2017 Dow's Vintage Port (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1420760 98 points James Suckling

 Pure grape aromas that remind me of fermenting must but then goes to stems and dried flowers. Full-bodied, medium sweet with fine-grained tannins that coat your palate. Powerful and muscular yet remains agile and beautiful. Grows on your palate. Wonderful ripe fruit in the middle palate. Try after 2030. (JS)  (5/2019)

98 points Vinous

 The 2017 Dow’s Vintage Port showed a slight reduction and required more time to really open in the glass. Typical of Dow’s it has a more backward and introspective bouquet compared to its peers, scents of blackberry, clove, wild mint, cassis and vanilla, gradually gaining more intensity with aeration. The palate is simply glorious. It is built around a compelling tannic frame that seems finer than any Dow’s I have encountered apart from the ethereal 2011. There is so much energy coiled up in this Port, a sense of symmetry that is enthralling and yet you just know that it needs to be cellared for 15-20 years for it to reveal its full potential. For serious Port-lovers. One of the vintages most cerebral offerings. Total production is 5,250 cases. (NM)  (6/2019)

97 points Decanter

 Based on fruit from the predominantly south-facing Quinta do Bomfim in the Cima Corgo and Quinta Senhora da Ribeira in the Douro Superior, with Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca making up 80% of the blend. This is opaque and closed in but powerfully ripe with underlying pure berry fruit. It's seemingly quite introverted compared to some of its peers at this stage, but it's still full, rich and opulent on the palate. It also shows the latent power of the vintage, made as it is in a slightly drier style (3.4 Baumé), with lovely minty fruit and full, ripe sinewy tannins all the way through the finish. Long and lithe, and very fine. Drinking Window 2035 - 2060 (RM)  (7/2019)

94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2017 Vintage Port, bottled in May for release in the third quarter of 2019, is mostly a 42/38 blend of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca with old vines and miscellaneous others (including about 8% Alicante Bouschet) for the rest. It was bottled about a month before this tasting after 18 months in seasoned vats, but the just-bottled sample was not actually used for fear it might be in shock. This, accordingly, was actually a pre-bottling sample. It comes in with 106 grams of residual sugar. Opening with dramatic color, this adds violets on the nose. It retains elegance while seeming subtly concentrated rather than jammy. Then, it finishes with pop and controlled power. For those who remember the powerhouse Dows in the past, that's not quite this for the most part. It is an accessible and elegant Dow, relatively speaking. Charles Symington said that the higher proportion of Touriga Franca compared to some years contributed to that. That said, this still has the structure to age and develop. It seems wonderfully fresh and lifted all the while, but it's neither rich, nor intense nor austere. This is a Dow that still needs some time to become more expressive and complex, though. There were 5,250 cases produced. (MS)  (7/2019)

Jancis Robinson

 Black core with purple rim. Very different from the Stone Terraces just tasted, sweet and somehow more lifted as if more volatile. Hedgerow fruits on the nose, floral too, and again that real sweetness of fruit on the palate. Intense, firmly built but very generous in its sweet fruit character even if not analytically sweeter. Fine-grained but still grainy tannins with some hints of dried fruits on the finish. When I tasted this a second time on a different occasion, it seemed much fresher and more vibrant so I increased my score and lengthened the drinking window. 18/20 points. (JH)  (5/2019)


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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Other Red Wines

Country:

Portugal

- Although quite small, Portugal produces a great variety of wines ranging from light and fizzy Vinho Verde to hearty and tannic Port. Portugal is Europe's fourth-largest wine-producing region, and has been exporting its wine since the 14th century. The Douro Valley of Portugal is the original and current home for the world's finest Port. The valley spans from east of the city of Oporto all the way to the border of Spain and is the country's best known wine region. Lesser-appreciated DOCs like Bairrada and Dão area also emerging for their fine, rustic reds.
Sub-Region:

Port

- Port is a fortified wine made by stopping the fermentation with brandy. The result is a heavy sweet wine, most often red, that is dense, rich and high in alcohol. Port is made all over the world with some great results in Australia and South Africa, but the most famous of these dessert wines come from Portugal. The great port houses (or lodges) are located along the Duoro River on the steep slate slopes high above the valley floor. There are several styles of port, including Ruby, Tawny, Vintage Character, Late Bottle Vintage, Colheita, and Single Quinta. Vintage ports are made in special years that the houses declare.
Alcohol Content (%): 21