2006 Port: Vintage guide


A generally undeclared vintage but with some notable exceptions. Unrelenting hot weather.

Weather Conditions

Heavy winter rains replenished the drought-exhausted water table, while bud-burst began early April (later than usual).

Good weather followed and flowering took place during the hottest May in 40 years. Strong winds in late May reduced fruit set in higher vineyards.

Temperatures steadily increased until a severe hailstorm hit vineyards in the Pinhão and the Rio Torto valleys in the middle of June. Several vineyards lost up to 30% of the crop. A hot July followed, superseded by a cooler August and some very welcome rain indeed: 47mm in three days.

More hot weather late August and early September caused some raisining and crop reduction in exposed vineyards. Picking began mid-September just ahead of an unsettled spell, though dry winds helped keep the grapes healthy.

Yields were down almost everywhere by at least 15%; in some places the Barroca yield was more than halved. The thicker-skinned Touriga Nacional and Franca varieties reacted best to the heat.

Best Appellations

Average quality is good to very good but there are some very fine examples to be found. The Touriga Nacional coped well with the heat and had the potential to produce wonderfully complex and aromatic wines with an impressive depth of black fruit.

Best Producers

Quinta do Vesuvio (Single Quinta), Dow’s (Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira), Warre’s (Quinta de Roriz, Quinta do Portal).