Dow's 2017 (750ML)
Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions
98 VM / 98 JS / 97 DE / 96 WS / 94-96 WA / 18 JR
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.
5,250 cases = 16% of Dow’s total vineyard production. Dow’s has for over a century been a blend of fruit from two properties: Quinta do Bomfim, near Pinhão, and Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira in the Douro Superior. In recent years, two other properties — Quinta da Cerdeira (south-facing) and Quinta do Cabeço (various aspects) — both of which are a few kilometres from Senhora da Ribeira, have made important contributions to the blend. In 2017, the mature plantings of Touriga Nacional from the east-facing Vinha Grande parcels at Senhora da Ribeira made an important contribution thanks to the well-developed root systems of the older vines and the cooler aspect of the vineyards. Some varieties are fermented separately, others co-fermented – in 2017 there was a co-ferment of Sousão and Touriga Franca. Quinta do Bomfim 43%, Quinta Da Senhora da Ribeira 38%, Quinta do Cabeço 12%, Quinta da Cerdeira 7%. Touriga Nacional 42%, Touriga Franca 38%, Sousão 9%, old mixed vines (field blend) 8%, Alicante Bouschet 3%. TA 4.24 g/l, Baumé 3.4. Bottled May 2019.
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. (JH) Jancis Robinson . com
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