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2001 Vintage

A good vintage yielding dark and well structured wines. Not generally declared after the 2000 vintage, but excellent single quinta wines from major brands.

Viticultural and Weather Conditions

The winter of 2000/2001 was one of the wettest ever, with five months of heavy rains - at Pinhão the rainfall was double the average for the period. The Douro broke its banks in Porto six times and there was considerable damage upriver in vineyards and on roads.

The mild winter temperatures resulted in an early budburst but cool spring weather brought flowering on at the usual time in good conditions in May, and we looked set for a larger than usual harvest. Extreme heat in June put paid to that expectation in lower lying areas, however, as young bunches were exposed to heat and sun without a mature canopy to protect them. The balance of the summer was pleasant, with useful rainfall.

Picking began between the 17th and 21st September in most quintas, though Cavadinha, with its higher elevations, held back until 5 October.

Vinification

Fruit was in excellent condition with Touriga Nacional and Touriga Francesa particularly coming in at perfect maturity. Baumés were high, 13.5 in many cases. Robotic lagares were used for the first time at Senhora da Ribeira and for the second year at Malvedos and proved their worth, particularly in the ability to evenly cool the temperature of the fermenting musts during hot Douro days.

Winemaker's Overview

The 2001 wines are looking extremely promising, with the best wines showing excellent colour and structure.

Charles Symington
17 October 2001



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