Graham’s blogger is at Quinta do Tua this evening, and in the course of a sunset walk through the vineyards came across Charles Symington and Pedro Leal da Costa. The most important part of our maturation studies is this: tasting the berries.
This particular parcel of Touriga Nacional is only three years old and Charles is very pleased with the grapes, they will certainly be vinified this year. He and Pedro were discussing the fact that oddly enough sometimes very young vines will come through with astonishingly mature flavours and complexity, and that is exactly what has happened with this vineyard. The conditions this year have been auspicious, Charles said if we had had another year like 2009 (which was very hot and dry) the grapes would not have had a chance.
Touriga Nacional is known for small bunches and small berries, and as you can see these are true to form.
At 7:00 this evening, Charles was just finishing a whirlwind tour of Symington quintas, including Ataide (Altano), Telhada (Warre’s), Canais (Cockburn’s), and now Graham’s Quinta do Tua and he has been very pleased with the quality of the grapes throughout. He said the vines are visibly happier (his word!) after the rain, the leaves have perked up and the grapes already are showing a little more moisture in them than last week, though he would not expect the full benefits of the rain to have come through yet. We did have two days of overcast after the rains Sunday night and Monday morning, but as you can see it was a brilliantly sunny evening.
As he was getting in the car to go over to the Vinha Velha (old vines), he said you really couldn’t ask for better condtions than this.