This 2012 Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) shares the same provenance with Dow’s legendary Vintage Ports, namely the Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira vineyards, which have been owned by Dow’s since the late 19th century. Five generations of Symington family winemakers have tended these vineyards, deriving from them Dow’s distinctive wine profile, characterised by intense, structured wines with fresh black fruit flavours, peppery tannins and a hallmark drier style. Although 2012 was a very dry year in the Douro, lower than average summer temperatures helped to offset the effects of the drought, favouring gradual and balanced ripening of the grapes. The Touriga Franca, an important component of the Dow’s 2012 LBV, was particularly successful — as a late ripening variety it benefited from some timely rain at the end of September, followed by ideal fine weather.
The winter of 2012 was one of the coldest on record and the second driest since 1967, three times less rainfall than normal was recorded over the season. A very cool April delayed flowering, and fruit set was affected by a combination of the surge in the vines’ growth and low soil moisture levels, which significantly reduced the size of the crop. This turned out to be a blessing given the continuing exceptionally dry conditions through the summer months; the lower number of developing grape bunches reducing the vines’ water requirements. Below-average temperatures in August and September proved important in mitigating the drought. The late starting vintage favoured good ripening of the berries, and the low yields — coupled with lower temperatures — delivered a healthy crop that enabled the production of some very fine wines, combining concentration and balance
Very deep, near opaque centre with an intense garnet edge. Great aromatic exuberance showing blackcurrant, cassis and liquorice notes. Full yet round on the palate with ripe brambly, dark fruit flavours. Impressively focused fruit with a mineral, tingling quality which affords the wine remarkable freshness. Dow’s hallmark dry finish is reflected in the peppery tannins.
Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira vineyards · Douro Valley · Portugal. Grape varieties: Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Sousão, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz
For over two centuries the name of Dow’s has been closely linked with the finest Ports from the vineyards of the Upper Douro Valley. Since 1912, when Andrew James Symington became a partner in Dow’s, five generations of Symington winemakers have lived and worked at their vineyards of Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira from where they have produced many memorable wines, including the only Vintage Port made in the 21st century with a perfect 100-point score.
This Port is bottled ready to drink and does not benefit from further cellaring. Once open, it will keep in fine condition for up to a month. An excellent dessert wine to enjoy on its own or with chocolate desserts or semi-cured/cured cheeses (Cheddar, Manchego and others).
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