A widely, rather than universally, declared vintage producing some very good to excellent Vintage Ports. Winter was extremely wet but was followed by a settled and dry spring. Summer was warm and dry with a period of particularly hot weather at the end of August and the beginning of September. Some light showers fell around 10th September and came as a welcome relief to growers. The harvest began soon after and a smaller than average crop of small grapes with very thick skins was picked. The best examples are deeply coloured and are powerfully tannic, displaying considerable backbone and grip. However, they will require extended cellaring in order to show at their best and should not be approached before 2005.