Ferreira Vintage Port 2016
Ferreira Vintages are unique Port Wines that exalt the highest quality in Port Wine. Produced from carefully selected grapes grown in the Douro Demarcated Region, Ferreira Vintage has a bright intense color with aromas of black fruit, chocolate and balsamic. Its elegant and complex profile combines wonderfully with intense cheeses and chocolate.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A ripe wine that has great fruit as well as tannins, this is rich and perfumed. It has a layer of minerality that brings it close to the tough schist of the Douro. At the same time, the rich fruits are generous. The potential is excellent. Drink from 2029.
The 2016 Vintage Port is a roughly equal blend of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional, coming in with 115 grams of residual sugar. This has the power to equal its siblings (Sandeman and Offley) and perhaps the freshness to equal the Sandeman, but one thing that makes this better is the longer finish. Plus, it has the concentration to match the power. The intensity is terrific, and the bright demeanor is a little overwhelmed just now by the power and focus. Overall, it's a fine group of Ports from Sogrape this issue. I'd pick this of the three, as it seems to have the most upside potential. It should continue to improve in the cellar. Give it some time, notably more than indicated, if you want real harmony and complexity.
For more than 250 years, Ferreira has been synonymous with high-quality Portuguese wine, and known around the world as “the Portuguese brand.” Ferreira was founded in 1751, and under the direction of Dona Antónia Adelaide became the reference point for exceptional ports and Douro wines. Today, Ferreira continues to be a global market leader, and the symbol of a country and a culture.
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.
Blended from the most important red grapes of the Douro Valley, Port is based on Touriga Nacional with over 80 other varieties approved for use. However, typically only four other varieties play a major role: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Touriga Franca. Other wine regions of the world can produce fortified wine of a similar style from the same grapes or other grapes.
Tasting Notes for Port
Port is a sweet, fortified wine with numerous styles: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, Late Bottled 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 indicates the average age of the grapes in the bottle. These are not intended for age 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 Port is complex 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 3-6 years after release. Serve most Ports slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.
Perfect Food Pairings for Port
Pecan pie, biscotti and crème brûlée are perfect food pairings for Tawny Port. Molten chocolate cake, dark chocolate covered cherries and chocolate trifle work well with Ruby Port. An assortment of nuts and cheese will pair with almost any sort of Port.
Sommelier Secrets for Port
Colheita is best explained as a Tawny port from a single vintage. These must be aged in wood for at least seven years before release, though most are aged longer.