What to expect for Port in the 2005 vintage? Well, it will be interesting to see. In the end, the vintage was saved by a burst of rain at the beginning of September. Rain at this time of year normally can mean the loss of a vintage, leading to the watering down of the grapes concentration and leaving you with low sugar levels. This year though, the rain was sorely needed. Last winter when it was the perfect time for vines to receive moisture, rainfall was down some 62% according to a report on the website: www.infoportwine.com. Now, with a summer of intense heat and fierce fires, Portugal looked as if it might lose a vintage and end up with shriveled grapes. In fact some of the younger vines were picked earlier to avoid this, and these grapes were unable to come to full maturity meaning the wines most likely will be lower in alcohol.
On the other hand, after the brief rains from early September, the grapes were rewarded with fine weather of warm days and cool nights, allowing the grapes to absorb this moisture and make the final push to increasing their sugar levels before the harvest started.
What does this mean? In the end, only time will tell but we can be sure that production will most likely be down as much as 20-25% across the board. However, the quality of the grapes could show great concentration leading to some individual stars to shine. Either way, look for 2005 to be an uneven year in terms of output and quality. Personally whenever I see a vintage like this I feel that there will be some amazing wines made but overall, Caveat emptor
Till soon, Ryan Opaz
Port wine, Portugal, Duoro, Wine, Harvest