Deep purple black with a narrow red rim and magenta highlights. The keynotes here are elegance and finesse. The nose is polished and precise, displaying very pure, bright fruit with predominant notes of raspberry and cherry and an attractive fresh grapiness. Surrounding this core of fine fruit are subtle botanical notes of bracken and underwood and scents of wild herbs and flowers. The palate is compact and racy, with wiry linear tannins galvanised by a powerful charge of acidity. The fine, ‘singing’ fruit which is the signature of the 2019 vintage re-emerges on the palate and extends into the long finish. As always with Vargellas, it is the distinctive fruit quality which stands out, combining focus and definition with a seductive complexity.
NOTES ON THE 2019 VITICULTURAL YEAR AND HARVEST
After a warm and dry period of dormancy, the vineyard cycle began slightly early with budburst on 9th March, about a week ahead of the usual calendar. Overall, the growing season was drier and cooler than average although the usual April rains were quite heavy, with around 98 mm of precipitation as the grapes began to colour (véraison) at around the usual time in mid-July. Although the ripening season began with high temperatures, the weather in the critical month of August was cooler than average with some rainfall on 25th and 26th to balance the ripening of the crop. The relatively cool conditions and absence of peaks of high temperature have translated into the elegance, crisp acidity and ‘singing’ fruit that we find in the 2019 wines. Harvesting of red grapes in the eastern areas of the Douro began in hot weather on 4th September and at Pinhão on 14th. The crop was perfectly healthy and in excellent condition, although yields were almost a tenth lower than the 10-year average. The wines were attractively aromatic, with a high natural acidity and greater than normal colour intensity.