Port houses Taylor's, Fonseca, Croft and Delaforce have all declared 2000 a vintage.
The houses are among the most established in Port, and traditionally wait until today – St George’s Day – to make such an announcement.
There is a general mood of jubilation in the industry due to the excellence of the 2000 crop. As in Bordeaux and Burgundy, the Douro Valley produced ‘a harvest of perfectly ripe thick-skinned berries yielding musts of impressive density and richness,’ a press release says.
Taylor’s chairman Alistair Robertson said, ‘The 2000 is rich and elegant with luscious black fruit aromas backed with enormous concentration and fine length.’
Analytical records show that the young wines had the deepest colour readings of the last thirty years.
Fonseca winemaker David Guimaraens said, ‘What set 2000 apart was the almost perfect ripening season, not too hot but with plenty of sunlight. The grapes matured gradually and evenly. As a result the musts were well balanced with an enormous amount of colour and a wonderfully intense aroma.’
Adrian Bridge, managing director of all four houses, was equally enthusiastic about Delaforce, and Croft – for which this is the first declared vintage since 1994.
The mood at Fonseca is especially triumphant, since the house lost half a million litres of port in a devastating landslide that hit Vila Nova de Gaia in January 2001.
Written by Adam Lechmere23 April 2002