First taste: Wine & Soul Pintas Vintage Port 2018
Always keenly anticipated, I was thrilled to catch up with this new 2018 iteration of an old friend from just before the holidays. Made by Portuguese power couple Sandra Tavares and Jorge Serôdio Borges of Wine & Soul, Borges described Pintas Vintage Port 2017 as, “definitely the best vintage we ever made,” when I visited last year.
How does Pintas Vintage Port 2018 compare? I though that the 2017 Vintage Port had lovely freshness – you can find my review here, together with details about Pintas vineyard. In Pintas 2018 Vintage Port, I find the freshness to be even more pronounced, which is wholly consistent with my other 2018 Vintage Port reviews (links to each review below).
I think of Pintas Vintage Port as muscular and full-bodied, but in 2018 it has an elegance about it, great precision. As ever, it has Pintas’ fabulous purity and depth of fruit – qualities which always elevate this Vintage Port, together with the tannin quality.
To my mind, Wine & Soul Pintas Vintage Port is the most consistent and consistently thrilling of the Douro’s contemporary, new wave single estate Vintage Ports.
Wine & Soul 2018 Vintage Report
The 2018 viticultural cycle had a challenging start with a rainy spring but was followed by a warm summer and as the harvest drew nearer, the conditions for making outstanding wines were there, with the combination of intense summer heat and abundant ground water. We had excellent phenolic maturity with elegance and fresh acidity that we normally associate with cooler years. All the ripeness cycle was delayed and longer than usual but the wines are impressive, with beautiful tannins, with depth of aroma multi-layered fruit, elegant with great concentration. And in our wines this freshness and vibrant fruit is very evident combined with great structure and texture.
My tasting note – Wine & Soul Pintas Vintage Port 2018
Purple and lustrous – the hue of shiny blackcurrants – with great depth (opacity) of colour and a very narrow bright pink rim. Tight knit to the nose on day one though, on days two and three, it reveals pronounced violets. In the mouth, the freshness, biting almost, fair takes your breath away. With a long, precise javelin throw to the attack, its sweet scented blackcurrant and blackberry fruit barely lands. Rather, the fruit is buoyed along – kept in suspense – by grapefruity, mineral acidity. Hints of Earl Grey tea, smoke and crystallised stem ginger flash by. Spicy liquorice and the fine, sooty underlay of mineral tannins build on the finish. Terrific purity and intensity fruit, energy (freshness) and structure – surely the springboard for a long life ahead. Deeply impressive, Pintas Vintage Port hails from the Pintas vineyard’s 88-year-old field blend vines in the Vale de Mendiz, Pinhão Valley. It has 96g/l residual and 20% alcohol by volume. In this low-yielding vintage, I understand that only 2,000 bottles were produced – half the production of 2017. Wine & Soul Ports & Douro DOC wines are imported into the UK by Corney & Barrow.