2018 Vintage Port

2018 was a complicated vintage in the Douro, described by the Symington family as ‘a rollercoaster’ climatically, yet the resulting wines are looking remarkably good. Largely this will be a year for the Single Quintas – and not a ‘general Declaration’ by all. Had they all gone for it - this would have been the third year on the trot for a full Declaration and this has never happened before. You could even sense some unease at the release of 2016 & 2017 back to back (both wonderful and worthy vintages) this double-whammy had not happened since 1872-73! So perhaps for 2018 it was never going to be - whatever the quality of the year – who knows, only time will tell.


So far we have only tasted the fantastic 2018 release from Quinta do Romaneira – and it really is brilliant, showing the vintage clearly had what was needed to make great Port. If you survived the long winter drought, the serious hail in April and the damp Spring – the long, hot summer was excellent for maturing the fruit. Undeniably, it was a hot year – but this is becoming common in the Douro and producers know just how to handle it. Clever vine canopy management, plot by plot harvesting at just the right moment for each parcel and gentle handling in the cellar, are all tools helping winemakers tame the sizzling heat.


A ‘not so general Declaration' can be a great opportunity for buyers and drinkers. Great Houses releasing ports from their Single Quintas in a great vintage often spells value and 2018 is looking very promising.


So promising in fact that some big names have not been able to resist declaring their 'Classic Wines'. Sandeman have released a 2018 – but they did not declare in 2017 – so for them this is not ‘three on the bounce’ – and Taylor are releasing a 2018, but they will hold on until next year.


Adrian Bridge who heads up Taylor and Fonseca told us:

“Although a Classic declaration normally only happens about three times a decade, the exceptional run of years has meant that Taylor’s is able to make a third in a row. This is very unusual but our principle is that we only declare a Classic Vintage when the quality is there and this is dictated by the year, not by any other consideration. Indeed, in view of the economic situation in which we find ourselves, we will bottle in July as usual but will not offer the wines until early 2021”


We are delighted to offer (for now) the following small selection of excellent Vintage Ports. Not only will these prove fantastic drinking in the coming decades – but Vintage Ports are also one of the best mementos of a special year. With the life in them to mature gracefully for at least 20 years, a case of one of these could be the most wonderful present for any children or god-children born in 2018.


Some of these are in very limited supply – so please let us know what you would like and we will do our very best to secure it for you.




Finally, because they never stop being true, some words of wisdom from Patrick Sandeman:

"The next question is whether one needs to buy and lay down vintage port at all in this day and age… Well, if, like me, you think that a dinner party is only a dinner party if you climax with a decanter of vintage port or two (otherwise it is only really a supper party), or if, like me, you decant a bottle of vintage port every Friday night during the months of November and December to drink over the week-end, then you will need at least two dozen bottles a year, and assuming that there is only one great vintage every four years, you should be buying at least eight dozen bottles. Equally, if you are of the camp that ‘no longer drinks port because it gives me a hangover’, then you too should be laying down some port for when you learn to drink less before and during dinner, and appreciate something exceptional at the end of the evening. Finally, of course, there are the (2018) babes whose God-parents, aunts and uncles, and parents should be buying at least two cases of six bottles (one to sell to help pay for the gap year in eighteen years time, the other to drink)." Patrick Sandeman

Best wishes,
The Lea & Sandeman Team

Recommendations

We are always delighted to offer advice should you need it. Please contact our private client team via email.

Pricing & Availability

All prices are quoted in bond by the case size stated. Some wines are highly sought after so we may give priority to previous buyers and those who buy across the offer. We expect these ports to arrive in the UK early in 2020.

Other Vintages

If you are interested in mature vintages of port, you can browse our duty paid selection here.



