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.

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 [...]

Exciting new releases from Douro producer Conceito

Very impressed by these new releases from Rita Ferreira’s Conceito. They’re all really good. The Branco and Bastardo are probably my favourites, though. And the label design is just wonderfully eccentric.

Conceito Branco 2009 Douro
13.5% alcohol. Distinctively packaged. Taut and intense nose with fresh citrus and grapefruit pith notes, as well as some white peach [...]

Organic in the Douro: Terra Prima and Altano

Organic viticulture in the Douro is not all that common. However, things may be changing. Two organic wines that have recently reached the marketplace are Symingtons Organic version of Altano, and Fonseca’s Terra Prima organic Port.

They’re both quite delicious. The organic Altano is a significant step up from the other Altano wines, with nice density, [...]

A Frenchman in Portugal: Francois Lurton's Douro wines

Francois Lurton (website here) makes wine in France, Chile, Argentina, Spain and now Portugal. He bought his first Douro property in 2006 (Quinta Beira), and has subsequently added a second (Quinta Malho).

I tried the 2008 releases, which include the two Quinta wines and two more commercial brands. I’ll be honest: I was a little disappointed with [...]