Warre's Vintage Port 2016
#14 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2018
Nearly half the Warre’s 2016 is made up of old, mixed vines from both Cavadinha and Retiro. In sections of these vineyards, as many as 30 to 40 different varieties are planted together, and at Retiro they are between 80 and 100 years old with a predominance of Touriga Franca, a variety that has typically prospered in the Rio Torto Valley, home to Quinta do Retiro. These vineyards produced tiny yields, just 630g/vine. The structure and complexity of the old vines was balanced with great acidity and freshness from the Cavadinha grapes and the superb floral aromatics from the two Touriga varieties harvested at Quinta da Telhada. Due to the very cool nights during the vintage, the grapes arrived at the Cavadinha lagar winery so cold in the mornings that, in effect, they had a ‘cold soak maceration’ before fermentation began, favouring excellent aromatic extraction. Harvesting finished at Cavadinha on October 10th, a couple of days before the weather broke. More perfect harvesting conditions could not have been hoped for.
Gorgeous, with warm plum reduction and gently steeped raspberry, blackberry and boysenberry fruit flavors forming the core, all inlaid with warm ganache and smoldering tobacco accents. Very plush in feel, but has no lack of energy, as everything sails beautifully through the long finish. A late echo of anise completes the seduction. Best from 2035 through 2055.
Nearly 50% is made from old field blend vines, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca from the Douro Superior. Very pure violet aromas – already utterly charming with lovely, supple and seamless fruit. Fresh and lithe with fine-grained tannins building in the mouth leading to a peacock’s tail of a finish. A beautiful wine with real poise, definition and great finesse. Don’t be deceived by the early charm, this is a wine that will last. Drinking Window 2030-2055
This is a juicy wine, with dense black fruits that are cut by bright acidity. The tannins give power and long-term aging potential to this impressive wine. Drink from 2028. *Cellar Selection*
Very complex with dried flowers and roses. Full-bodied, very layered and tightly wound. Chewy and powerful. Firm and off-dry. Needs five or six years to soften. Beauty. Try in 2024
The 2016 Warre’s Vintage Port was picked from 19 September, the harvest took 10 days longer than usual in order to gain optimal ripeness. It has a tightly-wound but compelling bouquet with intense black fruit laced with clove, nutmeg and touches of smoke. This is a Warre’s with great precision and detail. The palate is sheer class: saturated ripe tannin that belie the structure underneath. There is a symmetry about this Vintage Port and a tension that keeps you returning for more. Wow. This is one of the finest Warre’s that I have tasted at declaration. Bravo! Production is 4,250 cases.
The 2016 Vintage Port is a 46/37 blend from old vines and Touriga Nacional, with Touriga Franca making up the rest. It was bottled in May 2018 with 113 grams of residual sugar. The fruit on this is gloriously expressive and concentrated. It's classic and delicious, but it doesn't show the power and structure of the top wines. Charles Symington called it very elegant. Or, say, understated and approachable. It is pretty delicious, though, and I have to give this some props just because it is. Don't expect it to be the best ager in the group. There were 4,250 cases produced.