Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port Capela 2017
Mesmerising aromas; lavender, eucalyptus, green tea and licorice. On the palate, the concentration and intensity are striking with layers of complexity. There is a wonderful interplay of invigorating black and red fruits underpinned by schist tannins that give balance to the impressive structure. The Sousão comes through in a spicy seasoning that underscores the wine's remarkable freshness. The seductive finish is endless and inspirational. Precise, fresh and multi-dimensional. An inspirational wine.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is an old-vine Port with two-thirds coming from ancient ones. Bark, black tea, crushed grapes and mahogany. Big and grippy. Old, traditional styled Port with incredible depth and power. Big yet polished tannins. This is foot-trodden. Co-fermented. Real deal. Try after 2030.
Intense, with a terrific beam of blueberry, açaí and blackberry puree flavors coursing along, flanked by graphite and baker's chocolate notes and scored by streaks of licorice snap on the finish. A subtle violet accent weaves in the background, giving this lift and contrast. Offers a sappy, concentrated finish. Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet, Sousão and Touriga Franca. Best from 2035 through 2055.
A field blend from centenarian vines together with Touriga Franca, Alicante Bouschet, Sousão and Touriga Nacional. This has lovely lifted floral aromas, with wild berry and green tea on the nose. It's similarly exotic on the palate, showing great purity of fruit once again, alongside liquorice concentration wrapped around bold, spicy tannins. A massive finish leaves some fresh acidity from the Sousão. Drinking Window 2035 - 2060
A ripe and juicy wine, this shows generous tannins that still allow the blackberry fruits to show strongly. The acidity and the core of dryness allow for the promise of aging. Drink this attractive Port from 2028.
Charles Symington blends this from two cofermentations, pairing up varieties that ripen simultaneously at the quinta. In 2017, touriga franca, touriga nacional and souzão all ripened simultaneously, offering him the unusual opportunity to vinify them together. That lagar fermented cooler and sustained more perfume than the lagar he filled with an old-vine field blend and alicante bouschet, to provide structure. They come together in a meaty, purple-fruited Port, layering notes of green fig and quince into the intense tannins. It has the stuffing to last.
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.
Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its west and south coasts, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, due to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. A long and narrow but small country, Portugal claims considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast.
While Port (named after its city of Oporto on the Atlantic Coast at the end of the Douro Valley), made Portugal famous, Portugal is also an excellent source of dry red and white wines of various styles.
The Douro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red wines made from the same set of grape varieties used for Port, which include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, among a long list of others in minor proportions.
Other dry wines include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde white wine, made in the north, and the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão as well as the bold, and fruit-driven reds and whites of the southern, Alentejo.
The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast.
Port is a sweet, fortified wine with numerous styles: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), White, Colheita, and a few unusual others. It is blended from from the most important red grapes of the Douro Valley, based primarily on Touriga Nacional with over 80 other varieties approved for use. Most Ports are best served slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.