2016 Vintage Ports for Your Cellar

The Douro Valley hasn't had a vintage since 2011, which was a tough one to follow. But the 2016 Port is equally great, and one you will want on your shelf.
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The 2016 vintage was a special one in the Douro Valley. It was the first time since 2011 that the quality of the top parcels were deemed good enough to declare the vintage for the Port wines.

A general or full declaration means the majority of houses and quintas, both large and small, agree that the fruit from the given vintage has the potential to produce high-quality Port wines. The decision is often led by the two biggest producers, Symington Family Estates and The Fladgate Partnership, who have to agree between themselves.

The 2016 Ports have a dense concentration of fruit and a rigid tannic structure that will allow them to age seemingly forever.

There is no question the right call was made in 2016. Following on from 2011, which many considered the greatest Vintage Port in the past few decades, the 2016 Vintage has an equal claim to greatness.

The 2016 Ports have a dense concentration of fruit and a rigid tannic structure that will allow them to age seemingly forever. They benefited from an almost perfect growing season: a cool wet spring and a long hot summer with rain just at the right moment.

The last two Vintage Port declarations (2011 and 2007) have confirmed the investment and improvement that have been made in Douro vineyards in the last three decades, and with this comes the greater understanding and appreciation of the marvelous legacy of field blend old vines.

The downside to these great wines is the derisory quantities that have been produced due to the low yielding vintage. As these wines hit the market, eager collectors should be fast to act. The rewards are endless for these timeless, cellar-worthy wines.

Your Cheat Sheet to Cellaring Wine

W. & J. Graham’s 2016 The Stone Terraces Vintage Port; $230, 100 points. A superbly intense wine of great concentration, this has a generous structure and abundant ripe-fruit tones. Its tannins are fully intact, promising an immensely long aging period. It’s rich, but also fresh in acidity and juicy black-fruit flavors. Drink from 2029. Premium Port Wines, Inc. Cellar Selection.

Taylor Fladgate 2016 Vintage Port; $120, 98 points. Ripe, structured while also fruity, this intense, perfumed Port is opulent while also elegant. Its tannins and great fruit are finely integrated and are rich with potential. Black fruits, berries and a juicy aftertaste add freshness to the wine. Drink from 2028. Kobrand. Cellar Selection.

Wine & Soul 2016 Pintas Vintage Port; $90, 97 points. This finely balanced wine is rich with tannins as well as powerful black fruits. Its mineral texture and perfumes add complexity to the ripeness of the wine. This is a wine for long-term aging, concentrated and dense with great fruits. Drink from 2029. MundoVino–The Winebow Group. Cellar Selection.

Quinta do Vesuvio 2016 Capela Vintage Port; $182, 97 points. The wine is dense, packed with great fruits and tannins, dark and concentrated, and full of perfumed black fruits. It is a wine that makes a great statement of ripe fruits and tannins for long-term aging. Drink from 2028. Premium Port Wines, Inc. Cellar Selection.

Lima Smith 2016 Tecedeiras Vintage Port; $69, 95 points. While the wine is floral, its perfumed fruits are seriously balanced by the dark and ripe tannins. It has a strongly mineral edge that goes with great black-currant fruit that give an edge of freshness to this otherwise dark, powerful wine. Drink from 2027. Kindred Vines.

Burmester 2016 Vintage Port; $70, 95 points. Ripe black fruits shine through the rich tannins of this perfumed wine. It has a fine juicy character, balanced with the generous tannins and acidity. This is a full-bore wine, likely to be ready to drink from 2028. Wine In-Motion.

Quinta de la Rosa 2016 Vintage Port; $90, 95 points. This is a finely perfumed wine with swathes of ripe berry fruits and a generous texture. A dry style of vintage, it emphasizes spice, the bite of the spirit as well as the opulent black-plum and raisin fruit flavors. There is great potential in this fine wine. Drink from 2027. Winesellers, Ltd. Cellar Selection.

Quinta do Mourão 2016 São Leonardo Vintage Port; $120, 95 points. This balanced wine is sumptuous with ripe fruit while also being seriously structured. It is packed with ripe berry flavors that are lifted by the acidity and filled out with tannins. This wine with its perfumed, mineral edge should age well. Drink from 2028. D’Ouro Vino Selections.

Rozes 2016 Vintage Port; $59, 94 points. The wine is beautifully balanced with ripe tannins and powerfully dense fruit. Layers of blackberry fruits are contrasted with the big tannins and perfumed acidity. There is a mineral edge to this powerful wine that will allow it to age very well. Drink from 2028. Vranken Pommery America.

Gran Cruz 2016 Vintage Port; $55, 93 points. This is a dry style, full of tannins that are still masking the perfumed black fruits. It is intense, full of violet aromas as well as dark-plum flavors. The wine will need plenty of time, so don’t drink before 2029. Prestige Beverage Group.

Published on November 23, 2018
Topics: Wine Ratings
About the Author
Roger Voss
European Editor, Reviews wines from Portugal and France

Roger Voss covers Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, the Loire and South-West France as well as Portugal. His passion is matching food with wine, bringing the pleasures of the table to wine lovers. He has written six books on wine and food, and was previously national correspondent on wine for the London Daily Telegraph. He is based in the Bordeaux region. Email: rvoss@wineenthusiast.net




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