The head winemaker for the company that owns Taylor's, Croft and Fonseca Port has compared 2015 growing conditions to those of the highly rated 2011 vintage.
Hot and dry weather means the 2015 wine harvest is set to begin early in the Douro, and possibly before the end of August.
It is very early days – with not a single grape yet picked – but hopes are rising for a good quality crop.
David Guimaraens, head winemaker for the Fladgate partnership, this week raised expectations when he compared the growing season to 2011 – a vintage described as outstanding by many critics.
‘Conditions are similar to 2011. Both years experienced warm dry springs and summers, although the winter preceding 2011 was wetter.
‘The ground water reserves this year are fine so we are hoping for a very good harvest, although it will be starting earlier than usual. We expect to receive the first grapes at the Quinta da Nogueira winery during the last week of August.’
Fladgate head viticulturalist Antonio Magalhees added, ‘A very good indicator of an early harvest in our vineyards is the development of our Touriga Nacional. It is always a late developer but it has already changed colour to a deep purple.’
Many Port houses rushed to declare their 2011 vintage. Luis Sottomayor, head winemaker for Sogrape, previously said that 2011 was most powerful and concentrated Port vintage he had seen in 23 years of working in the Douro Valley.