The 2016 Dow’s Vintage Port is based around the Vinha dos Ecos vineyard behind Bomfim, populated predominantly by mature Touriga Franca vines that were cropped at just 0.68kg per vine. It has a quite astonishing bouquet with layer upon layer of intense black cherry and cassis fruit, touches of clove, leather and a hint of over-ripe Satsuma. This is a mercurial bouquet that keeps changing in the glass, revealing smoky/burning ember scents with time. The palate is quite magnificent – perfectly balanced with a killer thread of acidity slicing through such pure intense black fruit that there is no heaviness at all. There is a sense of thrust on the finish as it fans out with almost careless abandon, a Vintage Port so self-assured that you can only sit back in amazement. Simply one of the best Dow’s ever made. Drink 2030 - 2086.
Aromas of blueberries, blackberries and dried flowers plus hints of slate follow through to a full body, very fine tannins and a driven and linear finish. Orange peel and dried fruit. Sleek and racy. Ready to try in 2024.
Wood smoke, tobacco the nose has a fragrant mix the palate has depth the richness of ripe fruits. The mid palate has black fruits, ripe figs and molasses a powerful mix of flavours the layers of fruit of sweetness and richness adding to complexity. Firm but fine tannins there is balance, tension with depth on the back palate the finish has a powerful mix of black fruits yet poise and elegance. 2037-60
Saturated purple in colour, this has a very smoky nose of Cuban tobacco, molasses and figs. The palate is firm and powerful, with layer upon layer of sweet and savoury spices. The sweetness is subtle, in the background; firm and chalky tannins and brisk acidity provide the rich structure for long-term ageing. The fruit is ripe and complex, with black cherry and blood orange in perfect poise. This shows great tension, with measured aggression and confidence in its supreme balance. A superb effort that should greatly reward those with the patience to cellar it.
Extremely dark blackish crimson (like Graham 2016!). Rather savoury and minerally on the nose. Such a strong, almost minty personality. Lovely blend of freshness and ripeness, though some may reproach it for slightly less tannins than others. Lovely briny impact. Relatively forward, possibly tempting to drink it quite young?
Without the flamboyance and showmanship of Graham’s this is a wine which might, by comparison, seem a little reluctant but this is not the case. Dow’s is controlled, detailed, very fine and it rolls along on the palate for an age. Classy, dense and self-confident, this is a darker-hued creation with calmness and concentration and it is a very successful wine in 2016.
Based on Touriga Franca, followed by Touriga Nacional and Sousão from Quinta do Bomfim at Pinhão and Quinta Senhora da Ribeira in the Douro Superior: fine and focused on the nose, leaner and more restrained in style than either Graham or Quinta do Vesuvio (below) with underlying dusty tannins; rapier like tannins on the palate, ram rod, all the way through with the opulence and flesh of the fruit coming through on the finish. Great purity and expression, the drier style of Dow works well in ripe years like 2016. Outstanding wine for the long term. 5480 cases in total. 19/20