2017 was the second driest year on record in the Douro and the hottest of the last four decades. Between March and September, the cumulative rainfall deficit. The dry, mild winter was followed by a hot spring, with seasonal temperatures 36ºF above the average. However, the resilient regional grape varieties adjusted early on to the exceptionally dry conditions that prevailed from the outset of the year. Unsurprisingly, the precocity of the year’s vegetative cycle resulted in the earliest vintage ev er recorded; picking starting on September 3rd at Vesuvio. The heat abated a little during September, especially nocturnal temperatures, a highly beneficial situation reflected in the very high quality of the grapes received in the winery. The outcome of the vintage surpassed all expectations.
The second wine from the magnificent Vesúvio estate (which also makes Port) is full of minerality while also being structured for medium-term drinking. Vineyards around the dovecote (Pombal) are the source of a rich, accessible wine that will be ready from 2021.
This starts off with that great fruit laced with plums and dried blueberries, but it does not neglect the concepts of balance, finesse and structure. Beautifully constructed, this has moderate tannins to support the fruit and a big, long finish. It feels fresh rather than jammy, despite both its power and sex appeal.