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Dow's Vintage Port 2017

ID No: 447868
Our Price: $140.00 $95.00
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 Wine Enthusiast: 96 Wine Spectator: 96 98 Points
Country:Portugal
Region:Douro
Winery:Dow's
Grape Type:Port Blend
Organic:Yes
Vintage:2017
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

The 2017 was a very different year to 2016 in terms of the viticultural conditions and it was interesting to watch the progression of the wine and scrutinize its quality as it developed over its first two winters. Whereas 2016 had a very mild winter and exceptionally hot summer, this was compensated by abundant winter and spring rainfall. Conversely, 2017 was warm and drythroughout, although summer temperatures were closer to average, whichproved to be a very significant factor allowing for complete, balancedripening.

It is rare to see such tremendous depth and intensity in color as this winedisplays. The freshness of the floral aromas is very attractive with adominance of rockrose, a flower that grows wild around the hills of Senhorada Ribeira. On the palate, it is exceptionally full-bodied, rich andpowerful with black fruit coming to the fore. Gorgeous, ripe fruit isbalanced by the fine tannin structure. On the finish, it is typically Dow,austere and somewhat drier than many other ports. The intense fruit flavors linger long on the palate.

Dow’s Vintage Ports are only produced in years of exceptional quality and represent only a very small part of the total company’s production in that year. On average only two or three times every ten years are the weather conditions sufficiently good to allow for the making of Dow’s Vintage Port.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Dow’s Vintage Ports have been landmark wines in virtually every great year, consistently setting the standards amongst all Port houses. Vintage Ports such as the remarkable Dow 1896, the 1927, 1945, 1955, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1980 and the Dow 1994 are all legends in the history of this great wine. These Ports are still magnificent today, even when 50 or over 100 years old. Few wines can claim this quality and this pedigree.

Dow's Vintage Ports are drawn from the companies' finest vineyards; Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta de Senhora da Ribeira. Each property contributes to the Dow’s unique and distinctive style. When young, Dow’s Vintage Ports are purple-black, austere, complex and intensely concentrated, full-bodied and balanced with very fine peppery tannins.

Over the centuries, the Dow winemakers have evolved a style that suits the house’s key vineyards; fermentations are a little longer, resulting in a drier Port Wine that has become the hallmark of Dow’s. Abundant fruit flavours with hints of ripe blackberries, give elegance and poise to Dow’s. The nose is deep and powerful with strong overtones of violets when young, these mature into fine cinnamon and rose-tea aromas with age. The very high percentage of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional planted on the vineyards result in the powerful structure and aging potential of Dow’s Vintage Ports

Dow’s Ports avoid an over-rich style and requires a very high degree of skill in wine making and great experience in selecting the finest wines of each year and each vineyard. These wines are aged in seasoned oak casks for some 18 months and are bottled without any filtration or fining whatsoever.

Dow Vintage Ports can be enjoyed when vibrant and young or they can be allowed to age for many years in bottle into a soft and delicate wine of velvet-like elegance.

In the 1920’s, the celebrated Oxford Professor George Saintsbury underlined Dow’s outstanding reputation when he wrote in his famous ‘Notes on a Cellarbook’ (first published in 1920), “There is no shipper’s wine that I have found better than the best of Dow’s 1878 and 1890 especially.”

James Suckling, one of today’s leading authorities on Vintage Port was equally impressed by another legendary wine - the Dow’s 1896 - “The ancient {1896} Port still had an amazing ruby colour with a garnet edge, and it smelled of raisins, black pepper and berries. It was full-bodied, with masses of fruit intertwined with layers of velvety tannins. It was superb.” In 1998, when this wine was 102 years old, he awarded this Port an exceptional 98 points.

