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2008 Vintage

Some fine single quinta wines bottled.

Viticultural and Weather Conditions

Very little rain over the winter, but then a very wet and stormy April and May, which caused very poor fruit set. Luckily the summer was dry and cool, and although August was windy, it was not the hot, drying easterly winds from Spain, but a cool damp wind coming off the Atlantic up the Douro valley. So, although the vines were luckily not stressed, they were pretty backward in their development; our August maturation studies showed some of the lowest readings on record, according to Charles Symington, our head winemaker.

Then September arrived, and with it some much needed rain, followed by warm temperatures, over 30°, and Charles noted the rapid sugar accumulation in the grapes. Despite some rather terrible weather forecasts, we held our nerve and determined not to rush the Port harvest, but allow the grapes more time to mature. Although there were heavy showers in the western end of the Douro on the 21st and 22nd September, the weather then cleared off. Sun returned on the 23rd, the temperatures were very comfortably in the high 20°s every day, and barring one showery afternoon the weather was near perfect right through the end of our harvest on 15th October. On the 16th the heavens opened, but luckily all our grapes were in.

Vinification

The grapes were in excellent condition and produced wonderful colour (soft and thin skins worked their magic, the result of the relatively cool ripening in July and August). Baumés were very good at 13.5° to 14.5° and the grapes had fine acidity and the musts gave good aromas.

Paul Symington
17 October 2008

Winemaker's Overview

What has been produced looks extremely good, even grapes coming in at this stage from high lying areas are producing some impressive wines.

Charles Symington
14 October 2008

It remains to be seen how the wines will look next month and in December when we will have a good chance to assess them, but the first indications are very encouraging. It will not always be like this; last year and this we have been very lucky.

Paul Symington
17 October 2008



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