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First taste: Offley Vintage Port 2018 & Ferreira Vintage Port 2018

Quinta do Caêdo

Quinta do Caêdo

Head winemaker Luís Sottomayor has described 2018 as “one of the best, if not the best, vintage years I have witnessed.” Following up on my earlier review of Sandeman vintage Port 2018 – one of my Vintage Port 2018 highlights – here are my notes on Sogrape’s other 2018 Vintage Ports – Offley Vintage Port 2018 and  Ferreira Vintage Port 2018.  

Liberty Wines imports Offley and Ferreira Ports.

Offley Vintage Port 2018

Offley Vintage Port 2018

Sogrape Vintage Report 2018

Cold and dry winter. Extremely rainy spring, which allowed the replenishment of water reserves in the soil but affected flowering and contributed to an abnormal incidence of vine diseases, resulting in considerably lower yields.

Despite the hot and dry summer, the humidity levels in the soils provided a long and balanced end to maturation, allowing the production of wines of excellent quality.

Sourcing

Offley Vintage Port 2018 is a blend of 55% Touriga Nacional, 35% Touriga Franca, 10% Tinta Roriz.

Winemaking

The grapes were hand-picked and underwent stalk-removal and crushing before fermentation, under controlled temperature, with skin maceration in order to extract the best components.

The wines were transported to Vila Nova de Gaia in the spring following harvest. Stored in used oak vats, the wines underwent a short maturation period prior to blending.  The port was bottled in the 2nd year after harvest.  13,333 bottles produced.

My tasting note

A very inky, deep hue, with peppery grunt to nose and palate.  Bergamot and orange blossom notes lend an exotic twist to its ripe, sweet, dense raspberry and black cherry fruit, nicely balanced by a bitter chocolate, liquorice and black pepper, a hint of earth and a fretwork of mineral tannins.  The dark, brooding finish reveals grippy, touch velcro tannins to the finish.  Expressive, but well-structured too.  An impressive release of Offley. 20%; residual sugar 102g/l, TA 4.8g/l, pH 3.6.  £325/case of 6 inc Duty, VAT & delivery at Vintage Wine & Port

Ferreira Vintage Port 2018

Ferreira Vintage Port 2018

Sogrape Vintage Report 2018

Cold and dry winter. Extremely rainy spring, which allowed the replenishment of water reserves in the soil but affected flowering and contributed to an abnormal incidence of vine diseases, resulting in considerably lower yields.

Despite the hot and dry summer, the humidity levels in the soils provided a long and balanced end to maturation, allowing the production of wines of excellent quality.

Sourcing

Grapes were sourced from the best plots at the Quinta do Caêdo and other Sogrape Douro estates.  The blend comprises 45% Touriga Franca, 40% Touriga Nacional, 10% Vinhas Velhas, 5% Sousão.

Winemaking

The are grapes were fermented at Quinta do Seixo winery in granite lagares, with foot and robotic treading.

The wines were transported to the Ferreira traditional cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia in the spring following harvest. Stored in used oak vats, the wines underwent a short maturation period prior to blending.  The port was bottled in the 2nd year after harvest.  19,333 bottles produced.

My tasting note

Raw, spiritous, spicy and dense, with graphite tannins and firm acidity, this (sample) came across as quite old school, gruff and bluff, quite blocky, the fruit yet to come out to play, although there are flashes of sweet raspberry, blackcurrant and damson, with lashings of liquorice, black pepper and bitter chocolate.  Primordial from day 1 through day 4.  Luis Sottomayor has described it as very true to the house style –  “defined by elegance and harmony” – so perhaps my sample was going through a dumbed down patch. One to review, but no shortage of structure here!  20% residual sugar 103g/l. TA 4.6g/l, pH 3.7.

Other Vintage Port 2018 Reviews

Ramos Pinto Quinta do Bom Retiro Vintage Port 2018

Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port 2018 and Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira 2018 Vintage Port 

Sandeman Vintage Port 2018

Quinta do Noval 2018

Quinta da Romaneira

Cálem Vintage Port 2018 

Barros Vintage Port 2018

Burmester Quinta do Arnozelo Vintage Port 2018 

Kopke Quinta S. Luiz  Vintage Port 2018

Churchill’s Quinta da Gricha Vintage Port 2018

Pocas Vintage Port 2018

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  1. Paul Metman

    Hi Sarah , thank you very, very much for this post and all previous ones about VP 2018! They are a wonderful read and very helpfull to get an opinion about this Vintage Port year. Can we expect more reviews about 2018 VP? Very curious about Pintas VP ’18 and Quinta do Vale Meão VP ’18.

    • Sarah Ahmed

      Hi Paul, thanks for the feedback. I’m not travelling so more limited tasting opportunities than usual – especially for the smaller players/quintas. If I receive samples, I’ll write them up. V best Sarah


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