Wine & Soul Pintas Vintage Port 2017
From the first 2003 vintage, I’ve been consistently impressed with Wine & Soul Pintas Vintage Port. Describing it as “definitely the best vintage we ever made,” when I tasted the 2017 vintage with Jorge Serôdio Borges at the winery, he was at pains to underscore that the philosophy for Vintage Port is the same as for Douro wines. Terroir. And for Wine & Soul’s ruby and red output, that means the Vale de Mendiz in the Pinhão Valley – home to both the Pintas and Manoella vineyards.
This specificity of sourcing (versus classic Vintage Port multi-quinta blends) has, of course, long been a feature of Port shippers’ portfolios in the shape of Single Quinta Vintage Ports. A category developed for excellent, but not outstanding years, which traditionally did not scale the heights of classic (generally declared) Vintage Port. A second wine, if you like, retailing for significantly less and, typically, without the longevity of classic years.
But you only need to look at Quinta do Noval or Quinta Vesuvio to see that, flying solo, single quintas or estates can produce ports that scale the heights and are produced in top years. One comes back to terroir – special sites. A quality which is increasingly recognised as shippers cherry-pick from individual quintas and parcels within quintas to produce their most up-scale Vintage Ports. Take Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port or the Fladgate’s newbie old vine cuvee – Croft Roêda Serikos (the 2017s reviewed here). Or from Graham’s, The Stone Terraces and Quinta do Vesuvio Capela do Vesusvio from the Symingtons (the 2017s reviewed here). And the most expensive and famous of them all, Quinta do Noval Nacional.
So what about Wine & Soul Pintas Vintage Port 2017? Here are my notes, which are based on three tastings in June – the New Douro tasting, a visit with husband and wife winemaking team Borges and Sandra Tavares and, in London, at a Port Forum tasting.
Wine & Soul Pintas Vintage Port 2017 (Porto)
The south-facing Pintas vineyard was planted in around 1930 to over 30 different varieties. This co-fermented field blend port was foot-trodden (whole bunch) in lagares. It spent 19 months in an old port tonel prior to bottling. Pintas Vintage Port 2017 showcases this vineyard’s trademark concentration and purity of black fruits, with rich, velvety Crème de Mure, blackcurrant and wilder bramble and bilberry on a muscular, full-bodied palate. It reveals raspberry, chocolate and lashings of spicy liquorice as it opens up, with stem ginger, cinnamon and subtle esteva hints. In this vintage, I am particularly struck by its tremendous freshness and persistence and thoroughly engaging fine, pithy, dynamic tannin structure, which extend the palate. When I tasted it at the Port Forum tasting (which was dominated by classic multi-quinta blends), it seemed relatively vinous. Yes, port-like in its concentration, but with an athleticism. A litheness over oomph. During my visit with Borge and Tavares, they opened up 2004 and 2005 Pintas Douro wines and a 2004 Pintas Vintage Port, all of which had retained great depth of sculpted fruit – still young! I’d expect Wine & Soul Pintas Vintage Port to age for three decades plus. 4,000 bottles made. 21% £234/case of 6 en primeur at Tanners, £290/case of 6 en primeur at Corney & Barrow
Other Vintage Port 2017 reports
Click here for my report on Symington Family Estate Vintage Port 2017
Click here for my report on The Fladgate Partnership Vintage Port 2017
Click here for my report on Niepoort Vintage Port 2017
Click here for my report on Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2017
Click here for my report on Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 2017
Click here for my report on Churchill’s Vintage Port 2017, with a report of a vertical tasting back to 1982
Click here for my report on Kopke & Burmester Vintage Port 2017
Click here for my report on Quinta do Portal Vintage Port 2017