Review:

Based on fruit from the predominantly south-facing Quinta do Bomfim in the Cima Corgo and Quinta Senhora da Ribeira in the Douro Superior, with Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca making up 80% of the blend. This is opaque and closed in but powerfully ripe with underlying pure berry fruit. It's seemingly quite introverted compared to some of its peers at this stage, but it's still full, rich and opulent on the palate. It also shows the latent power of the vintage, made as it is in a slightly drier style (3.4 Baumé), with lovely minty fruit and full, ripe sinewy tannins all the way through the finish. Long and lithe, and very fine.

-Decanter 97 Points

A dense, thickly textured version, dripping with warm salted licorice, tar and açaí paste notes, while plum and blueberry pâte de fruit, chai spice and chocolate elements fill in behind. Lots of brambly grip flows underneath. Shows a very sappy feel on the finish. Best from 2035 through 2055. 5,250 cases made, 1,092 cases imported

-Wine Spectator 96 Points

This is a dry while also floral wine, perfumed and enticing with its juicy acidity. At the same time, the structure is very present, showing power and dark black fruits. The balance is coming together with the rich fruits and tannins melding into one. Drink from 2028. ROGER VOSS

-Wine Enthusiast 96 Points

Deep dark ruby garnet, opaque core, violet reflections, delicate brightening of the edges. Black wildberry jam underlaid with delicate herbs and spices, tobacco nuances, hints of blueberry jam and elderberries, schisty notes. Powerful, full-bodied, sweetness present, carrying tannins, dark nougat in the finish, very good length, an imperious style, built for a long life.

Falstaff 98 Points

Winery: Dow's

For over two centuries the name of DOW has been associated with the finest Port from the vineyards of the Upper Douro Valley. Throughout the 20th Century and into the 21st, the Symington family has built on the legacy of the preceding Silva and Dow families. Generations of Symington winemakers have worked at the Dow’s vineyards: Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira, creating from them Dow’s superbly concentrated wines that are intense and tannic when young, maturing towards a superlative racy elegance with age and scented with violet and mint aromas. Dow’s attractive and distinctive drier finish is the recognisable hallmark of the wines from this great Port house.

The story of Dow’s is unusual amongst all the great Port houses. It began in 1798 when Bruno da Silva, a Portuguese merchant from Oporto, made a journey which was the opposite to that of the first British merchants. Bruno set up in London from where he imported wine from his native country. He married an Englishwoman and was rapidly assimilated into London society where his business acumen led to a fine reputation for his wines. But the outbreak of the Napoleonic wars put his business in jeopardy. Undaunted, Bruno da Silva applied for ‘letters of marque’ (Royal Assent to equip a merchant ship with guns) to secure safe passage of his Port from Oporto to Bristol and to London. His became the first and only Port company to transport its precious cargo of casks of fine Ports under its own armed protection across the treacherous Bay of Biscay, a strong dissuasion to attack during a period when less audacious companies saw their sales dwindle away.

The Port shipping business was continued by Bruno’s son, John da Silva who in 1862 brought into partnership Frederick William Cosens. Together with John’s son, Edward, they became the active partners in Silva & Cosens. Edward da Silva inherited his grandfather’s business ability and the company continued to prosper. Edward became a highly respected figure in the London wine trade and was one of the founders of the Wine Trade Benevolent Society, the leading charity which survives to this day as the principal British wine trade organisation. Edward da Silva was to be the Benevolent’s chairman and then, from 1892, its president for many years.

With the continuing expansion of the firm, Edward da Silva and Frederick Cosens were joined by George Acheson Warre, whose well known family had been involved in the Port trade since its earliest years. ‘GAW’ joined as partner in 1868 and became its driving force in Portugal.

In 1877, Silva & Cosens merged with another leading Port company, Dow & Co, who’s senior partner was James Ramsay Dow, who had made a name for himself in 1856 with the publication of his important treatise, ‘An Inquiry into the Vine Fungus with Suggestions as to a Remedy.’ The Oidium fungus was at the time devastating the Douro’s vineyards.

Although smaller than Silva & Cosens, Dow & Co had become a very highly regarded Port producer with a particularly fine reputation for its Vintage Ports and when the two companies merged, it was decided to adopt DOW’S as the brand name.


