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Sogrape declares 2018 vintage for Sandeman, Offley and Ferreira

Published:  09 April, 2020

Sogrape Estates has declared 2018 a vintage year for its Sandeman, Offley and Ferreira estates.

After two exceptional years for vintage Port, Luís Sottomayor, who heads up the oenology team for Ferreira and all Sogrape Porto wine brands, said 2018 was “one of the best, if not the best, vintage years I have witnessed”. 

“The special conditions experienced during the 2018 harvest came together to produce wines that combine extraordinary elegance with an unusual structure, thus achieving excellent complexity and balance, with great ageing potential,” he said. 

The wines, he added, reflected the signature character and style of each of the famous houses. 

“Ferreira is hugely complex yet defined by elegance and harmony, while Sandeman brings a more structured, robust profile to the table. Offley, on the other hand, showcases its famously lighter style with an expressive and fruit-forward 2018 vintage, ideal for those new to Vintage Port.”

Due to unsettled weather at the beginning of the growing cycle, 2018 was a challenging vintage for the growers in the Douro, he added.

“An extremely dry and cold winter delayed budburst and a particularly rainy spring led to increased disease pressure in the vineyards, which resulted in lower yields. 

“Nevertheless, these lower yields and a long and steady ripening period during the hot, dry summer resulted in top-quality grapes with great concentration – ideal for the production of Vintage Port.”

Sopegrape, which has a majority stake in Liberty Wines, said Sottomayor had recognised “this outstanding quality at an early stage” and was already confident about the 2018 declaration last year, "in the midst of the multiple 2017 declarations”. 

“The quality of these three wines ensures they will have a great future,” said Sottomayor.  

Last June, Sogrape ramped up its investment in Liberty Wines, in a move that increased its 2017 investment to a majority share in the business.