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This deep purple-black wine has complex, seductive aromas with the archetypal Croft opulence along with impressive depth, background and aromatic reserves. Rich, powerful fruitiness is the backdrop for heady scents of blossom and rock rose. Luscious, ripe berry flavors are accompanied by a velvety texture underpinned by taut, muscular, perfectly-integrated tannins, which provide stamina, an attractive firmness, and vigor to the finish. More virile and structured than some recent Croft Vintage Ports, 2011 displays all the rich, ripe fruitiness and exotically scented character associated with the Croft house style.
Quinta da Roêda forms the backbone of the Croft Vintage Porto, produced only in years when vineyard conditions are optimal and warrant a “declared vintage.” Wines from Quinta da Roêda are characteristically plump, full and vigorously fruity, with the hallmark aroma of the gum cistus bush—a character that informs the Croft house style. The grapes are trod by foot in granite lagares to minimize the release of harsh, bitter compounds from skins and seeds, and the wine spends two years aging in vat before bottling. Croft Vintage Porto will continue to develop in the bottle and may be cellared for decades before opening.
The winter was cold and wet. At Croft’s Quinta da Roêda, 496mm of rain fell from November 1-March 31, compared to the 30-year average of 358mm. The rain proved very beneficial, replenishing depleted ground water and allowing a balanced ripening of the grapes over the hot, dry summer that followed. Budbreak occurred as usual, near the end of the third week of March, and wet, relatively warm conditions in April encouraged vigorous growth. From early May, conditions remained dry for most of the summer. Only 12mm of rain fell at Roêda in May, June and July, compared to the 30-year average of 105mm. In spite of arid conditions, vines were able to draw water from ground reserves, providing ideal conditions for balanced ripening of the grapes. Hot, dry weather in August was broken at the ideal moment by two spells of rain, on August 21 and September 1, which rounded off the ripening season and produced a balanced, mature crop.
2011 Vintage Port Declaration: All of the major port houses have now declared the 2011 vintage as being of exceptional quality. For many shippers this is the first declaration since 2007. The avalanche of declarations started with Sogrape, owners of Sandeman and Ferriera. This has been followed by Symington, the company that owns Dows, Graham Warre and Cockburn and Taylor Fladgate owners of the Fonseca and Taylors brands