Vintage Port is a single harvest Port that is bottled between the second and the third year after the harvest. It is always red and is among all Ports that one with the longest ageing potential. This long living potential results from the complex and concentrated grapes used on its winemaking. It is very dark in color, rich in tannins, with plenty of body and structure and intense either in the nose or on the palate. It is bottled unfiltered to preserve all the elements that can support a long age in bottle. Dark purple when young, the red color is slowly getting lighter as the time passes. However, several decades are needed, if not a century, for the brown hints to show up. The fruit flavours will stay throughout all the life of Vintage Port. Fresher in the earlier stage, as the time goes more dried fruit flavours will show up.
For most of the Port collectors and enthusiasts, Vintage Port is the most appreciated of all Ports. It is produced in small quantities. The annual production seldom passes 1% of the overall Port production. And that is justified but the fact that we need a combination of factors: great weather conditions in the best locations to grow grapes in the Douro. It is certainly not about quantity, but all about to put the best of the best in bottle, for us or the next generation to enjoy.
In the best harvests our Vintage Port will incorporate grapes from the different quintas, in order to get as much complexity as the best grapes can produce. This is for instance what happened in 2005, 2007 or 2011. There are other years when perfection was not achieved throughout all the vineyards. But if in our flagship and more consistent quinta, Vale d’Agodinho, we obtained grapes in perfect conditions, with tremendous quality that we feel would make a wonderful Vintage Port, then is when we bottle what we call a Single Quinta Vintage Port. That is the case for instance of 2008, 2010 or 2013.
Drink it young if you want to enjoy the freshness and intensity of what the best Port can taste like, or wait several years, and then you will get elegance, complexity and harmony all combined in a bottle of Port.