Croft Quinta Roêda Vintage 2018

Croft Quinta Roêda Vintage 2018

Tasting Notes

Very deep purple black at the centre, with a narrow purple red rim. Although the nose displays the seductive, opulent red fruit character which is a familiar feature of Roêda vintage ports, there are also intense, woodland berry aromas which add focus and finesse.  As usual, the fruit is wrapped in an envelope of exotic balsamic, minty, eucalyptus scents. The first impression on the palate is of roundness and a rich, velvety texture but there is excellent acidity and well-integrated grippy tannins which emerge on the finish.  The finish is powerful and very long with persistent crisp, red berry flavours. Although, as always, the 2018 Roêda Vintage is ripe and seductive, the characteristics of the year and the contribution of the wines from Roêda’s oldest vineyard plots has placed this superb single-quinta Vintage Port at the elegant and restrained end of the spectrum.

Notes on Viticultural Year

The weather pattern in 2018 was somewhat erratic and sometimes challenging but in the end the conditions required to make excellent Vintage Port all fell into place.  The year started extremely dry, as there had been very little rain the previous year, and in January about two thirds of Portugal’s land area was suffering from drought.  The stress on the vines from the arid conditions was relieved in March by heavy rainfall.   The weather station at Croft’s Quinta da Roêda recorded 223 mm of precipitation during the month. This replenished the ground water reserves depleted the previous year and this ground moisture was to prove decisive during the ripening season.  The weather remained cold and wet until the end of June and the vineyard cycle was about three weeks behind the previous year’s calendar. 

A dry and relatively mild July was followed by a baking hot month of August, temperatures well above 40°C being recorded early in the month in the eastern districts of the Douro Valley.  The intense heat allowed the cycle to accelerate.  The abundant reserves of water in the ground, built up in the spring, meant that the grapes matured evenly and gradually in spite of the hot conditions.  Picking at Quinta da Roêda began on 17th September, in hot, dry weather.  Yields were low but the wines were recorded as have excellent colour intensity, very good acid balance and elegance and freshness of fruit.