Romariz Vintage Port is made from Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto CÃ£o, 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.
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
"Opaque ruby. A complex, beautifully structured wine from Europe’s hot summer of 2003. Lively spicy, toasted aromas and a ripe and generous palate with layers of rich, dense flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, tobacco, spice box and a hint of marmalade. Finishes dry and long with still firm tannins. A delicious Port that should be paired with Roquefort and other blue cheeses."
- International Wine Review (Succulent Sweet Wines for the Holidays: The Best of 2018), 92 pts
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.
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
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.
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
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.”
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.
Romariz Late Bottle Vintage Port has been aged aged in oak for 5 years. Fruity and suave aromas. A delicate softness and goes particularly well with nuts, almonds and cheese.
Powerful aromas of plum, licorice, ripe cherry, spices and chocolate. Full, juicy and velvety in the mouth, a good texture and intense finish.
Late bottled vintage (LBV) ports are made from grapes of a single vintage, aged 4-6 years in oak before bottling & release.
The Romariz Port Estate
The port house of Romariz was founded in 1850 by Manoel (Manuel) da Rocha Romariz. Manoel was a descendant from a well known Oporto family.
Over the years, Romariz developed business dealings in Brazil and other Portuguese Colonies (Africa and China), and to a lesser extent England. Historically, Romariz was known for wood ports, like Colheitas (single vintage Tawnies) and in top years vintage ports.
In 1966, the Romariz family sold their brand and business to Guimaraens & Co. (who own Fonsecca) and the business continued on. Some years passed by and eventually Fonsecca and Taylor’s joined forces. Today, Fonsecca, Talyor and Romariz share the same winemaker and facility in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Today, Romariz offers a wide range of Ports: wood, vintage, LBV’s and Colheitas. Their main markets are Portugal, Denmark and France. All grapes come from region #2, Cima Corgo, the heart of the best growing area along the Douro River. Romariz being a “Portuguese” port firm, adheres to a rich warm style of port wines.
Busi Chianti Rufina Riserva is made from 100% Sangiovese
Vineyards: Travignoli, a name which literally means “Tra Vignoli” (between the vineyards) is located in the middle of Frescobaldi’s Nipozzano vineyard in the heart of the Rufina zone. There is documented evidence that wine was first produced there in the 5th C BC by the Etruscans who called it “Nectar of the Gods”. The Church acquired the land and constructed the cellars in 1100.
Count Busi and his family acquired the estate in the 1800’s. Overall, 91
hectares belong to the estate. The 60 hectares of vineyards are excellently
position on the slopes with a southerly exposure at an elevation between 270 to 370 meters. Clay, marl and calcareous soil with a large percentage of rocks and stones for good drainage. Vines are an average of 10–25 years old.
Harvest: October– by hand.
Yield per hectare: 40 Quintals per hectare
Vinification: Fermentation in stainless steel at controlled temperatures for 7 to 8 days with an additional 7 to 8 days on the skins. The wine is then racked and goes through malolactic. It is then racked again and stays another 3 months in stainless steel.
Aging: 25 to 30 hectoliter barrels of Slavonian oak for 18 months and 3 months in Allier barriques. There is a period of refinement of 4 to 5 months in the bottle.
Alcohol: 13% by vol.
Color: Ruby red with garnet reflections.
Bouquet: Intense, ethereal bouquet with hints of leather, tar and ripe cherry fruit.
Taste: The flavor is full of mature fruit with nuances of leather and liquorice. The taste is complex and round and rich with character. The finish is persistent and satisfying.
Foods: Grilled, braised or roasted meats, dishes flavored with mushrooms, or rosemary. Excellent with polenta dishes.
Total Production: 3,300 cases
Enologist: Mauro Orsoni
Ornato Prosecco is made from 100 percent Glera.
Typical crisp and delicate perlage. Pale yellow color. Delicate and fragrant bouquet, with fruity notes of banana and apple and notes of acacia flowers. Fresh and light on the palate with balanced acidity and body harmony with a pleasant dry aftertaste.
Grapes are accurately selected both for area of origin and quality. The soft pressed must is stored in steel tanks for the static cold decanting. The fermentation with selected yeasts is made at a controlled constant temperature and is completed in 8-10 days. The wine is then filtered in steel tanks with the addition of saccharose and selected yeasts for the second fermentation (Martinotti Charmot Method).
Ideal as an aperitif, it is a perfect combination to hors d’oeuvres and delicate first courses.
Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV is aged for minimum 30 months (the minimum for NV is 15 months). This cuvee is made from 100% Chardonnay and is produced from the free run juice only. The current release is the result of the blend of the 2005, the 2006 and the 2007 vintage.
Fresh and delicate, its fine bubbles and wide range of aromas will be perfect as an aperitif. This Champagne will also match very well with seafood and shellfish.
dosage : 8 grams per liter
ageing : 30 months on laths
Even if it doesn't say on the label, 100% of the production is RD (Recently Disgorged)
Total Production for this Cuvée : 1,500 cases (9 liter equivalent) per year
"(L40): Light yellow-gold. Musky pear and peach pit aromas are enlivened by notes of lemon zest and chalk. Weighty but energetic, offering powerful orchard fruit flavors and hints of candied fig and lemon curd. The pear skin quality comes back strong on the clinging finish. This powerful Champagne is definitely better suited for duty at the table than for serving by itself. - Josh Raynolds" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (Dec 2012), 91 pts
- Roger VOSS"
Wine Enthusiast (December 1st 2019), 92 pts
"Golden yellow color. Lively, fruity, toasty leesy aromas of honeyed brioche and apple tart with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, interesting, snappy lemon curd, nougat, and chalk finish with silky, soft, fruit tannins. A classic example of blanc de blanc champagne, delicious."
