1996 Port: Vintage guide


With a couple of exceptions, only the canny or the lucky will strike gold

Weather Conditions

The prolonged drought that had become quite desperate in parts of southern Portugal broke spectacularly in the winter of 1995/96. The winter deluge gave way to a mild spring and, with so much ground water, vines sprouted in all directions.

Development was slow and as a result the harvest began late (end of September/early October). Yields were vast but sugar levels remained on the low side and many of the wines tasted dilute.

Best Producers

The best Ports came from old, low yielding vines and a handful of quintas declared promising wines for drinking over the medium-term.

Quinta do Noval Nacional (the first declaration of Nacional by the new owners) stands out as the only wine for the long term.

Quinta da Agua Alta (Churchill)
Quinta Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Burmester)
Quinta do Noval Nacional
Quinta de la Rosa
Quinta do Vesuvio