 The financial astuteness of Edward da Silva, the driving force of winemaker George Warre and the long experience and tasting expertise of James R. Dow were to consolidate Dow’s reputation as one of the leading names in the Port trade.

The celebrated Oxford Professor George Saintsbury underlined Dow’s unique standing when he wrote in his famous ‘Notes on a Cellarbook’ (first published in 1920), “There is no shipper’s wine that I have found better than the best of Dow’s 1878 and 1890 especially.” James Suckling of The Wine Spectator, one of today’s leading authorities on Vintage Port was equally impressed by another legendary wine when tasted over a hundred years after it was made - the Dow’s 1896 - also made during the management of Messrs Silva, Warre and Dow: “The ancient {1896} Port still had an amazing ruby colour with a garnet edge, and it smelled of raisins, black pepper and berries. It was full-bodied, with masses of fruit intertwined with layers of velvety tannins. It was superb.”
 


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Grilled meat (lamb, beef, boar), Mediterranean cuisine, spicy dishes.

Review:


"Complex nose with deep black berry fruits, spice and hints of polish. Really lovely texture with layers of creamy red and black fruits, spices and powerful but super fine tannins. Great expression of the appellation; powerfully long."

- Decanter World Wine Award 2020 - 97 pts & Platinum Medal



 97 Points
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Opening: Decant 4-6 hours before serving

Soil: Clay-limestone Culture: Organic without pesticides nor chemicals additives Yield: 20 hectoliters/hectare Harvest: Manual in small cases Winemaking: Double sorting, 100% destemming, skin contact, with daily sticking in order to optimize color and aromatic extraction Alcoholic fermentation 15 days followed by malo lactic fermentation. Aging: 18 months in oak cask Bottling:  

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Review:

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 97 Points
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AppellationRed Mountain Varietal(s) 100% Syrah

Soil type Very steep, rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils

Vinification 22% whole cluster, remainder destemmed. Fermented in concrete, open top and closed top stainless. ~25% new French oak for 18 months, mostly larger format (300L to 500L) Native yeast, cold soak up front Macerations up to 30 days; pumpovers and punch-downs 100% free run. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

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Review:

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 100 Points
Try these Similar In Stock Wines
Dow's Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira Single Quinta Vintage Port 2015

Exceptionally aromatic with aromas of violets, hints of blackberry, blackcurrant and black plum on the nose. There is some spice that is balanced with fresh acidity and minerality. A long finish with ripe but firm tannins.

Dow's Senhora da Ribeira can be enjoyed anytime and pairs wonderfully with chocolate desserts and soft cheeses like creamy Stilton or Roquefort.

Review:

Rich and fruity, this wine is packed with intense black-currant flavors. It is perfumed, ripe with a good tannic background. The density of the wine and the firm structure point to a long aging process. Drink this beautifully structured wine from 2026.