- Beverage Testing institute , 93 pts
"Spiced with ground anise and ginger accents, this offers notes of poached pear, lemon meringue pie, hazelnut and stony mineral. Very elegant and well-meshed throughout, with a silky finish. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 1,500 cases made. –AN"
- Wine Spectator 92 pts
"This cuvée made from 100% Chardonnay offers a fresh aromatic nose of light toast, dried yellow fruit and nuances of yeast. On the palate it has a creamy mouth feel of toasted nuts and rich autolytic notes. This is a beautiful wine, rich and complex."
International Wine review 92+ pts
"Small grower. Autumn fruits dominate the aromas of this wine, which is blatantly more like a wine than we normally expect a champagne to be. Some may find that unexpected and even off-putting, while others will find it intriguingly delicious."
- Washington Post - EXCELLENT
"Roland Champion is a small family-owned producer, now with the fourth generation, in the village of Chouilly (”shoo-ee”), which has only Grand Cru vineyards. Made from 100 percent chardonnay grapes, this Champagne offers ethereal grace and poise and harmony; if I were fighting a duel tonight, I would ask for this Champagne as my last beverage. The nose here is about the richness of warm biscuits and hazelnuts, dried fruit and spice, like a Platonic, ineffably light fruitcake; in the mouth, however, it’s about a structure that encompasses an incredible marriage of power and elegance, like the delicacy and strength of the finest bone china. And there’s something porcelain-like about this Champagne, in its notable crisp, lively character, its transparency and its slightly chalky, shale-like mineral elements. Forget the Champagnes that come on with heavy toasty, caramel qualities; here, instead, is a wealth of subtlety and nuance touched with a racy, dynamic edge. Exceptional."
Yellow strawâ€colored, medium low intensity. Pungent, delicate and complex, with clear almonds notes and autolysis. The mouth is slightly soft, wityhout being sweet, the palate is round and fat with an excellent structure, volume and character but at the same time, the wine is still very fresh and saline. Long finish for this persistent wine.
As aperitif, while cooking, and accompanying the whole meal with it. It is ideal matching seafood and products of saline flavour and with acidity.
Dark ruby color. Aromas of cherry, currant, vanilla bean and hint of tar. Full-bodied, with flavors of cherries, cocoa powder and oak. A touch of sweetness on entry with a little bit of air with soft tannins that are starting to integrate well.
The latest step in the project is Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) Dioro. The earlier Valsacros were made from a field selection of the older vineyards. Now, thanks to the new facility Amador has been able to build an upmarket version of Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) with a four-stage selection process that includes an initial field selection of the fruit followed by a second table selection as the grapes come into the winery. After fermentation wine from selected tanks is transferred to new French oak barrels for 12-14 months of barrel age. Finally, the best barrels are set aside for Dioro and the remainder used to "upgrade" the normal Vinsacro.
Vinsacro Dioro is a blend of grapes from 100+ year old "vidau" vineyards where many varieties were planted together in the same plot.
Today the grapes are harvested and vinified separately. The final blend depends on the vintage but typically it's Tempranillo (50%), Garnacha (20%) and remaining 30% is a mix of mainly Graciano (10%) & Mazuelo (10%) with a little of Monastrell (5%) & Bobal (5%).
"The top of the range is the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro, a wine that is only produced in excellent vintages. It's a blend of 40% Vidau (the old field blend) plus 45% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo, from a slope in the south of the Monte Yerga called Cuesta la Reina, from a big, 120-hectare plot that has been with the Escudero family for generations. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel with a long maceration. It matured in new French (70%) and American oak barrels for 18 months. It's still very young and a little shy, with a reticent nose where the lactic and spicy aromas are intermixed with earthy and dark fruit aromas. The palate is full-bodied but perfectly balanced, compact, powerful and serious, with abundant tannins, extract and clout. This should develop nicely in bottle, given its stuffing and balance. An excellent, modern version of a classical Rioja. 20,000 bottles were filled in June 2017. - Luis Gutierrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #235, February 2018), 92 pts
"(sourced from a 100+ year old plot of mixed varieties; aged in new and used French oak barrels for 14 months) Deep, bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruits on the expansive, spice- and smoke-accented nose, along with suggestions of vanilla, candied flowers and cola. The oak qualities recede quickly on the palate, which displays sappy, deeply concentrated boysenberry, black raspberry and spicecake flavors that show a suave blend of richness and energy. Supple tannins build steadily on the penetrating finish, which leaves cherry-cola and baking spice notes behind. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2019), 93 pts
"I loved the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro Rioja, and this beauty is 50% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache, 10% each of Mazuelo and Graciano, and the balance Mourvèdre and Bobal, all of which spent 12-14 months in French oak. It boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as smoking good notes of black currants, dried herbs, licorice, and background oak. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, and layered on the palate, with terrific fruit and impeccable balance, I suspect it will shine for over a decade."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 93 pts
Charles Smith K Vintners Powerline Estate Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.
Friendly, approachable and vivacious, yet also dark and mysterious. Black cherry, allspice, black ash, and orange blossom. Thyme and flint with ark fruit, cedar, kelp, black pepper, juniper, crushed rock, and tons of complex floral notes. Fear not, embrace it.
While just bottled a week before this tasting, the 2019 Syrah Powerline Vineyard certainly wasn't showing any worse for it, offering a stunning bouquet of ripe red and black fruits as well as white pepper, sandalwood, tobacco, and new leather. Pure, medium to full-bodied, and vibrant, with supple, polished tannins, this brilliant Syrah is going to keep for 10-12 years, if not longer.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points