2017 will be remembered for its intense heat and record low levels of rainfall. In spite of the dry weather, flowering and bud burst developed under good conditions, and in August and September the high day temperatures and cool nights allowed for even and gradual ripening. The decision to start harvesting early, at optimum ripeness, allowed us to harvest grapes in ideal condition, with fantastic natural acidity. At the Vale de Mendiz winery, harvest began on 24 August under perfect weather conditions, with musts displaying intense colour and a powerful character. The last grapes were harvested on 26 September. Yields were down by approximately 30% compared to a normal year, essentially due to water stress.
All the fruit for the 2017 Vintage Port were foot-trodden in circular granite lagares with 100% of the stems. The wines were racked soon after harvest, aged in tonéis (large barrels) in the Douro over the winter, and then moved to the cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia in March 2018.
A wonderful dark purple rim and great depth of colour characterise the wine’s appearance. The aromatic profile is dominated by superb youthful dark fruit. It is powerful on the initial attack, leading into a fresh mid-palate with beautifully seductive flavours of dark fruit. A great combination of power and elegance, ending in a bold, dry, lengthy and slightly green tannic finish. The length and structure of the 2017 vintage promise a long-lived wine with great ageing potential.