Video: foot treading grapes in the Douro

So here’s a film of foot treading at Quinta do Vesuvio, one of the Symington’s properties in the Douro. It’s amazing to think that many of the top Port wines are still made in this ancient fashion. Port grapes are loaded into the lagar after being picked during the day, and are then trodden for [...]

More pictures from the Douro

Quinta dos Canais

Just back from the Douro, on a trip visiting the Symington family’s properties. It’s always good to be in the Douro, and especially so at harvest time. It hasn’t been the easiest of growing seasons, but good weather over the last few weeks coupled with good weather over the next few (which [...]

A few quick pics from the Douro at harvest time

Some pictures from yesterday. Great time of year to be in the Douro with vintage just starting.

Sousao is not a teinturier variety

Sousao

OK, a bit of geeky viticultural stuff.

I’d always been told that Portuguese variety Sousao was a teinturier: a grape with coloured flesh. Normally red grapes have all their pigment in the skins and the flesh is transparent. With teinturier varieties, of which there are very few, the flesh is also coloured. They make incredibly [...]

Touronio, an impressive Douro red

I love the Douro, and I’m delighted to be going out there again in a couple of weeks. So much is happening, in the relatively new region for table wines. Here’s a new wine from Quinta de Tourais in the Baixo Corgo – the first bit you come to arriving from Porto, which is also [...]

Puppy's procedure

Puppy, aka FFS (Fat Furry Slug) is feeling a bit sorry for herself tonight.

She went to the vets today to be neutered. Now she is decidedly groggy, but hopefully not in too much pain.

I have spent the day working on the science of Sauvignon blanc, and this evening we’ve taken advantage of another balmy summer [...]

A real time tasting note on Churchill Estates 2007 Douro

OK, a real-time, as it is drunk, straight to blog tasting note, typed as I sit here in the garden on a lovely warm Sunday evening.

I’ve just finished dinner – it was a BBQ for my younger son and I as the others are out. The evening is still and warm, with a relaxed Sunday [...]

Video: tasting schist - Torres Salmos Priorat and Tons de Duorum

Two wines with a common connection: schist.

Port: why the Symingtons didn't declare in 2009

Following up from my write-up of the 2009 Vintage Port declaration, Paul Symington contacted me to explain why the Symingtons didn’t make a widespread declaration of the 2009s, which I’m reproducing below:

I see on your website that somebody has commented that we are nor declaring “for non qualitative reasons”. This is entirely untrue. I have [...]

The 2009 Vintage Ports from Fonseca, Taylor's and Croft

Went to a very interesting tasting this morning. It was the declaration tasting of the Vintage Ports from the Fladgate Group: Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft.

I really liked them. These are incredibly concentrated, dense wines with lots of structure. The good news? Despite the reduced yields, prices will be pretty much the same as when the [...]