2018 Vintage Port

“2018 is one of the best, if not the best, vintage years I have witnessed.”

Luis Sottomayor - Head Winemaker, Sandeman

The consensus in Douro seems to be becoming that the vintage and its resulting wine should inform a declaration - not the market - and so we have our third declaration in a row following 2016 and 2017 for many Houses, despite the previously held convention of only declaring two or three vintages per decade.

As Adrian Bridge of Taylor Fladgate explains: “Although a classic declaration normally only happens about three times a decade, the exceptional run of years has meant that Taylor’s is able to make a third in a row. This is very unusual but our principle is that we only declare a classic vintage when the quality is there and this is dictated by the year, not by any other consideration.”

Taylor Fladgate has declared the vintage for Taylor, though Fonseca and Croft have only declared the single quintas: Fonseca’s Guimaraens and Croft’s Quinta da Roeda. The House has made the decision, however, not to release the wines until next year given the global economic circumstances at the time of declaration in the wake of COVID-19.

Symington, too, has focused its declarations in 2018 on the single quintas. Quinta do Vesuvio and Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira will be released this year. Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos, Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim, Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha and Cockburn’s Quinta dos Canais 2018 Vintages will be released at later dates.

Ramos Pinto have also gone down the single quinta route with with the rare single Quinta do Bom Retiro - only the second release from the single quinta in over two decades. 

Quinta do Noval has released the 2018 vintage, following consecutive releases in every vintage since 2011.

Finally, Soprage have released Sandeman, Offley and Ferreira 2018 Vintage Ports.

Whilst the 2017 vintage was marked by extreme drought, 2018 saw an uncharacteristically rainy start to the growing season, which reduced yields going into a hot and dry summer. A challenging vintage, but with excellent results.

2018 Sandeman

Port / Portugal
Red
6x75cl
-
0 Immediate | 39 Marketplace
£435.00

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TASTING NOTE

"A blend of 50% Touriga Franca, 40% Touriga Nacional, 5% Sousão and 5% ‘other native red varietals’ from Quinta do Seixo and Quinta do Vau, both properties on the south side of the Douro in the Cima Corgo: very deep inky ‘black’ colour; demure and brooding on the nose, distinctly ripe, hot country fruit (kirsh) with a touch of liquorice and tar; big, ripe dark chocolate flavours, layered spicy depth, impressively structured with ripe tannins giving plenty of grip and leading to a big, expressive finish, perhaps lacking a little in freshness but very, very good. A definite keeper."

18.5/20 **** / ***** - Richard Mayson

2018 Ramos Pinto Quinta do Bom Retiro

Ramos Pinto

Douro / Portugal
Red
3x75cl
-
0 Immediate | 17 Marketplace
£141.00

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TASTING NOTE

"From Ramos Pinto’s flagship estate deep in the Rio Torto: ripe black cherry nose, overtly so, never have I tasted a wine so redolent of cherries; lovely soft, ripe fleshy fruit, sweet black cherries again, lovely purity of fruit backed by ripe, soft fine grained tannins with lovely gravely tannic length. Not the biggest of the bunch but very much all there."

17.5/20 **** - Richard Mayson

2018 Quinta do Noval

Quinta do Noval

Port / Portugal
Red
6x75cl
-
0 Immediate | 4 Marketplace
£270.00
Bts
-
0 Immediate | 6 Marketplace
Duty Paid
£48.00

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TASTING NOTE

"No percentages here but a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão and Sousão, picked over a long period from 5th September to 13th October: lovely deep, dark colour; dense, ripe, bold fruit (a touch hot country) on the nose; lovely super-ripe blackberry / cassis fruit initially, wonderful freshness, vitality and verve, backed by broad, ripe tannins and a long powerful finish. This has it all! 1600 cases in total, representing 7% of Noval’s production."

19/20 ***** - Richard Mayson

2018 Dow's Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira

Dow's Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira

Douro / Portugal
Red
3xMags
-
0 Immediate | 1 Marketplace
£250.00

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TASTING NOTE

"Wines from this small south-facing quinta that have formed part of Dow’s vintage Port since 1890: 45% Touriga Franca, 40% Touriga Nacional, 15% Alicante Bouschet / Sousão co-fermented. Deep, dark, ripe with a touch of roasted coffee bean on the nose, showing the heat of the vintage more than Vesúvio; rich and voluptuous initially on the palate, powerful mouth-filling tannic grip, rising on to the finish. Sweet plum jam and liquorice. Big and foursquare. Just 510 cases, representing 8% of the quinta’s total production."

17.5/20 **** - Richard Mayson

2018 Quinta do Vesuvio

Port / Portugal
Red
This Product is currently unavailable. Please check back later or contact us directly and we will endeavour to source it for you.

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TASTING NOTE

"A blend of 54% Touriga Nacional, 40% Touriga Franca / Alicante Bouschet (co-fermented) and 6% Sousão (for freshness), predominantly from cooler north / north-west facing vineyards: beautifully lifted, scented floral aromas (rose petals), vinous and overt; sweet and suave initially, ripe but gentle blackberry fruit backed by velvety tannins leading to a finish that is both powerful and elegant at the same time. Wonderful freshness and vitality. A magnificent wine for drinking over the medium to long term. Just 965 cases produced representing 3% of the quinta’s total production."

19/20 ***** - Richard Mayson

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