Text Christer Byklum, photo Symington's and Christer Byklum
How fun to have two wines with 20 years between them, I will taste and write about the same two vintages of Quinta do Vesuvio shortly. Today, Dow’s single quinta, Senhora da Ribeira. It is strange, in today’s world were terroir has become the number one selling point of fine wine, that some people still regard a vintage port finer than the single quinta vintage ports. Yes, they are blends of all the best grapes, at least that is the idea, yet areas like Barolo and Barbaresco are splitting up old blends and have made single vineyard or single commune wines on a different scale the last decades as they feel terroir shows more.
I actually tend to find the same with single quinta vintage port. Maybe some of them lack some of the power and brute force, but as a keen driver, I hat power is not all. Handling and brakes are maybe even more important, but many details make a car. And many details make a wine. And I tend to find that single quinta’s show terroir and details a bit more and sometimes quite a bit more than some vintage ports. I will be opening Vesuvio and taste them side by side the two below, and also follow them over a few days as I actually tend to find a day of air (standing cool, with a cork in a fridge) tend to open younger ports up quite a bit. I know, some say you need to drink these quickly, but I actually tasted a quite impressive 2011 Vintage bottle that had been opened in November just the other day, top fruit gone, but what a remarkable texture and structure still.
Only 25 hectares of vineyards out of 43,5 hectares for the entire estate, means our Lady of the river, and has been in the family since 1912. Predominantly south-east and east facing and 105 to 420 meters of altitude. Souzao and Alicante Bouchet co-fermented for the first time in the 2018. But also only a smaller part of the blend. This property is just across the river more or less from Quinta do Vesuvio. The 2014 is 45% Touriga Franca, 40 Touriga Nacional, 15% co fermented Alicante Bouchet and Souzao. They feel you get a better marriage between the varieties if you co-ferment.
2018 Dow’s Quinta Senhora da Ribeira
Kr 699,90, 180 flasker tilgjengelig
Deep ruby. Rich, dark fruity, blueberries and blackberries nose, just dense, intense and impressive. High notes of floral notes and a whiff of mint. A mineral touch beneath, which is similar but at this stage much more subdued than in the 1998 below. Superb nose. Fresh acidity, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, smooth, detailed and intense, beautifully balanced, incredibly smooth, long.94
1998 Dow’s Quinta Senhora da Ribeira
Ruby, garnet rim. Scented, dark fruits, staring dates, anise, floral notes behind, detailed nose, intense. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruits, anise, spices, rich and intense, playful, a touch of granite minerals behind, lovely balance, rounded and smooth with two hours of air, long. 94
Below, link to a short video from the beautiful estate with additional info. And take a look. Few places can match Douro in beauty!
Big thank you to Symington's and the Norwegian importer to set up a tasting and shipping out samples with a great video conference like this during these Covid-19 times.