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Wine Information

Smith Woodhouse is a specialist producer of premium quality Ports. The uniformity of this quality is underpinned by Smith Woodhouse’s own Madalena vineyard from where the wines are largely sourced. This small Quinta (vineyard property) has the highest “A” quality rating and is located in the Rio Torto district, acknowledged as one of the finest Port growing areas. Over the coming years, the recently acquired Quinta do Vale Coelho, further upriver in the Douro Superior, producing full and elegant wines, will gradually form an important component of Smith Woodhouse’s Ports.

A cold year, and wet as well during the first few months. This weather delayed flowering and it continued to be cold throughout the summer. September however, was blazingly hot, and accelerated the development of the grapes. Despite the inauspicious start, great quality and very healthy grapes were picked.
The Vintage began at the end of September under clear skies, and though the sugar readings for the grapes were slightly below the average, it quickly became apparent that outstanding wines were being made.

Vintage Overview
A classic Vintage, concentrated, long-lasting and complex. Declared by all the major Port houses.

Tasting Notes
Rich garnet colour, with tight penetrating aromas of wild fruits and floral hints. On the palate full-bodied and with an excellent tannic structure. A rich and beautifully balanced wine with a long future ahead of it.
Contemporary Family Comments
“A very hot two weeks (35-36o C daily) with little or no wind has had a dramatic effect on the wines: at Bomfim sugar testing on 1st September gave 10.5 - by 8th it had risen to 11.5 and is now over 12. If the hot weather holds, the prospects for a good quality Vintage are much improved.”
Michael Symington, September 1977

Food pairing suggestion and serving
Although it is often stated that Vintage Port’s perfect food pairing is Stilton cheese, Smith Woodhouse 1977 Vintage Port is also delicious on its own or when enjoyed with any type of creamy cheese, such as Camembert or Brie.

Store the bottle horizontally in a dark place with constant temperature, ideally between 12oC and 15oC.

Stand the bottle upright for a short while before you intend to decant (20 to 30 minutes at most). Pull the cork slowly and steadily and leave the bottle for a few minutes. Clean the neck of the bottle. Pour the wine into a clean and rinsed decanter. Once you have started pouring do not stop until you see the very first traces of sediment begin to appear out of the bottle. You may prefer to use a decanting funnel.

Wine Specifications
Alcohol: 20% vol (20oC)
Total acidity: 4.3 g/l tartaric acid Baumé: 2.6

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Vintage 1977

Declared by all the major Port houses, 1977 is a classic vintage. Marked by well structured, balanced wines with strong tannins, the wines from 1977 have great elegance and staying power. The best of them have the tannin and structure to age for decades.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Great dark color. Intense aromas of blackberry, stem and earth. Very powerful and youthful nose. Full-bodied and medium-sweet, with lots of milk chocolate, spice and berry character. Layered and balanced. So enjoyable. But just a baby. It is really fantastic. Underrated by many, including me. Drink now through 2020.

  • 96p

Exceptionally concentrated-looking mid crimson with some blue still evident. Big and fruity and alcoholic –California style! A note that is slightly green on the nose. Big and bold and impressive but is all this swagger what vintage port is really about? Tough tannins on the finish. A brute of a wine.

  • 90p

Smith Woodhouse 1977 vintage – black in colour, very closed and unevolved. Dense and tight. After 43 years (May 2020) this port wine hasn’t opened the doors yet and we probably have to wait for 10-15 years more. Fine future awaits. 94p.

  • 94p
This wine has the reputation for being one of the most impressive wines in certainly the best vintage of the 70s. The colour is still full and youthful but the nose slightly lacks the great richness and complexity one hopes for in really top quality vintage port. It is still very sweet though and very attractive. Mature.
  • 93p
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