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Leading producers declare 2022 Vintage Ports

Port producers only declare a vintage in the best years, when wines hailing from the best plots are deemed of good enough quality and market conditions are considered favourable. As such, Vintage Port accounts for between 1 and 2% of overall Port production and vintage declarations are always eagerly anticipated.

Challenging growing season

The 2022 vintage did not look particularly promising amid a very dry and hot growing season, with rainfall well below average. The region entered severe drought at the end of June. According to Christian Seely, MD at Quinta do Noval, temperatures hit 45.5°C in mid-July and stayed above 40°C for prolonged periods in August.

However, there was moderate rainfall in early September, creating better picking conditions at harvest and offsetting some of the effects of the drought and high temperatures. Overall, the year’s challenging conditions produced small berries, with a good juice to skin ratio contributing directly to the quality of the wines.

Seely described it as ‘a year of extremes’, but suggested that 2022 could follow in the footsteps of some highly-rated vintages.

‘Such extremes are not entirely unprecedented: similar conditions were experienced in the great vintages of 2017 and 1945,’ he said. ‘As in these years, 2022 demonstrated the remarkable resilience of our terroir and of our Douro grape varieties.’

Quinta do Noval has declared three Vintage Ports: Quinta do Noval 2022, Quinta do Noval Nacional 2022 and Quinta do Passadouro 2022.

Seely added: ‘We knew from the start that the Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 2022 was exceptional, and the wine has continued to develop wonderfully since the harvest, displaying the multi-layered complexity and depth that are typical of a great Nacional. Powerful and pure, it combines opulent richness, intensity and concentration with astonishing freshness.’

Meanwhile, the Sogevinus Group declared four 2022 Vintage Ports from across its multiple estates: Kopke Quinta de São Luiz 2022, Burmester Quinta do Arnozelo 2022, Cálem 2022 and Barros 2022.

Carlos Alves, master blender and winemaker, said: ‘At harvest, the red wines had a very clean aroma and very bright and rich colours. These characteristics improved with two years of ageing, and so we decided to declare a vintage for all four Quintas, which each exhibit individual differences and represent a sense of place.’

Vintage Ports are declared two years after the harvest. The announcements traditionally take place on St. George’s Day (April 23), or at some point during the following few weeks.

The Fladgate Partnership marked St George’s Day by announcing the release of two Vintage Ports from 2022 – limited bottlings of Fonseca Guimaraens and Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas.

Head winemaker David Guimaraens said: ‘The crop at Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas estate was one of the healthiest we have seen for years, and the Ports made on the Fonseca estates were outstanding, allowing us to produce a very fine Guimaraens vintage blend, full bodied and packed with dense berry fruit flavour. A true time capsule of the year.’

Earlier in April, Sogrape announced the declaration of Vintage 2022 for its three Port houses: Porto Ferreira, Sandeman and Offley. Luís de Sottomayor, who oversees Douro and Port wine production at Sogrape, highlighted the good acidity and sense of place that underpins the character of the three Vintage Ports – Sandeman Quinta do Seixo Vintage 2022, Porto Ferreira Quinta do Porto Vintage 2022, and Offley Vintage 2022 – to be released in September.

Previous iterations of Sandeman Quinta do Seixo (Vintage 2017) and Porto Ferreira (Vintage 2018) are among the best scoring wines in Sogrape’s history, creating great anticipation for the potential of the newly declared Vintage.

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The post Leading producers declare 2022 Vintage Ports appeared first on Decanter.

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