Kopke and Casa Burmester – both part of the Sogevinus Fine Wines portfolio – have declared 2017 a vintage year.

The oldest of the Port Houses, Kopke, has announced its 2017 Port Vintage, and it said 2017 was “an unusual year” which produced promising wines, that “now reveal their exceptional quality and future potential”.

Carlos Alves, winemaker and master blender at Sogevinus Fine Wines, said: “With rain levels 40% below average, the vine-growing cycle in 2017 was particularly challenging, and by July we already knew the harvest would happen considerably earlier than usual. A dry winter and particularly hot spring and summer seasons meant we had to take extra care when monitoring the growth of the grapes and adapt our work in the winery in order to follow the pace of the harvest without interruptions.”

The harvest began on August 22 and continued non-stop until September 19. The grapes selected came from old vines grown in low and medium altitude plots.

Alves said: “This is clearly a vintage with enormous ageing potential. A vintage which will no doubt stand out in the history of Port Wine.”

The extraordinary weather conditions of the 2017 harvest also resulted in a wine with the Casa Burmester’s unique character: Burmester 2017 Vintage Port.

Alves said: “In the Douro, but especially in the Douro Superior, the vine-growing year of 2016/2017 was dry and hot, which resulted in one of the earliest harvests in the history of Quinta do Arnozelo. The heat waves and the lack of water produced small, excellent and highly concentrated grapes. Testing each vine’s grapes was crucial to decide the best picking time and the result is a fragrant, mature and intense wine.

“The wines show a deep colour, aromas of ripe black fruit, freshness and excellent volume. Promising wines which are already showing their potential.”