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Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port Capela 2011

Port from Douro, Portugal
  • W&S100
  • RP97
    20% ABV
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      20% ABV

      Winemaker Notes

      Critical Acclaim

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      W&S 100
      Wine & Spirits
      This 800-acre property is just upriver from the dam at the Cachão da Valeira; its quinta buildings include a 19th-century chapel (capela) restored by the Symingtons, who purchased the property in 1989. They now farm 333 acres amid the steep hills and valleys on this south bank of the Douro. Charles Symington makes this wine by blending two small lots; one of touriga nacional and alicante bouchet from low-yielding blocks close to the river, fermented together in a small lagar; the other, picked three weeks later, a co-fermentation of touriga franca and sousão from two blocks that are higher in the hills. They come together in something numinous, in a wine that tastes like the horizon line of the sea, if you could see it from the top of Vesuvio. Somewhere in the insane rush of Douro flavor, in the scents of iodine and savory herbs, the gamey richness of fruit rolling across the palate, the smoky green schist tannins, there’s a line of refinement, a supple beauty that isn’t about aggressive power. The flavor is tremendously long, a rush of energy that will carry this wine for decades.
      RP 97
      Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
      The 2011 Capela da Quinta do Vesuvio is a single vineyard bottling that ranks as one of the finest of the declared Ports. Unlike the maiden 2007, it includes a small proportion of Alicante Bouschet, while the heart of the Capela comes from the “Vale da Escola” plot of Touriga Nacional close to the Quinta house. It is endowed with a heart-warming, refined, elegant bouquet with pure scents of raspberry coulis, apricot jam, macerated small dark cherries and blueberry. Supremely well-defined, it unfolds beautifully in the glass. The palate is full-bodied with thick ripe, slightly chewy tannins and exquisite balance. Examining this nascent Port over several minutes, it is stylistically reminiscent of the Noval’s Nacional, and how can you not resist the tremendous power and “authority” of this Vintage Port that seems self-aware of its class? It climaxes in a copious, lightly spiced, lemongrass-tinged finish that goes on and on and on. What an outstanding Vintage Port! Just 200 cases declared – bottles individually numbered. Tasted May 2013.
      Barrel Sample: 95-97
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      Quinta do Vesuvio

      Quinta do Vesuvio

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      Quinta do Vesuvio, 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.

      Image for Douro content section

      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.

      CHMQDV8202911_2011 Item# 387688