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See details of the wines declared or bottled from the year 1983:

1983 Vintage

An exceptional Vintage, with outstanding, powerful wines, but unjustly overshadowed by the 1977s before and the 1985s which followed. Declared by most houses.

Still showing tremendous depth of colour, the best are now showing their true value. These wines have plenty of time ahead and should develop into a first class vintage year.

These are very muscular wines with a great capacity for ageing. The fruit is very evident in these wines and they are well balanced. They are often compared to the 1966s.

Viticultural and Weather Conditions

Vineyard development through the spring was a bit backward, but this proved an advantage when damp cold weather arrived in May.  Had the vines been more forward they might have suffered far more desavinho (abortion of flower and fruit set) than they in fact did. Towards the end of August there was some concern that the vines were still generally two to three weeks behind in their maturity.

September, however, was exceptionally hot and sunny, and the grapes came on wonderfully, and the month finished with exactly the kind of showers needed towards the end of the growing season to freshen the grapes.

Harvest started in the Pinhão and Rio Torto valleys in early October, with grapes at perfect ripeness and high sugar readings and the weather continued dry and hot throughout the harvest period, to the end of October.

Winemaker's Overview

No rain for weeks and very cold. We were surprised to wake up on the morning of the 11th to find it snowing and the ground covered with a light fall, it had not snowed at Bomfim for 12 years.

James R Symington
11 February 1983

Just when it seemed summer had at last arrived - 32° C on Saturday - heavy rain fell on Sunday 5th and during the night... Vines here flowering and good, hot dry weather badly required. 6 June 1983

Few coloured bunches even here at Bomfim, and development continues some three weeks or more behind normal for this time of year. 1983 will certainly be a very late vintage. 8 August 1983

As foreseen, a very late starting vintage. Quantity will be down everywhere, quality uneven tho' this present hot, fine September weather will have been of great help to the general backwardness of all areas in the Douro. 19-21 September

Sugar graduations in the Upper Douro were on average at least 1.5 degrees higher than last year... our own impression is that certainly above-average wines have been made throughout the Upper Douro and we are sure that some will prove to be outstanding... the fresh nose of the fermenting musts was most noticeable and reminded one to the similar lovely fermenting nose of the 1977s and 1980s... the overall production of the Douro region is some 20-25% down on last year.

Michael Symington
October 1983



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