Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 2017 releases
Like Niepoort, Ramos Pinto declared 2015 (my review here) and not 2016 Vintage Port, so the release of Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 2017 doesn’t herald a back-to-back vintage. The exceptional quality just wasn’t quite there, said port winemaker Ana Rosas (pictured), when we spoke at The New Douro Primeiro Prova tasting in June. However, such was the quality in 2017 that, for only the third time in its history, Ramos Pinto declared both a classic (multi-quinta Vintage Port) and Quinta de Ervamoira Single Quinta Vintage Port in 2017.
Incidentally, Ana Rosas will be presenting a masterclass about the blending of Vintage Port at a comprehensive Vintage Port 2017 tasting organised by Axel Probst of The World of Port in Germany on 29 November. Click here for details of this tasting, which caters to both trade and consumers. Closer to home, my second, very comprehensive tasting of 2017 Vintage Ports was hosted in London by the Port Forum who warmly welcome new members.
Below, you’ll find my notes on two 2017 Vintage Ports from Ramos Pinto. As usual, I kick off with the producer’s report on the vintage, followed by a technical note about the winemaking.
Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 2017 – the year
“2017 was a hot and dry year, with harvest one of the earliest harvests on record. Picking started simultaneously in both Quinta de Ervamoira and Bom Retiro (which are usually weeks apart) and grapes arrived in perfect condition. The concentration coupled with the high sugar levels have produced Ports with great colour and concentration. Ana Rosas, Master Blender at Ramos Pinto, described the 2017 vintage as offering ‘extraordinary wines; concentrated, very aromatic and fresh’.
The decision to release a Vintage Port always starts in vineyards with the quality of the fruit not in the winemaking. In 2017, the vineyards gave us fantastic quality both in Quinta de Ervamoira and Bom Retiro.
Jorge Rosas, CEO of Ramos Pinto, has said 2017 is ‘an exceptional year – the 2017s are without a doubt up there with our best vintages. We always listen to the vines and what they tell us, that has always been the Ramos way, and in 2017 we had fantastic quality in the vineyards.’”
Both ports were fermented in granite lagares with intense crushing and no de-stemming. Fermentation lasts between 4 and 5 days, producing an excellent extract.
Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 2017 is a blend of Touriga Nacional (70%), Touriga Franca (15%), Sousão (10%) and old field blend grapes (5%). The technical analysis is as follows: Alcohol: 19.5% vol., Total acidity: 4.7 g/l, pH 3.7, Degrees Baumé 3.3, Reducing sugars 94 g/l.
Ramos Pinto Quinta de Ervamoira Vintage Port 2017 is a blend of Touriga Nacional (60%), Touriga Franca (15%), Sousão (10%), Tinta Barroca (10%) and Tinto Cão (5%). The technical analysis is as follows: Alcohol: 19.5% vol., Total acidity: 4.6 g/l, pH 3.7, Degrees Baumé: 3.2, Reducing sugars: 98 g/l.
Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 2017 – tasting notes
Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 2017
An enticing, spicy, complex nose with cedar, Early Grey, blood plum, black currant, berry and cherry, which notes follow through on a robustly structured, concentrated palate. Persistent acidity makes for emphatic, well-defined black fruit. Black olive, liquorice and dried herb notes lend savoury nuance. Prodigious, like the fruit, fine, graphite tannins are interwoven, rising to lend a touch of grip on the very long finish. Very good. I’m sure it will have a very long and distinguished life ahead.
Ramos Pinto Quinta de Ervamoira Vintage Port 2017
More open knit, with rich and ebullient cassis and blackcurrant fruit. There’s a touch of bake, but enough juicy flesh to oil the wheels! Liquorice, esteva and clove chime in, the liquorice especially pronounced on the second tasting. Sturdy tannins – very Douro Superior and, I’m sure, reflective of the early year – maintain the frame, which is a little four square compared with the classic Vintage Port.
Other Vintage Port 2017 reports
Click here for my report on Symington Family Estate’s 2017 Vintage Ports.
Click here for my report on The Fladgate Partnership’s 2017 Vintage Ports.
Click here for my report on Niepoort 2017 Vintage Port.