The 2008 winter was drier and colder than normal with only 258mm of rain falling at Pinhão between November and March.
Fortunately, a wet April ensured the ground water reserves were sufficiently replenished. Flowering occurred under wet and cold conditions and as a result poor set affected all grape varieties, resulting in lower yields, but with great concentration of flavour.
The temperatures for the 2008 growing season were remarkably similar to 2007, with lower than average temperatures and a mild August. The final ripening of the grapes was greatly enhanced with rain falling between the 4th and 7th September and a further downpour just before the vintage started.
Picking started on the 20th September at Vargellas. A key characteristic of the entire vintage were the hot days combined with cold nights giving perfect weather conditions not only for the final ripening of the grapes, but also for the fermentation rates.
Sugar levels of the grapes started low, but progressively increased as the vintage progressed.
Inky black with a vivid purple rim. Compact and stylish nose, with intense aromas of blackcurrant and wild berries tightly wrapped around a dark nucleus of liquorice and treacle. This dense backdrop is overlaid with subtle notes of tea, rose petal, thyme and exotic wood with an attractive grapey freshness emerging as the nose develops. As usual with Vargellas the nose shows exceptional purity and resolution but is seductive in its complexity. On the palate the tannins are beautifully integrated and deceptively subtle but their firm sinews become apparent on the long finish which is packed with intense black berry fruit flavour.
Rich and sweet with dark cherry, plum and blackberry fruit on the nose, as well as some spicy notes. The palate is pure, smooth and sweet with some...