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1991 Vintage

The first declared Vintage for six years - the longest gap between declarations for decades.  An excellent, widely-declared year, generally richly coloured and aromatic wines of great promise.  The wines are rich with plenty of good ripe fruit character, and the best wines will age for decades.

Viticultural and Weather Conditions

A good wet winter (much needed) followed by a dry spring and a hot dry summer. By mid-August the grapes were looking a bit shrivelled, however in the second half of the month there was heavy dew at night which enabled the grapes to swell to normal proportions despite the lack of rain. Some rain fell on the 11th and 12th September which interrupted picking for a few hours, but wind soon dried the grapes. Otherwise, harvest conditions were excellent

Picking began at Vesuvio on the 9th September, Malvedos on the 11th (at temperatures of 40° C), Bomfim 16th, and Cavadinha and Rio Torto Valley 25th.

Vinification

Yields were lower than average. What was lacking in quantity, however, was made up in quality and concentration of colour and aromas as well as excellent sugar levels in the musts.

The cooler weather during picking forced certain producers to heat the must slightly in order to start the fermentations. However, it became very apparent that some classic wines were being made.

Winemaker's Overview

The depth and quality of colours and aroma this year is perhaps the best since 1985, with great intensity and a purple hue. In general grapes contained little juice, thus the skin to juice ratio during fermentation was high, giving rise to highly coloured and tannic wines.

Peter Symington
October 1991

There is no doubt that the 1991 vintage in the Douro has produced some excellent wines… the depth and quality of colour and aroma this year is perhaps the best since 1985 with great intensity and a deep purple hue.

Michael Symington
October 1991

It was apparent during the vintage that the 1991 wines will be excellent and may well prove to be exceptional. The grapes were in good condition and free from disease; colour and aroma during fermentation were both very good indeed. Tannin levels are also good and it seems that overall the wines will be very well balanced.

James Symington
October 1991



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