In 2018 there was more rainfall than the previous year, particularly throughout the spring and beginning of summer. The rest of the cycle was very dry and hot. Average temperatures were much lower than in 2017, but in August and September this trend was inverted, and average temperatures were quite high.
Bud break occurred almost three weeks late and the entire cycle was later than in 2017. Flowering took place well into August and the harvests began 3 to 4 weeks late.
Production was only 5% below the previous year, despite the difficulties experienced in the region.
The harvest began on the 22nd of August at Quinta de Ervamoira, with the first white grapes. A week later the first red grapes of the early ripening varieties, such as Tinta Amarela, were picked. The white wines are moderate in alcohol content, with elegant acidity and very aromatic wines. The red wines have expression, vivacity, high alcohol content and fruit.
At Quinta dos Bons Ares, the harvest began on the 4th of September with quite high alcohol levels and low pH. We highlight the good performance of white grapes at this quinta – balanced and aromatic. The red grape harvest finished on the 10th of October, in pristine health and perfect maturation.
At Quinta da Urtiga, which is grown using biodynamic principles, the harvest began on the 20th of September and so far we are pleased with the wine produced from this “magical” plot.
At Quinta do Bom Retiro the harvest took place from the 21st of September till the 10th of October. The Touriga Nacional grapes are excellent, aromatic, with vibrant acidity, both for Port & Douro wines. We underline the quality produced from the old vines “Rio” and “Alhais” which produced concentrated, balanced and very complex wines. A wet and humid spring followed by a summer scattered with periods of extreme temperature took its toll on the total production in a year where the quality seems to be excellent.
“A challenging wine year but very rewarding in oenological terms, with wonderful aromatic, structured Port wines. As the saying goes, ‘All’s well that ends well!’” Ana Rosas
WHITE PORT WINE
The wines are fresh, fruity and have a good structure. Lágrima Branco is aromatic, with body and good acidity.
RED PORT WINE
The wines present an excellent colour, with a fine aroma, very pure fruit with some floral tones, fresh and with fine tannins. Touriga Franca, picked last as usual, was a great surprise, providing wines with great body and structure, good colour and aroma. Note that this year Tinto Cão produced very elegant wines with smoky aromas, delicious fresh fruit with a fascinating colour intensity for this variety. A “must” for our tawnies.
“At the end of July everything pointed to a year marked by rain and cold but August and September created optimum maturation conditions. I see great potential in 2018.” Teresa Ameztoy
The quality of the white wines is exciting, the year’s characteristics have resulted in wines full of freshness, balanced alcohol levels and mature aromas:
– Schist soil: expressive perfumed wines whose persistence and freshness are surprising.
– Granite soil: high quality, they stand out for their pure, defined aromas and their acidity.
In general the wines are dense and concentrated, with soft tannins and fruity aromas:
– Schist soil: great fruit expression, concentrated wines with fine tannins, excellent acidity.
– Granite soil: very healthy, crunchy and flavoursome grapes, foretelling great quality.
In 2018 nature has offered us the possibility of a great harvest in terms of quality. Despite the difficulties of the rainy spring, maturation in general was long and slow, and the summer hot and dry.
The 2018 wines seem concentrated, fruity and balanced, we expect a year ending in 8 that is unparalleled!