Sogrape kickstarts 2011 declarations

Sogrape Vinhos has become the first major Port company to make an official declaration of the 2011 vintage.

DouroThe owner of Ferreira, Offley and Sandeman has not declared a vintage since 2007, having chosen to skip 2009, whose quality divided opinion within the Port trade.

Commenting on the 2011 vintage, Sogrape winemaker Luís Sotomayor said he could not recall a year in which the Port wines have shown “such enormous structure and robustness.”

He added: “2011 has allowed us to create vintage wines with never-before-seen levels of colour, structure and complexity, for which we anticipate enormous bottle-ageing potential, thanks to the combination of robust structure, fruit and excellent acidity.”

Although 2011 is expected to be widely declared – the British-owned Port houses traditionally wait until St George’s Day on 23 April – the year presented challenging conditions for vineyard managers throughout the growing season.

Characterised by a wet winter followed by a warm, mildew-ridden Spring and a dry Summer, rain arrived just in time at the end of August to help ripen the grapes before a welcome dry spell to restore concentration.

With each of Sogrape’s three houses declaring a 2011 vintage, the wines will appear on the market in May.

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