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Cockburn's Vintage Port 2016

Port from Douro, Portugal
  • JS99
  • WS96
  • D96
  • WE95
  • RP93
20% ABV
Other Vintages
  • D96
  • WS92
  • JS98
  • WS97
  • RP96
  • W&S95
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • WS95
  • RP91
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • W&S90
  • WS97
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20% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Opulent wild blackberries, fragrance of violets, scents of flowers and wild herbs, rockrose, mint, hints of spice, bottled in their time capsule and left to mull over for years. The finish is long and persistent. It never really finishes, in fact, because just as it starts to, you’ll take another sip.

Vintage Port needs to lie down during its years of slumber after it has been bottled. Keep it in a cool, dark, dry place, where it can rest in peace. At about 15 to 20 years old Vintage Port will start to show the characteristics of slow aging in the bottle and it will taste really exceptional. By then it will have gained silky elegance and complexity. But you can enjoy it earlier, if you prefer a more intense, fruity experience. It will go on for many years after that too.

Vintage Port should be served in generous wine glasses, not the small thimble-like glasses in which most of the aromas and flavours are lost. Fine white wine glasses would do the trick, for example, or indeed specific Port glasses from Riedel. Serve it slightly cooler than average room temperature, but not chilled. It will stay at its peak for a few days once decanted, just like any other great red wine.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 99
James Suckling
This shows fantastic graphite and dark-berry character with black-stone undertones and hints of dried roses. Full-bodied and very tight and precise. Good kick in the end. Love the polished tannins, which are totally folded into the wine. Reminds me of the 1947 Cockburn. Try in 2024.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
This is quite primal, with lush plum, blackberry and açai berry reduction rolling through, pushed by warm licorice and Black Forest cake notes. A substantial bass line thumps on the finish, showing plenty of sparkly spice and incense details hitting the top range. Best from 2030 through 2050.
D 96
Decanter
A Douro Superior blend of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca supported by Sousão and Alicante Bouschet. Relatively closed and restrained on the nose but with an underlying ripeness with intense dark cassis backed by powerful yet fine-grained tannins, big and broad on the finish. This is a wine for the long haul and excellent value – Cockburn is truly back on form. Total production of 2,450 cases.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
The wine has structure, swathes of juicy fruit and acidity along with fine tannins. It is certainly balanced with deliciously luscious fruit, and a rich texture that is suggesting good aging potential. Drink from 2028.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Vintage Port, bottled in May 2018, is a blend of 62% Touriga Nacional, 21% Touriga Franca and small portions of Sousão and Alicante Bouschet. It comes in with 106 grams of residual sugar. Fairly intense and even tighter than Graham's, this might be somewhat approachable in a few years, but it really needs to open up. It will require more time than the wines like Warre's and Smith Woodhouse in the Symington stable. Beautifully wrought, this looks like an impressive Cockburn's, more balanced and fresher than the stolid and jammy 2015 yet still with fine concentration to go with the freshness.
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Cockburn's

Cockburn's

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Cockburn's, Douro, Portugal
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Cockburn's (Coh-burns) was founded in 1815 and has grown to become one of the world's great port houses. Makers of a complete line of fine ports, including Cockburn's Special Reserve - the world's most popular premium port -Cockburn's is known worldwide for its mature, less sweet wine style.

What sets Cockburn's apart from all other port houses is a rigorous quality control standard exercised on all aspects of production. Being the largest vineyard owner in the Port district also gives Cockburn's significant access to stocks of aged wines for its many fine blends.

Cockburn's family of ports includes Special Reserve, Vintage Port, Anno (Late Bottled Vintage) and Quinta dos Canais (Single Quinta Vintage), Fine Ruby, Fine Tawny, and 10- and 20-year-old Tawnies.

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The home of Port—perhaps the most internationally acclaimed beverage—the Douro region of Portugal is one of the world’s oldest delimited wine regions, established in 1756. The vineyards of the Douro, set on the slopes surrounding the Douro River (known as the Duero in Spain), are incredibly steep, necessitating the use of terracing and thus, manual vineyard management as well as harvesting. The Douro's best sites, rare outcroppings of Cambrian schist, are reserved for vineyards that yield high quality Port.

While more than 100 indigenous varieties are approved for wine production in the Douro, there are five primary grapes that make up most Port and the region's excellent, though less known, red table wines. Touriga Nacional is the finest of these, prized for its deep color, tannins and floral aromatics. Tinta Roriz (Spain's Tempranillo) adds bright acidity and red fruit flavors. Touriga Franca shows great persistence of fruit and Tinta Barroca helps round out the blend with its supple texture. Tinta Cão, a fine but low-yielding variety, is now rarely planted but still highly valued for its ability to produce excellent, complex wines.

White wines, generally crisp, mineral-driven blends of Arinto, Viosinho, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina and an assortment of other rare but local varieties, are produced in small quantities but worth noting.

With hot summers and cool, wet winters, the Duoro has a maritime climate.

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Blended from the most important red grapes of the Douro Valley, Port is the famous fortified wine from Portugal. It is based on the Touriga Nacional grape with over 80 other varieties approved for use in the blend. However, typically about four other varieties play a major role: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Touriga Francesa. Other wine regions of the world can produce fortified wine of a similar style from the same grapes or other grapes.

There are numerous styles of Port: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, LBV, White, Colheita, and a few unusual others.

Ruby ports usually pack the most value and are ready to drink once bottled. Typical characteristics are ripe cherry and blackberry flavors with stewed plums, cocoa and dates.

Tawny ports are “tawny” in color and have flavors of toffee, caramel, toasted pecans, vanilla, dried apricot, citrus peel, green figs and roasted espresso. The age designation on a Tawny Port indicates the average vintage age of the grapes in the bottle. These are not intended to be aged once bottled.

When Port is made with high quality grapes selected from a single notable vintage, it is called Vintage Port. Some of the best recent vintages are 2016, 2011, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1997 and 1994. Vintage Ports are complex and full-bodied with many flavors possible: concentrated blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and spice, smoke, coffee and chocolate. Vintage ports tend to improve in the bottle up to approximately 30 years from the vintage.

LBV Port comes from a single-vintage Ruby Port and may spend six years in the barrel before being bottled. These are ready to drink upon release. Serve most Ports slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.

SWS915868_2016 Item# 510319