2017 Dow's Vintage Port Oporto
Winemaker Notes: The 2017 was a very different year to 2016 in terms of the viticultural conditions and it was interesting to watch the progression of the wine and scrutinize its quality as it developed over its first two winters. Whereas 2016 had a very mild winter and exceptionally hot summer, this was compensated by abundant winter and spring rainfall. Conversely, 2017 was warm and dry throughout, although summer temperatures were closer to average, which proved to be a very significant factor allowing for complete, balanced ripening.
It is rare to see such tremendous depth and intensity in color as this winedisplays. The freshness of the floral aromas is very attractive with a dominance of rockrose, a flower that grows wild around the hills of Senhorada Ribeira. On the palate, it is exceptionally full-bodied, rich and powerful with black fruit coming to the fore. Gorgeous, ripe fruit is balanced by the fine tannin structure. On the finish, it is typically Dow, austere and somewhat drier than many other ports. The intense fruit flavors linger long on the palate.
James Suckling - "Pure grape aromas that remind me of fermenting must but then goes to stems and dried flowers. Full-bodied, medium sweet with fine-grained tannins that coat your palate. Powerful and muscular yet remains agile and beautiful. Grows on your palate. Wonderful ripe fruit in the middle palate. Try after 2030."
Decanter - "Based on fruit from the predominantly south-facing Quinta do Bomfim in the Cima Corgo and Quinta Senhora da Ribeira in the Douro Superior, with Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca making up 80% of the blend. This is opaque and closed in but powerfully ripe with underlying pure berry fruit. It's seemingly quite introverted compared to some of its peers at this stage, but it's still full, rich and opulent on the palate. It also shows the latent power of the vintage, made as it is in a slightly drier style (3.4 Baumé), with lovely minty fruit and full, ripe sinewy tannins all the way through the finish. Long and lithe, and very fine. Drinking Window 2035 - 2060"
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - "The 2017 Vintage Port, bottled in May for release in the third quarter of 2019, is mostly a 42/38 blend of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca with old vines and miscellaneous others (including about 8% Alicante Bouschet) for the rest. It was bottled about a month before this tasting after 18 months in seasoned vats, but the just-bottled sample was not actually used for fear it might be in shock. This, accordingly, was actually a pre-bottling sample. It comes in with 106 grams of residual sugar. Rating: 94-96"
Wine Enthusiast - "This is a dry while also floral wine, perfumed and enticing with its juicy acidity. At the same time, the structure is very present, showing power and dark black fruits. The balance is coming together with the rich fruits and tannins melding into one. Drink from 2028."
Wine Spectator - "A dense, thickly textured version, dripping with warm salted licorice, tar and açaí paste notes, while plum and blueberry pâte de fruit, chai spice and chocolate elements fill in behind. Lots of brambly grip flows underneath. Shows a very sappy feel on the finish. Best from 2035 through 2055."
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