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2005 Vintage

Not declared, but some excellent single quinta wines bottled.

Viticultural and Weather Conditions

The winter of 2004/5 was extremely dry, less than half the 15 year average of rain fell. We had just 6 mm of rain in June and none at all in July and August and there was a plague of forest fires all over Portugal. Luckily, we had had a good flowering and fruit set in the spring, so yields were good, despite the drought – plenty of bunches, though the berries remained fairly small.

By the end of August the vines were showing signs of severe stress, and the decision was taken to start harvesting the younger (less than 5 year old) plantations, whose immature root systems make them particularly susceptible to water stress, beginning on 30th August at Vesuvio.

On the 6th and again on the 9th September we had steady rain for several hours, and picking was suspended to allow the rain to benefit the grapes. Thereafter, we enjoyed perfect weather with cool nights and heavy dew – it couldn’t have been better for harvesting.

Winemaker's Overview

While there are still grapes coming into the wineries, it is already clear that some very good wines have been made at the 2005 harvest in the Douro

The sugar graduations dipped for a few days after the rain before climbing steadily back to very satisfactory levels. The grapes filled out and the skins softened. The musts have very good deep purple-black colours and are giving very attractive aromas.

In summary, and with picking still taking place at our higher vineyards such as Quinta de Cavadinha, 2005 has proved once again the amazing ability of the vine to overcome very tough conditions.

Paul and Charles Symington
30 September 2005



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