Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 103

FOCUS: 2018 VINTAGE & LATE-BOTTLED VINTAGE PORT
92 | Quinta do Vallado

$110

2018 Porto Vintage ^ Rising up from the
eastern bank of the Corgo River, above its
confluence with the Douro in Régua, Quinta
do Vallado was Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira's prime property in the Baixa Corgo, the
Douro region's westernmost Atlantic-influenced zone. More than a century later, it is
run by three of her great-great-great-grandsons, CEO João Ferreira Álvares Ribeiro, agriculturist Francisco Ferreira and winemaker
Francisco Olazábal. This powerful 2018 is
a good example of why the family has held
onto the property for so long. It combines a
chic, modern sense of elegance with the stink
of schist in its saturated blueberry-skin tannins. There's a fresh, green floral intensity
in the aroma that calls out its youth. Tense
and concentrated, this is set for 20 years or
more of development ahead. § Quintessential,
Napa, CA

279150

91 | Quinta do Vesuvio

$85

2018 Porto Vintage ^ This is a generous,
heady vintage from Vesuvio, the vast Douro
Superior quinta on the south bank of the
river that the Symington family purchased
from the descendants of its 19th-century
developer, Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira. The steep, almost conical mountain
that gives the property its name is planted
up to the top, where it can get scorching hot
in summer, as it did during the heat spikes
of 2018. The heat resistance of the Douro's
vines helped them sustain some freshness
in their fruit, this wine combining plum flavors ranging from vibrant to stewed. The tannins are lush, as rich as chocolate cake, with
a gentle vanilla-spice persistence. Though
this wine will develop more detail as it ages,
it's a seductive Port to serve young. § Premium
Port Wines, San Francisco, CA
279148

90 | Dow's

$75

2018 Porto Vintage Quinta da Senhora da
Ribeira ^ Dow's outpost in the Douro Superior, Senhora da Ribeira, delivered a clean
2018, with jammy black-plum flavors. It
shows some of the heat of the summer season
in that ripe fruit, as well as in its cracked-peppercorn spice. The Symingtons will be releasing this wine as it begins to enter maturity,

around ten years from the vintage. § Premium
Port Wines, San Francisco, CA
279134

90 | Ramos Pinto

$95

2018 Porto Vintage Quinta do Bom Retiro ^
Bom Retiro is Ramos Pinto's historic quinta, a
steep rise above the south bank of the Douro,
just downriver from Pinhão. In 2018, the site
produced a wine of delicate persistence, the
tannins painted dark in their earthy edges,
the fruit mellow and ripe, like a Bosc pear
poached in deep red wine. Bom Retiro has
intensity and restraint, an inhalation of
fruit, an exhalation of schist, a Portuguesestyle vintage without the British power and
bluster, if such generalizations can be made.
While many buyers expect that power in
their Porto, this wine offers its own refined
pleasures. § Maisons Marques & Domaines,
Oakland, CA
279136

90 | Sandeman

$150

2018 Porto Vintage ^ There's a lot to love
in this latest release from Sandeman, near
schist heaven in its complex, layered mineral intensity. Chef and baker Amy Loveless
of the Dream Away Lodge in Becket, Mass.,
described the flavors as "plum tart with frangipane," then pointed out the woody aspect.
For now, the wine's alcohol and that wood
note get in the way of its otherwise elegant
and lasting sweet savor. The wine should
integrate in the cellar and live on for years. §
Evaton, Stamford, CT
279139

90 | Warre's

$75

2018 Porto Vintage Quinta da Cavadinha ^
The heart of Warre's blend in a declared vintage, Cavadinha provides the single-quinta
wines for this Symington brand. It's located
north of Pinhão, in the hills above the Vale
Mendiz, where it grew a lush Cima Corgo
wine in 2018. The pure fruit flavors feel
bright and fresh while their youthful tannins
have a numbing effect, like Sichuan peppercorn spice without the heat. Check on this
about ten years from the vintage. § Premium
Port Wines, San Francisco, CA
279128

88 | Borges

88 | Kopke

$60

2018 Porto Vintage Quinta de São Luiz
(Best Buy) ^ Plummy fruit sweetness lends a
deep perfume to this wine's schist tannins, a
little tarry, with the bitterness of black grape
skins. Their mineral edges are provoked by
tart apple acidity, not yet integrated and
needing bottle age to develop. Check on this
eight to ten years from the vintage. § Wine InMotion, Newark, NJ

L ATE-BOTTLED VINTAGE
279161

92 | Warre's

$34

91 | Taylor Fladgate

$25

88 | Cockburn's

$25

2008 Porto Late Bottled Vintage ^ The Symingtons hold back their Warre's LBV, bottling it with a driven cork, intending it as an
age-worthy wine. Now, at 12 years of age,
this wine's dynamic blue-fruit flavors still
feel youthful and floral, even though they
are fully integrated into the supple tannins.
From a relatively cool vintage in the Douro,
this should continue to develop well over the
coming years, though it is lovely to drink now
with Queijo Serra da Estrela, the sheep's milk
cheese from the mountains of Dão. § Vineyard
Brands, Birmingham, AL
279156
2015 Porto Late Bottled Vintage (Best
Buy) ^ A baby vintage in its generous fruit
richness and firm structure, this is driven by
schist tannins. Those tannins are filled with
purple plum and dark, figgy flavor, the rock
a constant presence underneath. This is a
sophisticated LBV to pour with a selection
of cheese. § Kobrand, Purchase, NY
279155
2015 Porto Late Bottled Vintage (Best
Buy) ^ Gentle and warm, with floral blueberry
scents, and flavors of black-plum jam, this is
a soft and gentle LBV, a pleasure to sip by
the fire this winter. § Premium Port Wines, San
Francisco, CA n

$52

2018 Porto Vintage (Best Buy) ^ The Douro's distinctive community of local vines
often gives fruit that's floral and green when
young. In this 2018, the resinous scent of
tobacco is the first impression, opening to
violets and a sweet, gentle structure. A quiet
vintage, this should be lovely with a few years
of development in the cellar. § JMV USA, Newark, NJ
279132

WINE & SPIRITS

DECEMBER 2020

103


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Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 4
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 5
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 6
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover4
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