A small harvest produced fine, concentrated wines that were universally declared. Drink from 2020 – the best will last a lifetime
Vintage review by Richard Mayson, 2018
After pleasantly wet weather during and following the 1999 harvest, the winter was cold and dry.
Bud-burst occurred during this abnormally dry period and potential yields were reduced. Then, during April and May the heavens opened and half the normal annual rainfall fell in just two months.
Flowering in late May coincided with heavy showers and cool weather, which caused coulure, particularly in the A-grade vineyards at lower altitudes which flower first. Yields were cut further as a result.
Warm, dry weather returned during June and July and the ripening was homogenous, occurring in mid-July. The dry weather continued through August with high temperatures during the early part of the month, and a few days of rain in mid-September helped to finish off ripening prior to the harvest which began as usual around 20 September.
Yields per vine of little over half-a-kilo produced musts of extraordinary richness and concentration. As the sun continued to shine during picking, it became clear that a fine vintage was in the offing.
Overall the 2000 vintage is remarkable for the sheer depth of colour and richness that is evident in nearly all the wines.
They are notable for their aromatic qualities together with their balance and harmony. The best match ripe, fleshy fruit with structure and concentration, while those that lack intensity merely show up as being sweet and rather one-dimensional.
Truly great wines of the vintage are Fonseca’s, Graham’s, Niepoort, Quinta do Noval and Quinta do Noval Nacional.
Also highly recommended are Cockburn’s Quinta Dos Canais, Croft, Dow’s, Niepoort’s Secundum, Taylor’s, Quinta do Roriz, Smith Woodhouse & Warre.
Recommended are Broadbent, Calem, Cockburn, Churchill’s, Hutcheson, Martinez, Martinez Quinta de Eira Velha, Niepoort’s Quinta do Passadouro, and Silva from Noval.