This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

2018 DOW Quinta Senhora da Ribeira

2018 DOW Quinta Senhora da Ribeira

The 2018 Quinta Senhora da Ribeira represents just 8% of the Quinta's production. It is more compact, a bit more standoffish compared to some of the other single quinta 2018s that I tasted. ItThe 2018 Quinta Senhora da Ribeira represents just 8% of the Quinta's production. It is more compact, a bit more standoffish compared to some of the other single quinta 2018s that I tasted. It gradually warms up, revealing marine notes, seaweed and oyster shells tincturing the black fruit. The palate is super-smooth on the entry with plush, saturated tannins, quite spicy and peppery with an assertive, structured finish that is quintessentially Dow's. Superb. 410 cases produced. Drinking range: 2030 - 2060 Rating: 94 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Jun 2020)

75cl bottles, wood case of 3

In Bond

2018 QUINTA DA ROMANEIRA Vintage Port

2018 QUINTA DA ROMANEIRA Vintage Port

Warm orange blossom fills the nose - extraordinarily vivid smell of blackened orange skin then delicious garrigue like herb notes and wild flowers too. Superb. Heady and inviting. Palate isWarm orange blossom fills the nose - extraordinarily vivid smell of blackened orange skin then delicious garrigue like herb notes and wild flowers too. Superb. Heady and inviting. Palate is beautifully rounded and polished in feel - well packed with an explosion of flavours. Rose petals and sweet purple berries. Then shavings of dark chocolate too. It’s all here and all delicately presented but remarkably intense. Great level of sweetness to the fruit and then so much high toned prettiness. Violets and lilac scents - and just enough savour of earthy herbs and dark dry chocolate nibs. A startlingly good vintage port. Will be a really fun journey to go on as this evolves. Bags of charm and intrigue.L&S(Jun 2020)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

In Bond

2018 QUINTA DO NOVAL

2018 QUINTA DO NOVAL

No percentages here but a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão and Sousão, picked over a long period from 5th September to 13th October: lovely deep, dark colour; dense, ripe, boldNo percentages here but a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão and Sousão, picked over a long period from 5th September to 13th October: lovely deep, dark colour; dense, ripe, bold fruit (a touch hot country) on the nose; lovely super-ripe blackberry / cassis fruit initially, wonderful freshness, vitality and verve, backed by broad, ripe tannins and a long powerful finish. This has it all! 1600 cases in total, representing 7% of Noval’s production. ***** Rating: 19 Richard Mayson, www.richardmayson.com (Jun 2020)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

In Bond

2018 QUINTA DO VESUVIO

2018 QUINTA DO VESUVIO

The 2018 Quinta do Vesuvio has a plush bouquet of black fruit laced with clove, nougat, boysenberry jam and white pepper. I would have liked a little more precision here. The palate is medium-bodiedThe 2018 Quinta do Vesuvio has a plush bouquet of black fruit laced with clove, nougat, boysenberry jam and white pepper. I would have liked a little more precision here. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive spicy attack on the entry - cracked black pepper and bitter orange, touches of liquorice and mint towards the well structured finish. Moderate length. A quality Vesuvio that deserves several years in bottle. Drinking range: 2030 - 2065 Rating: 93 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Jun 2020)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

In Bond

2018 SANDEMAN

2018 SANDEMAN

A blend of 50% Touriga Franca, 40% Touriga Nacional, 5% Sousão and 5% ‘other native red varietals’ from Quinta do Seixo and Quinta do Vau, both properties on the south side of the Douro in the CimaA blend of 50% Touriga Franca, 40% Touriga Nacional, 5% Sousão and 5% ‘other native red varietals’ from Quinta do Seixo and Quinta do Vau, both properties on the south side of the Douro in the Cima Corgo: very deep inky ‘black’ colour; demure and brooding on the nose, distinctly ripe, hot country fruit (kirsh) with a touch of liquorice and tar; big, ripe dark chocolate flavours, layered spicy depth, impressively structured with ripe tannins giving plenty of grip and leading to a big, expressive finish, perhaps lacking a little in freshness but very, very good. A definite keeper. 18.5 Rating: 18.5+ Richard Mayson, www.richardmayson.com (Jun 2020)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

In Bond

2018 TAYLOR

2018 TAYLOR

Although this was declared in the usual way, the family have decided to hold back the Taylor 2018 release until next year - so we look forward to a Spring 2021 launch of this. This marks anAlthough this was declared in the usual way, the family have decided to hold back the Taylor 2018 release until next year - so we look forward to a Spring 2021 launch of this. This marks an unprecedented 'third year on the trot' for a Taylor declaration - and the only house to do so - it must be good!

As Adrian Bridge said: “Although a Classic declaration normally only happens about three times a decade, the exceptional run of years has meant that Taylor’s is able to make a third in a row. This is very unusual but our principle is that we only declare a Classic Vintage when the quality is there and this is dictated by the year, not by any other consideration."
L&S(Jun 2020)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

In Bond