As we are now approximately two thirds of the way through the Vintage at Malvedos with only the Touriga Franca (35.8% of the vineyard) and a little block of Tinto Cão (1.7%) to go, I have made a small summary of progress so far.
Firstly it is worth mentioning that the weather leading up to the Vintage led to a slow and gradual maturation of the grapes, which were therefore in very good condition when we started picking here on the 20th September.
Since then we have been fortunate with the weather, and barring the scattered showers last Sunday, all the Barroca, Roriz and Nacional grapes at Malvedos were picked under sunny ideal conditions, with cool mornings followed by warm or even rather hot days.
The grapes have been coming into the winery in a healthy condition and given excellent Baumés ranging from between 12.5º to 13.75º for the Roriz and Nacional and 14º-14.6º for the Barroca.
Yields per vine are within average values for Malvedos (very low when compared to the rest of the world!), ranging between 0.9 and 1.1 Kg per vine for the three varieties picked so far.
Following my tasting with Charles yesterday it is clear that we are getting good colours in the wines, particularly so with the Nacional. The wines are very aromatic and characterised by fresh fruit and floral aromas as opposed to ‘jammy’ fruit as can be the case in very hot years. On the palate the wines are balanced with a fresh purity of fruit.
At this early stage these are all very good indicators for the future.
Although I cannot be certain yet I predict that we will finish picking the Franca and Tinto Cão either Sunday 10th or Monday 11th October.
We are now in the final stretch!