Back in January, some of you may remember that I visited the Alentejo wine region in Portugal. It was an incredible trip where I revisited some of my favorite wines from the Iberian Peninsula. I am an enormous fan of this region and I can’t wait for more people to take as much interest as I do.
One particular winery in the Alentejo I would like to focus upon is Quinta do Mouro. The owner / winemaker’s son, Luis, spent an large part of day not only giving me a tour of the winery, but also a tasting of their wines. For me, there is nothing better than seeing a raw passion for wine as displayed by Luis. I was also the fortunate enough to have learned about a bit about his own wine, independent from his father called, Alento. This is a new project that he hopes to make profitable using native grapes and with the goal of showing off the Alentejo terroir.
Last week, Luis crossed my mind, and on a whim, I decided to send him a note asking how the Harvest was going and if there is anything new in his neck of the woods. What follows is a bullet point list of information he gave us about their harvest.
- This year is a very difficult year.
- The weather was been extremely hot for the last 10 days of August and the first week of September. Many days had a temperature over 42 degrees Celsius, [along with] very hot nights that [both] cause the grapes to stop maturing and dry out.
- For the last days it [has] also rained a lot.
- We started harvesting in the last days of August, and we will be finished, hopefully, at the end of next week [9-25-06].
- In general, in a very difficult year, I think that the grapes that show best are Touriga Nacional and Alicante Bouschet.
- It’s too early for me to say how the wines will turn out because we have a harvest with many different levels of grape ripeness, some with lots of alcohol and others with very little.
He went on to say that the Quinta do Mouro wines should be very good but the yeild will only result in very small quantities. I am very familiar with this property and rather than making a lot of mediocre wine for profit’s sake, they consistently choose to make a small amount of great wine when given the choice. There is nothing better than supporting a Bodega that values quality over quantity.
I have sent out several requests to other Bodegas for information on the vintage this year and if any of them get back to me at the end of or after the harvest, I will happily pass the information on to all of you.