An almost unanimous declaration. The wines are well structured and appear ageworthy
An uneven year in that an abnormally warm, dry spring led to an early burst of growth and then gave way to cool, wet weather in June and July. The heat returned in August and by mid-September grapes were showing good sugar levels and the harvest began in earnest. Apart from a localised downpour, picking continued without incident and it was clear that a good, possibly great, vintage was in prospect.
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Apart from Croft and Delaforce who opted for single quinta Ports, all the major shippers declared in the spring of 1999. The most promising wines (combining elegance and structure) are those from well-situated quintas at lower altitudes in the Cima Corgo and these wines form the basis of the finest declared wines. A few wines are rather lean and one-dimensional but the best have solid, sinewy tannins and will age well for the long term. There is a strong similarity in style with 1983. Prices were up by around 30% on the highly acclaimed 1994s but it remains to be seen if the 1997s are overshadowed by the earlier vintage.
Quinta da Corte (Delaforce)
Quinta do Noval
Quinta do Noval Nacional
Quinta da Roeda (Croft)