First taste: Sandeman Quinta do Seixo Vintage Port 2013
Can’t teach an old dogs new tricks? Sandeman, the Port producer, begs to differ. It has released two all-new Ports in celebration of this year’s 225th anniversary. First, a single cask Tawny Port, Sandeman Cask 33 Very Old Tawny Port. Now, its first Single Quinta Vintage Port from Quinta do Seixo. It is only the second Single Quinta Vintage Port in the company’s history (the first was Sandeman Quinta do Vau Single Quinta Vintage Port 1988).
I visited Quinta do Seixo with Chief Winemaker Luís Sottomayor last year. Situated in a prime location on the south bank of the Douro in the Cima Corgo, Seixo is the source of the best grapes for Sandeman’s Ports. This Port is made from the best grapes from 2013, a year which has not been generally declared because it was a tricky one. That said, I’m enjoying the freshness of 2013 samples which have come my way, including Fonseca Guimaraens Vintage Port 2013 which I reviewed in May, Quinta do Vesuvio, Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira and Quinta do Noval (reviews to follow).
For Sottomayor “[A]lthough 2013 was a cold and rainy year in the Douro, the truth is that these grapes showed great maturation, and more importantly, the wine has shown a wonderful evolution, motivating us to make this second only single quinta in Sandeman’s history.” Here’s my tasting note:
Sandeman Quinta do Seixo Vintage Port 2013 (cask sample)
Around 30% of the fruit is sourced from 100 year old field blend vines, the balance (29% Touriga Nacional, 24% Touriga Franca, 15% Sousão and 5% Tinta Francisca) from vines averaging 50 years old. It was foot trodden in traditional granite lagares. An attractive, youthfully bright, deep crimson hue it has a marked fragrance of violets and rock rose with a hint of mint and schistous/mineral undertones. In the mouth it reveals lashings of pippy red and black raspberry fruit with fleshier plum, even a touch of kirsch and dark chocolate. Lovely juiciness balances and extends the palate going through. Fine grained, sucrous tannins have a touch of grip on a fresh, tapering finish. Residual sugar: 103g/l , 20.5% abv, UK RRP £30.