-Wine Enthusiast 93 Points

Winemaking:
Senhora da Ribeira has one of the most advanced specialist wineries in the Douro, combining the best of traditional winemaking practice, evolved over centuries, and the latest state-of-the-art automated systems. Three granite ‘lagares’ for foot treading are complemented by three ‘robotic’ lagares, designed by the Symington family and installed in the quinta’s winery in 2001.
It has long been recognised that traditional treading produced some of the finest Ports, but there are some drawbacks involved in traditional treading; temperature control is difficult, there is a limit to how long people are willing to tread and they need to sleep. The winemaker’s options are therefore limited, he or she cannot order treading at different times through the night, or pull people off the picking team at will. Furthermore, emptying the traditional lagar takes a long time; in the meantime the fermentation process is accelerating away. A further handicap arose over recent years, when an increasing scarcity of labour obliged producers to look for less labour-intensive vinification solutions. The Symingtons opted to devise a mechanical means of replicating the proven method of foot treading. The result was the Symington ‘robotic lagar’, an automated treading machine which exactly replicates the gentle action of the human foot and which has revolutionised winemaking in the Douro Valley. This equipment is very expensive but the results have been so good that an increasing proportion of Dow’s finest wines are now made in these automated lagares. Approximately half of the wines for Dow’s much praised 2003 Vintage were vinified in them.
The Senhora da Ribeira’s Quinta Vintage Ports have amassed a highly impressive number of awards: three Gold Medals at the International Wine Challenge, (2008, 2006 and 2001, for the 2005, 2002 and 1999 Vintages, respectively) as well as seven Silver Medals and two Gold Medals at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (London, 2008 for the 2005 Vintage and 2002 for the 1998 Vintage). In September 2006, Jancis Robinson MW wrote, “One very exciting new bottling is Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira 2004...this single quinta bottling demonstrates superb quality with wonderful vibrancy. Great wine in any context - not that unlike some California reds! This is definitely a wine to look out for when it is released.”
Wine Profile
The very hot climate through the summer at this vineyard results in highly complex and concentrated wines but very low yields. Colours of the musts in the fermentation tanks are always purple-black due to the very high skin to juice ratio. The old vines add further to the intensity of the wine as they make up a very large percentage of the vineyard. The resulting wine can be described as being the essence of Vintage Port, with powerful wild red-fruit flavours, leading into rich black chocolate notes, the whole balanced by complex, attractive and peppery tannins.

One of the Douro’s most beautiful vineyards, Senhora da Ribeira is located 24km (15 miles) upriver from Quinta do Bomfim in the remote Douro Superior. The vineyard commands a magnificent north bank position, overlooking a broad sweep of the Douro, directly opposite another famous Symington owned vineyard: Quinta do Vesuvio. Senhora de Ribeira was built close to an ancient river crossing, guarded by two 12th century castles on either side of the river built by the Moors during their centuries long occupation of Iberia. A small chapel dedicated to the ‘Lady of the River’ (literally: Senhora da Ribeira) has stood here for centuries and gave the quinta its name. Travellers would pause here to ask for a safe river passage and onward journey.


Senhora da Ribeira’s wines are some of the finest in the Douro and they complement those from Bomfim in the composition of Dow’s classic Vintage Ports. The quinta’s high proportion of old vines (45% are over 25 years old) is of critical importance. The old vines are very low-yielding, producing on average less than 1Kg of grapes each, giving intense and concentrated musts which are ideal for classic Vintage Port. The remainder of the vineyard was replanted as follows: 21% in 2001 and 34% from 2004, the latter involving mainly Touriga Nacional vines. This grape variety - very important for Vintage Port - now represents almost exactly a third of the total planted at the quinta. The entire vineyard has the maximum ‘A’ rating.


As with Bomfim, the consistency of the climate plays a key role, although the rainfall is only half of that experienced at Bomfim: 448mm is the 10 year average. This more extreme climate, hot dry summers and cold, equally dry winters results in wines with unique depth of colour and complexity.
As with Quinta do Bomfim, the best Ports from Senhora de Ribeira are used to make Dow’s Vintage Ports in the great and rare ‘Declared’ years. In the good year’s when Dow’s does not ‘declare’ a Vintage, the best wines of ‘The Lady of the River’ are bottled as Dow’s Quinta de Senhora da Ribeira Vintage Port. They will tend to mature a little earlier than the very rare ‘Declared’ years, but can be every bit as good as some other Vintage Ports.


 Wine Enthusiast: 93
Dow's Vintage Port 2016

It is rare to see such tremendous depth and intensity in color as this winedisplays. The freshness of the floral aromas is very attractive with adominance of rockrose, a flower that grows wild around the hills of Senhorada Ribeira. On the palate, it is exceptionally full-bodied, rich andpowerful with black fruit coming to the fore. Gorgeous, ripe fruit isbalanced by the fine tannin structure. On the finish, it is typically Dow,austere and somewhat drier than many other ports. The intense fruit flavors linger long on the palate.

