Widely declared, although a few shippers preferred 1982. Firm, tight-knit wines that can be drunk now, and the best will keep for another 10-20 years
Vintage review by Richard Mayson, 2018
The year began badly with a long, cold winter extending into spring. Snow fell on the Serra do Marao to the west of the Douro as late as 20 May! The vines were three weeks behind.
From June to mid-August the weather was hot but unsettled and, despite a successful flowering, the vines remained backward.
Picking consequently began late (end of September) but fortunately the weather remained fine into October and some outstanding wines were made despite the uneven spring and summer.
The majority of shippers chose (rightly in retrospect) to declare 1983 instead of 1982, making this something of a ‘split vintage’.
Initially the ’83s were quite difficult to taste, the fruit being wrapped up in powerful, muscular tannins. With age however, the wines gained flesh and appeal but the cast iron backbone remains. The best will last forever.