. From now on it remains for producers to follow the evolution of wines in the cellars.

    Despite all the difficulties there were grape varieties that revealed all their potential in agressive and extreme conditions, as was the case with Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cão, Tinta da Barca and Sousão, as well as the behaviour of the old vines, which, in general stood out and showed great capacity of adaptation and resistence to the adverse conditions of this wine year, with quality productions.

The harvest "remains", at Quinta de Nápoles, Tedo river valley.

Note:

(1) Bud break or budburst: the moment that marks the beginning of the vine vegetative cycle, with the emergence of the shoots.

© Hugo Sousa Machado

More information:

Douro, the 2020 harvest: a testimony