Dow’s Vintage Ports are only produced in years of exceptional quality and represent only a very small part of the total company’s production in that year. On average only two or three times every ten years are the weather conditions sufficiently good to allow for the making of Dow’s Vintage Port.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Dow’s Vintage Ports have been landmark wines in virtually every great year, consistently setting the standards amongst all Port houses. Vintage Ports such as the remarkable Dow 1896, the 1927, 1945, 1955, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1980 and the Dow 1994 are all legends in the history of this great wine. These Ports are still magnificent today, even when 50 or over 100 years old. Few wines can claim this quality and this pedigree.

Dow's Vintage Ports are drawn from the companies' finest vineyards; Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta de Senhora da Ribeira. Each property contributes to the Dow’s unique and distinctive style. When young, Dow’s Vintage Ports are purple-black, austere, complex and intensely concentrated, full-bodied and balanced with very fine peppery tannins.

Over the centuries, the Dow winemakers have evolved a style that suits the house’s key vineyards; fermentations are a little longer, resulting in a drier Port Wine that has become the hallmark of Dow’s. Abundant fruit flavours with hints of ripe blackberries, give elegance and poise to Dow’s. The nose is deep and powerful with strong overtones of violets when young, these mature into fine cinnamon and rose-tea aromas with age. The very high percentage of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional planted on the vineyards result in the powerful structure and aging potential of Dow’s Vintage Ports

Dow’s Ports avoid an over-rich style and requires a very high degree of skill in wine making and great experience in selecting the finest wines of each year and each vineyard. These wines are aged in seasoned oak casks for some 18 months and are bottled without any filtration or fining whatsoever.

Dow Vintage Ports can be enjoyed when vibrant and young or they can be allowed to age for many years in bottle into a soft and delicate wine of velvet-like elegance.

In the 1920’s, the celebrated Oxford Professor George Saintsbury underlined Dow’s outstanding reputation when he wrote in his famous ‘Notes on a Cellarbook’ (first published in 1920), “There is no shipper’s wine that I have found better than the best of Dow’s 1878 and 1890 especially.”

James Suckling, one of today’s leading authorities on Vintage Port was equally impressed by another legendary wine - the Dow’s 1896 - “The ancient {1896} Port still had an amazing ruby colour with a garnet edge, and it smelled of raisins, black pepper and berries. It was full-bodied, with masses of fruit intertwined with layers of velvety tannins. It was superb.” In 1998, when this wine was 102 years old, he awarded this Port an exceptional 98 points.

Review:

This packs a lot of fun, with a wallop of blackberry, fig, boysenberry and açai berry compote flavors working together, laced with a mouthwatering licorice snap note and driven by a fresh, well-detailed finish. A roasted apple wood accent is integrated as well, lending textural contrast through the vivacious finish. Best from 2030 through 2055. 350 cases made, 183 cases imported. 

-Wine Spectator 98 Points


The 2016 Dow’s Vintage Port is based around the Vinha dos Ecos vineyard behind Bomfim, populated predominantly by mature Touriga Franca vines that were cropped at just 0.68kg per vine. It has a quite astonishing bouquet with layer upon layer of intense black cherry and cassis fruit, touches of clove, leather and a hint of over-ripe Satsuma. This is a mercurial bouquet that keeps changing in the glass, revealing smoky/burning ember scents with time. The palate is quite magnificent – perfectly balanced with a killer thread of acidity slicing through such pure intense black fruit that there is no heaviness at all. There is a sense of thrust on the finish as it fans out with almost careless abandon, a Vintage Port so self-assured that you can only sit back in amazement. Simply one of the best Dow’s ever made.

-Vinous 98 Points



 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 98 Wine Spectator: 98
Quinta do Vesuvio Single Quinta Vintage Port 2017

Quinta do Vesuvio Single Quinta Vintage Port is made from 33% Touriga Nacional, 35% Touriga Franca, 15% Sousão, 12% Alicante Bouschet, 5% Other.

