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Quinta do Vesuvio Douro Red 2012

Other Red Blends from Douro, Portugal
  • WS93
  • W&S93
  • JS92
13.5% ABV
  • RP94
  • WE94
  • WS92
  • WS93
  • WS94
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

2012 was an unusually dry year. By the end of February, much of the Douro Valley was suffering from extremely dry conditions. The vines, though, adapted to the hydric stress by growing shorter shoots with fewer leaves which, when combined with the small number of bunches, reduced the need for water. This, together with summer temperatures a few degrees cooler than average, allowed the vines to remain active, with the grapes achieving good levels of phenolic ripeness and retaining an aromatic profile of great freshness and intensity.

Blend: 70% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 5% Tinta Amarela

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 93
Wine Spectator
A big, rich and powerful red, with concentrated flavors of dark plum, kirsch, dark currant and dried mint that resonate with ripe Asian spice notes. Floral and hot stone accents fill the vibrant and juicy finish. Very suave. Drink now through 2022.
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
When the Symington family purchased Vesuvio in 1989, they set out to renovate the vineyards, which originally had their heyday under the stewardship of Dona Antonia Ferreira in the 19th century. The grand quinta extends just above the Cachão da Valeira on the south bank of the Douro, at the gateway to the Douro Superior. This 2012 has New World succulence, with new oak playing a major role. Underneath, there’s a foresty character, plump fruit with the purple richness of the Douro and the kind of floral perfume that’s distinct to the region’s grapes. Seductive.
JS 92
James Suckling
Extremely ripe yet only lightly jammy with dark berries, licorice and flowers. Lilac and roses too. Full body, medium sweet and round tannins plus a fruity finish. A soft and friendly wine. Drink in 2022.
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Quinta do Vesuvio

Quinta do Vesuvio

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Quinta do Vesuvio, Douro, Portugal
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Although historical records mention Vesuvio as early as 1565 it was primarily under the auspices of the Douro's redoubtable widow, Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, that this vineyard estate acquired its legendary reputation. The estate's industrious founder was her husband who from 1820 began the ambitious task of planting the vineyard. This gargantuan enterprise involving the shaping and construction of terraces on the intractable slopes and the planting of hundreds of thousands of vines took his legions of workers thirteen years to complete. Following the founder's death, his widow continued to develop the property, which under her able management became the showpiece quinta of the Douro. At Vesuvio she built one of the Douro's largest wineries, containing eight granite 'lagares' (treading tanks) each capable of holding 25 pipes (1 pipe: 550 litres). In 1989 Quinta do Vesuvio was purchased by the Symington family whose involvement in the growing, production and shipping of Port began more than a century ago. The family decided from the outset to preserve the traditional character of the Quinta especially with regard to the vinification process where the time-honored method of treading the grapes by foot has been retained. Some technological innovations have been introduced principally in the form of a cooling system to control fermentation in this ancient wine making method. In view of the outstanding quality of the wine, Vesuvio is offered exclusively as a single Quinta Vintage Port. Only about 50 pipes (36,000 bottles) are bottled each year although the production of the property is much greater and this exemplifies the family's steadfast policy of releasing none but the very finest wines from the Quinta.

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. Less well-known but often of excellent quality, are the region’s dry table wines, both red and white. 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 climate here is Maritime, with hot summers and cool, wet winters. The best sites, typically with schist-based soils, are reserved for high-end Port production, while table wines are usually grown on granite.

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 red table wines. Touriga Nacional is the finest of these, prized for its deep color, tannins, concentrated structure, and floral aromatics. Tinta Roriz (Spain's Tempranillo) adds bright acidity and red fruit flavors. Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca help round out the blend with their soft, supple textures. Tinta Cão, a fine but low-yielding variety, is rarely planted but still highly valued for its ability to produce excellent, complex wines.

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

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

WBO30181739_2012 Item# 177924