April 26, 2009

2007 Vintage Report

Climatic conditions:
As often happens in great Vintage years, the climatic conditions in the Douro in 2006/2007 were not a text book example of what you would expect from a year that produced such outstanding wines.
Heavy rainfall during the winter months of November and February was closely followed by further precipitation during the spring months of May and early June. These humid conditions produced heavy vegetation in the vines giving rise to potential fungal and parasitic problems during the flowering and in the early summer which had to be carefully controlled.
The summer months, however, were then hot and dry but the temperature in August was cooler than average. With the exception of one day’s rain in mid September, the dry weather continued right through to the end of October with hot days and cool nights.
This Indian summer compensated for the lack of real heat in August and concentrated the grapes bringing them to perfect ripeness by the time of the vintage. At Churchill’s we delayed picking our old vines and top vineyards to ensure that these grapes were at optimum maturity.
The vintage started on 10th September. The grapes were in excellent condition and very few were rejected on our sorting tables. Although the daytime temperature was hot, our new overnight cold storage system ensured that the grapes were crushed into the lagares at a cool temperature the next morning. Fermentations were long and even and the lagares took plenty of work producing wines with stunning colour and concentration.
The young Ports spent their first winter in seasoned oak “tonels” up the Douro and then were brought down to our Port lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia in the following spring. Here they spent the next year in seasoned oak vats and stainless steel tanks where their development was carefully accompanied.
The final selection was made in the early Spring this year. The young Vintage Port and Single Quinta Vintage Port blends will now spend six months in seasoned oak vats before being bottled in the early autumn.

Johnny Graham
Oporto, 20th April 2009

1 comment:

  1. Hi!!

    Why do you use the word "tonels" insted of "barrels"?

    Kind Regards