Vintage Port 2011
Justerini & Brooks - 24 April 2013
The 2011 Port growing season was, in the words of Paul Symington, "an extraordinary year". Starting off with copious rains in October and November 2010, it became extremely dry, before finishing with timely and refreshing rains in August.
"If you'd had a watering system in the vineyards, this is was exactly when you'd have turned it on" the Symingtons happily told us.
The extremely dry first 8 months of the year saw a mere 250 mm of rain fall in the Douro, against an annual average of almost 400mm. These dry conditions coupled with a burst of extreme heat in June gave rise to a final crop that is sadly 15% below average. I say sadly because at this early stage these look to be a seriously excellent range of ports. Perhaps because of the early concentrating drought, the levels of dry pungent schisty minerality in these wines is truly superb and they display plenty of powerful, concentrated, structured fruit. Long deep and powerful, yet also crucially fresh, this looks set to go down as an truly classic vintage port declaration.