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Portugal enthusiastic about vintage 2017 Port

“The best vintage port ever.”

This eye-catching headline featured on an invitation to taste 2017 vintage ports from 26 producers in Portugal’s Douro Valley in June. It’s a very strong statement that’s supported by some pretty passionate prose from several leading port makers.

Charles Symington of Symington Family Estates (Dow’s, Graham’s, Warre’s, Cockburn’s & more) enthused,

“In my 25 years as a winemaker in our family vineyards, I have never seen a year like 2017. The yields were extremely low, but the concentration and structure took my breath away. We have made some really remarkable wines.

“The fact that 2017 has been declared as a vintage year directly following 2016 (vintage as well), is a very rare occurrence, and only serves to underscore the magnificent quality of the Ports.

This is the very first time ever that they have made a back-to-back general declaration since Andrew James Symington arrived in Oporto in 1882.

“2017 is clearly an exceptional year, which I believe will be remembered as one of the historic vintage Port declarations of Quinta do Noval.” Said Christian Seely of Quinta do Noval.

Even before harvesting, the grapes of this vintage looked perfect. It is a wine that will age forever.” Said Dirk Niepoort.

The harvest of the DOC wines took place in August, which is one of the earliest in the history of the Douro. Grape yields were down twenty per cent compared to the ten-year average. The wines are characterised by an exuberant ripeness, with remarkable aromatic intensity, profound fruit and strong velvety tannins. The Douro producers are comparing 2017 with the legendary 1945 vintage because of the similarities of its rainfall and temperature patterns to those of the vegetation cycle in 1945.

Sadly I am unable to attend the tasting, but I might just buy a few bottles when they are available in New Zealand, probably later this year.

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