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David M. Bueker

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WTN: 2016 Vintage Ports from Symington Estates

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:34 pm

Had the great opportunity to taste the 2016 Vintage Ports from the Symington Family Estates last night. Michael Quinlan and Table & Vine arranged the event with a representative from Symington, as well as a representative of Premium Port Wines. The wines were all cask samples, but from the final blends to be released in the market this fall.

Overall it’s a lovely vintage that presents itself in a friendlier way than the rather brutish 2011. There is nothing overripe about the wines, and the words that kept coming to me were clarity and focus. Do not mistake that to mean there is no tannin, because the tannins are indeed there (especially in a couple of the wines – see below), and make themselves known in the mid-palate and finish of the wines. I am reminded more of 2000 than any other recent vintage, but that’s a hazy memory in terms of exactly how the wines showed on release.

On to the wines.

2016 Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port
Aromas of plums, flowers, dusty herbs and a distinct chalky element on the nose gave way to a moderately sweet palate that had well-mannered tannins, and a spicy, almost ginger-tinged finish. This was a pleasant, medium-bodied Port.

2016 Warre’s Vintage Port
Ripe berry fruit, camphor and floral aromas lead to a mouth filling and very fruity palate expression with good length. The tannins don’t intrude until the back end of the wine, but are quite assertive on the finish. Flavors of berry and mint carry on long after the wine is finished.

2016 Graham’s Vintage Port
Clean aromas of black cherry, mint, tea, bergamot as well as a stemmy floral note lead into a palate that shows its tannins early on. There’s good mid-palate richness to buffer the tannins, and a long, deeply fruited finish. The aftertaste reveals almost Syrah like meatiness to go along with the black cherry and mint notes.

2016 Cockburn’s Vintage Port
Notably lighter in body than the rather beefy Graham’s, this showed more macerated raspberry/blackberry fruit on the nose, and moderate levels of both tannin and sweetness. It was quite fun to drink after the powerhouse of the Graham’s, and I would have liked to sit with a larger pour and just enjoy. A very approachable vintage Port.

2016 Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port
Blackberry, plum, mint and even hints of citrus showed up in the aromas. It was the most fun to smell of the group that was presented. Medium bodied, full, broad tannins were not as drying as in some other wines (e.g. Dow’s). IT finished long, with berry, cassis, orange peel and clove spice. The wine showed a lot of complexity despite its youth, and was the most impressive QdV I had tasted in a long time.

2016 Dow’s Vintage Port
This was a sneaky bottle of Dow’s. It started out so friendly, with cassis, berry, floral, orange and tea aromas, and a rich, sweet entry. Then all of a sudden the acids and tannins just clamped down on the palate. It was quite a shock. Once I got used to that I was able to focus back on the overall wine. The finishing balance was very good, as the fruit reasserted itself. Typically for Dow’s it was drier on the finish than the other wines. Looks like a classic, long-term ager (along with the Graham’s).
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTN: 2016 Vintage Ports from Symington Estates

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:38 pm

My wine store has the annual Roy Hersh port tasting tonight..2016. Will report back asap.

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