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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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Review:


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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.

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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.

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- Wine Advocate 99 Points

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

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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.

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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

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"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
Romariz Vintage Port 2011

The winter preceding the 2011 harvest was wetter and colder than the 30-year average. Budburst occurred as usual around 19th March and warm weather and rainfall in April produced vigorous growth. At the beginning of May dry conditions set in and there was little rainfall in eastern areas of the Douro Valley until late August. However the vines were able to draw from the plentiful ground water reserves built up early in the year and bunches developed and ripened in ideal conditions. Véraison (coloring of the grapes) occurred a little earlier than usual on 15th June.
Mild weather in June and July was broken only by a heat wave in the second half of June. August was hot and dry, with perfectly timed rainfall on 21st August and 1st September rounding off an excellent ripening season and producing a well-balanced crop. Picking started in mid September in the Cima Corgo area of the Douro Valley. Fermentations were long, allowing balanced and complete extraction, and musts displayed intense color and powerful fruit character from the outset.


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.

W & J Graham's Vintage Port 2016 (half-bottle)

W & J Graham's Vintage Port 2016 is made from 37% Touriga Nacional, 42% Touriga Franca and various others.

Like most parts of the world, the Douro has not been isolated from the effects of climate change, and unusual weather conditions over recent years have often departed from those typically associated with classic vintage years. Fortunately, in 2016 the stars aligned and the year brought superbly structured and balanced wines, allowing Graham's to announce a full vintage declaration.

The 2016 is a classic expression of the Graham's style: concentrated and opulent with layers of fresh, ripe, black fruit flavors. Aromas of mint and eucalyptus with chocolate notes. The Graham 2016 combines superb complexity, structure and balance.

Reviews:

Extremely complex aromas that show the classic Graham character of black-fruit marmalade and burnt oranges. Follows through to a full body with great grip at the finish. Lightly sweet. Chewy and powerful. Such a focus at the end.

-James Suckling 99 Points

This is lush and captivating in feel, with a velvety flow to the mix of plum, blackberry, boysenberry and açai berry compote flavors. A bold streak of licorice runs through the finish, underscored by a brambly note that imparts balance. A stunning display of fruit. Best from 2030 through 2050.

-Wine Spectator 98 Points 

Super-ripe with an expressive plum and dark chocolate aroma. Rich opulence backed by dark chocolate intensity and spicy tannic grip – big and bold on the finish. Voluptuous with fabulous richness, big and bold on the finish. This is one for the long haul but it’s already very impressive.

-Decanter 98 Points

 Wine Spectator: 98 99 Points
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