Amidst growing concerns over climate change worldwide, the Douro has seen its fair share of unusual weather patterns in recent years. 2017, in particular, was an exceptionally hot and dry year, with 42% less rain falling at Quinta dos Malvedos than the recorded thirty-year average. Fortunately, the very hardy and drought-resistant Douro varieties were well prepared to face this challenge and responded to the lack of water by devoting their efforts to producing a small but high-quality crop with extraordinary concentration.
What was also remarkable in 2017 was the timing of the vintage, which started at Malvedos on 28th August, with the vines between two and three weeks ahead of normal in terms of their vegetative cycle. With such a small crop, only 166 pipes of grapes compared to 252 the year before at Malvedos (one third less), the vintage was over by September 15th.
The wine is a truly outstanding example of the best that the Douro is capable of producing. Deep purple in colour and with a viscosity that signals a huge concentration, the aromas of blackberry, plum, and bergamot leap out of the glass. On the palate, there are layers of black fruit with fresh apricot highlights and an amazingly long and persistent finish.
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