Douro has long been a favourite of the Tanners Team and we’re always excited by a trip to taste the wines from barrel for our en primeur offer. Glorious weather, dramatic views, great food and fantastic wines – what’s not to like! However, much like other en primeur campaigns over the last 12 months, our tasting process has been rather different this year. Samples have been sent directly to us, for the team to taste at Wyle Cop and we’ve chatted with growers via Zoom. So this year we’ve missed out on the dramatic views, the local food and glorious weather but we can safely say the wines have been fantastic.
2018 was a superb vintage in the Douro but as is so often the case, it came at a price. A notably cool and wet spring brought to an end another dry winter (with an extremely challenging 20-month period of drought), which felt like welcome relief, however it also meant a delay to flowering. This was unfortunate as heavy rains in March, April and May greatly affected yields, and caused significant erosion damage to boot – the soils simply not able to contend with the onslaught. A hot and dry summer followed, giving a long growing season, ideal for achieving full maturity of the skins and seeds of the grapes. Harvesting took place from September 5th through October 13th; volumes are low (25-40% down on average), but the fruit was of very high quality with good levels of sugar and acidity.