This is a powerful, attention-grabbing wine, with taut muscularity. It offers magnificent aromas of rockrose, mint and hints of ginger. The substantial palate is full with expressive black fruit notes lifted by peppery schist tannins (the seasoning provided by the Sousão). The long, lingering aftertaste indicates impressive ageing potential.

Review:

This offers of a lovely mix of raspberry, black currant, plum and fig pâte de fruit notes, which stretch out slowly over a ramrod straight graphite spine. Bramble, anise and apple wood details are tucked in neatly on the finish, giving this a compact feel for now, but everything is in place for a long, steady maturation in the cellar. Shows a pleasant, dry edge to the finish. Best from 2035 through 2055.

-Wine Spectator 96 Points

The 2017 Vintage Port is a blend of 33% Touriga Nacional, 35% Touriga Franca, 15% Sousão and 12% Alicante Bouschet, plus miscellaneous others filling out the blend. This was bottled about a month before tasting after 18 months in seasoned vats, but the just-bottled sample was not really ready. This was instead a pre-bottling sample. It comes in with 115 grams of residual sugar.

- Wine Advocate 99 Points

 Wine Advocate: 99 Wine Spectator: 96
W & J Graham's Vintage Port 2017

W & J Graham's Vintage Port 2017 is made from  35% Touriga Nacional, 47% Touriga Franca and various others.

The 2017 wines were the result of an advanced growing cycle which led to the earliest harvest ever recorded in our family’s 137-year history as winemakers and port producers. Warmer, drier conditions than usual resulted in small, compact bunches of grapes in excellent condition, with yields amongst the lowest of the century so far, 20% below the 10-year average. Despite the harvest beginning in August, the maturations were perfectly balanced, resulting in wines characterized by extraordinary intensity, concentration and structure, combined with stunning aromas and freshness.


Review:

Deep dark ruby ​​garnet, opaque core, violet reflections, delicate brightening of the edges. Fresh black wild berry jam, dark heart cherries, fresh orange zest, fine slate spice, very puristic, young bouquet. Complex, juicy, fully ripe cherries, fine, sustaining tannins, delicate nougat, mineral and adhesive, has elegance and length, a top-class wine.

-Falstaff 100 Points

 100 Points
Romariz Vintage Port 2017

Romariz Vintage Port is made from Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca

Deep inky purple color. Intricate nose with aromas of blackberries and logan berries, subtle hints of amber and spring blossom and delicate spice. A tight, well-formed palate with an abundance of dark berry fruit, rich chocolate and liquorice, culminating in a long finish. Firm, closely woven tannins that give the wine great structure and body. An elegant finely constituted Vintage Port which will drink beautifully now or age quietly in the cellar.

A vintage port is made from blended grapes, all from the same vintage year. Vintage ports are historically only declared every 3 out of 10 years. Romariz vintage ports age for up to two years in oak, then go unfiltered into the bottle for further aging.

Romariz Vintage Port  (magnum) 2003

Flowering in the Duoro occurred in the last 10 days of May. The weather conditions provided for a perfect flowering season. The Romariz Vintage Port 2003 yielded wines of great color and supple tannins, with a vintage stamp being evident in most wines. Production: 8,000 cases. "Another bright and fruity young Vintage Port with plum, grape and blackberry aromas with just a hint of stems. Serious nose here. Full-bodied, with soft, round tannins and a long, caressing finish. A beauty."
- J.S., Wine Spectator, 89-91 pts

"Bright dark ruby. Deep, perfumed aromas of cassis, licorice, violet and minerals. Lush and high-toned in the mouth but with very good vinosity and spine. Lovely fruit-driven flavors of black cherry, blackberry and dark chocolate. Little sign of the roasted side of 2003. Not hugely concentrated but suave, supple, minerally and sweet. Finishes with ripe tannins and very good spicy persistence. A very good showing. Accessible already but balanced for medium-term aging."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, 89 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 89 Wine Spectator: 91
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