First taste: Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira & Quinta do Vesuvio 2010 Single Quinta Vintage Ports

This month the Symington family released Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira and Quinta do Vesuvio Single Quinta Vintage Ports for sale en primeur. Below you’ll find my tasting notes on both from The Big Fortified Tasting. First, here’s the Symington’s summary of the 2010 vintage:

“After three very dry years, the winter of 2009-2010 saw an extraordinary change, with heavy rains of 100 mm or more recorded at Pinhão for each of six months in a row.  The viticultural year progressed well until July and August when we had not one drop of rain.  Temperatures in excess of 35ºC throughout most of August slowed the maturation cycle, as the vines cannot photosynthesise and mature the grapes properly in conditions of continued extreme heat.  As a result the harvest began 5 days later than usual, but was conducted under mostly perfect conditions with a few welcome light showers in early September and only one overnight rainfall in early October.  Paul Symington’s full Harvest Report for 2010 is available on the Graham’s Blog.”

Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira Single Quinta Vintage Port 2010

Deep velvety purple/aubergine with a bright pink rim. And I tend to think of the estate’s ports as rich, dark and velvety. Not this one, or at least not yet. Though initially quite closed, once it opens up, it’s incredibly perfumed on the nose, heady with violets and rock rose. In the mouth, it remains pretty tight, taut and mineral, with well defined fresh red fruits and lifted peppery, floral notes.  Pushes you off for now – great cheekbones though!

Quinta do Vesuvio 2010 Single Quinta Vintage Port

Vesuvio (pictured) is consistently among my pick of the vintage. The 2010 is an extremely inky dark hue, the nose, coolly mineral. In the mouth, it’s positively wedged with minerals, which lend a cool, firm, tensile quality – an iron fist to the velvet glove of wild blackcurrants and lacy floral notes. There’s a hint of bitumen, liquorice and pepper too. Long and layered, with seams on the outside tousled tannins, this is a gloriously powerful, complex and intense wine. Terrific.

The Symingtons will also bottle single quinta vintage ports from Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos, Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim, Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha and Cockburn’s Quinta dos Canais.



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