Early this morning the weather was looking much better although there were still some darkish grey clouds about. After breakfast at 09:30 the grey clouds had blown away (and with them the threat of rain) and blues skies returned for the rest of the day, although due to a westerly breeze it was quite cool.
We had a visit this morning from Zev Robinson a film producer who is currently preparing a series of films to be put on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/zevrobinson) covering Port making during the 2010 harvest in the Douro valley. He filmed all around the winery and also caught up with Charles and me as we were tasting the Malvedos wines.
Charles arrived just before lunch and we did an in depth tasting of all the Malvedos wines made to date – tasting all the Barroca, Roriz and Nacional lagars in order to assess quality at this early stage and also to select wines to top up other tanks of the same variety. At the end of each Vintage we always leave all storage tanks topped and full so that there is minimal oxidation while the wines rest during the winter before they are racked.
I have to say Charles and I were particularly pleased with the Touriga Nacional lagares, with their deep purple colours and fresh spicy floral aromas. The Nacional wines are likely to be the best of the Vintage so far.
Today we finished the young Nacional blocks from Quinta do Tua and by the end of the day had filled the 6th lagar of Nacional which is being trodden tonight.
Tomorrow Arlindo and his pickers will come back to Malvedos and begin on the Touriga Franca. This corresponds to 35.8% of the vineyard area at the Quinta and so will keep us busy for the rest of the week.
I have high hopes for the Franca tomorrow as the last 2 weeks of good weather have fine tuned its maturation to perfection. Like the Nacional, the Franca also has thick skinned berries that give a lot of colour, and this variety specifically adds lifted floral aromas such as esteva (rockrose) as well as intense red fruits.