2016 Quinta do Ataide Red, Symington Estates, Douro Valley, Portugal
Made from vineyards in complete contrast to the steeply terraced slopes of the main Douro Valley, where rainfall is low at about 500 mm per year with very cold winters and hot summers. The combination of these factors contributes to the making of an exceptional wine that has wonderful aromas and concentrated colour and flavours, reflecting the Douro’s great winemaking tradition and the unique identity of the Vilariça terroir.
Very attractive aromas of ripe red fruits, scented with red plum and thyme. On the palate, this wine is spicy and savoury, with good weighty flavours balanced with pepper tannins and good acidity.
2015 Quinta da Mariposa Reserva, Dao, Portugal
Deep ruby in colour with lilac shades. Complex, with notes of wild berries and spice, showing the beautifully presented Touriga Nacional with its integrated barrel notes. The palate is full and ripe, with firm but satin tannins.
Quinta da Mariposa is a ‘distinctly Dão’ producer, making wines that are characteristic of the region from only native varieties; including Encruzado, Jaen and Tinta Roriz.
After working with some of the best wineries of the Dão region, oenologist Lúcia Freitas returned to her family estate in Terras de Senhorim to establish Quinta da Mariposa – a project that harmonizes her respect for tradition and her dream of making wines of extraordinary character from the region she knows so well. Together with her husband Filipe, plans are currently underway to convert the town’s local nightclub into a winery, serendipitously this is where the couple danced together when they were young.
Quinta da Mariposa practice sustainable agriculture so they can craft wine whilst also preserving the wine culture for future generations. They only use native varieties found in the Dão region, ensuring their crop is perfectly suited to the soil and the climate. Their estate is modest and everything is done by hand.
10 yr old Tawny Port, Feuerheerds, Douro Valley, Portugal
This port has a deep colour with purple hues and reveals a fine and complex nose. On the palate, it has great vibrancy with ripe fruit flavours, black chocolate and black pepper combined harmoniously with well integrated tannins and a velvety texture. Complex and multidimensional, with a deep long finish.
In 1815, German trader Dietrich Matthias Feuerheerd founded the company, by the same name, in Oporto. There he selected and aged the finest blends before shipping them to Northern Europe. The brand became famous for its vintage Ports, which in England became known as 'Anchor Ports', due to the dintinctive logo on the bottle. In 2010, the brand was acquired by Barao de Vilar, giving birth to a new partnership between the Van Zellars and the Barros family, who were determined to revive the the long tradition of quality Feuerheerd Ports. Both families have connections to the wine trade stretching back centuries. Today, the Ports are crafted by head winemaker Alvaro van Zeller, who focuses on creating the finest quality aged-Ports.
2017 Vintage Port, Warre, Douro, Portugal
Warre’s Vintage Ports are peerless in their expression of poise and elegance. Whereas some other Vintage Ports can be almost overwhelming in their richness, Warre’s Vintage wines combine elegance, length and balance whilst still retaining the underlying rich opulence of great Vintage Port.
The Warre’s 2017 Vintage Port is made up of the finest parcels from Warre’s three Douro vineyards, Cavadinha, Retiro and Telhada, and the privately (family) owned Alvito & Netas properties. The field blends from Cavadinha and Retiro provide the principal structure with a combined contribution of 63%. The combination of old field blend vines and very low yields gives the Warre’s 2017 Vintage Port extraordinary complexity and subtlety, alongside the concentration and power which are hallmarks of the year.
2017 Vintage Port, Dow, Douro, Portugal
Charles Symington commented after selecting the final blend:
“This is one of the finest Dow’s Vintage Ports I have blended. I believe this wine more than deserves its place alongside our recent Dow’s Vintages of 2016, 2011 and 2007. In my opinion it has the potential to rank alongside the Dow’s all-time greats.”
It is rare to see such tremendous depth and intensity in colour as this wine displays. The freshness of the floral aromas is very attractive with a dominance of rockrose, a flower that grows wild around the hills of Senhora da Ribeira. On the palate, it is exceptionally full-bodied, rich and powerful with black fruit coming to the fore. Gorgeous, ripe fruit is balanced by the fine tannin structure. On the finish, it is typically Dow, austere and somewhat drier than many other ports. The intense fruit flavours linger long on the palate.
2014 Late Bottled Vintage, Feuerheerd's, Douro Valley, Portugal
Feueheerd's are specialists in maturing Ports and releasing them when they are ready to drink, and this 2014 Late Bottled Vintage is a great example. This port is far more serious than many in its price range, with a deep colour with purple hues and revealing a fine and complex nose. On the palate, it has great vibrancy with ripe fruit flavours, black chocolate and black pepper combined harmoniously with well integrated tannins and a velvety texture. Complex and multidimensional, with a deep long finish