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See details of the wines declared or bottled from the year 1987:

1987 Vintage

A few shippers’ declarations and a few single quinta bottlings. Some good wines for early drinking rather than ageing.

Viticultural and Weather Conditions

Winter provided less than half the average rainfall, but in the spring the vines seemed to set an extraordinary quantity of bunches, with little loss during the flowering period in May. But from mid-June the region “enjoyed” three exceptionally hot and rainless months, with only a couple brief thunderstorms that had little impact on overall conditions. By early September the vines were heavily laden with small bunches of distinctly dried up grapes. Because of the dry winter, there was less leaf cover than usual, which led to some “sunburn.”

Harvest began in the Douro Superior around 7th September, quintas near Tua began on the 14th and by the 18th the picking was in full swing across the region, in hot dry conditions, with temperatures around 38° to 40° C. On the 21st, however, the weather broke with strong winds and rain. There followed a generally overcast, warm and showery three or four weeks, with only a few days of clear sun at the very end of September. As Paul Symington’s harvest report observed, “Apart from the discomfort of picking from wet vines, and general mud and slush under foot, the continued damp weather has proved to be of very positive benefit to the very dried up bunches of grapes.” The rain softened the hardened skins of the grapes which swelled with the moisture and the quality of the musts improved day by day, with the grapes generally arriving in healthy condition.

Vinification

Sugar readings were high – mostly around 14° at Malvedos – but production was low: 820 kilos of grapes to produce one pipe of must (normally this figure would be around 750 kilos).

Winemaker's Overview

While it would appear that the early made wines – picked before 21st September – will need careful watching owing to the dried up state of the grapes and high fermenting temperatures, the vast bulk of the 1987 Douro Port Wine vintage looks extremely promising, and certainly well above average quality wines have been made throughout the region.

Paul D Symington
16 October 1987

Fine, very dark wines have been made. Perhaps due to the extreme heat during ripening the wines are a little lacking in aroma but they are extremely intense.

James R Symington
October 1987
 



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