2015 Port – A great Vintage year, that almost never was

by David Porter

2015 Vintage Port Offer

Brilliant Vintage Wines

At harvest time in 2015, the shippers were all talking about ‘Vintage quality’ and fairly sure that there would be a general ‘declaration’ –  but then came the impressive 2016 in the cellars too, and a decision had to be made about which to declare. Both really are very good indeed.

It is unusual for any of the big name’ Port Shippers to declare two vintages back to back. Sticking as tradition has dictated to 3 declarations spread through every decade.

Largely the Shippers have selected 2016 as the wine they will declare as a ‘Vintage’. Cynics may say that this decision could simply be down to the numbers. 2016 is a much larger vintage – so there is more of it to sell.

We feel that this gives buyers a great opportunity in 2015 to buy some terrific Vintage Ports – and at a fraction of the price of wines from a general declaration.

The 2015 wines in this offer are largely ‘Single Quintas’ rather than full-blown ‘Vintage Ports’ – but these are super-charged – very fine wines that punch well-above their weight. A joyous vintage and a rare bargain that we heartily recommend. These are delicious wines for drinking in the medium term that will repay buyers with much joy after a relatively short period of cellaring.

These wines are all offered on a pre-shipment basis. They are still in Portugal and will be shipped to the UK in November. Not only is this the cheapest moment to buy the wines but also your best chance of ensuring you don’t miss out on this small but brilliant vintage. Some of these wines are also available in Halves and Magnums – Please ask.

2015 FONSECA GUIMARAENS – £115/6-pack (In Bond)
‘A firm and gutsy Fonseca with medium to full body, chewy and powerful tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Lots of blueberry, blackberry and mineral undertones. Even some slate. Long and powerful. Medium sweetness. 93 points.’ James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com

2015 TAYLOR QUINTA DE VARGELLAS – £115/6-pack (In Bond)
‘This is top class with so much perfume and flower aromas. Violets galore. Full body yet refined and tight with very powerful and polished tannins. This is racy and linear. Turns juicy, fresh and medium sweet. Reminds me of the excellent 1967 Vargellas. 95 points.’ James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com

2015 QUINTA DA ROMANEIRA Vintage Port – £170/6-pack (In Bond)
This historic estate (celebrating 260 years of farming this year) is also run by Christian Seely of Noval fame. The quality here is immense from these beautiful old vineyards. Perhaps not the biggest name in the Douro, but the estate’s long history and the current team’s prowess mean this should not be overlooked. Inviting, luxuriant and poised. Smart stuff, Christian believes this is the best vintage port they have made here.

2015 NIEPOORT Vintage Port – £210/6-pack (In Bond)
This shows the elegance of the vintage. Not many port shippers are declaring but this exhibits length and firmness with structure. Medium to full body, light sweetness and lots of blackberry, blueberry and raspberry character. Very pretty length and firmness. Should be outstanding. Try in 2025. 95 points.’ James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com

2015 NIEPOORT Bioma ‘Vinha Velha’ – £115/3-pack (In Bond)
Bioma is Dirk’s single vineyard, organic Port from his own vines in Pisca. Independently minded as ever, he ages this in ‘pipes’ up in the Douro – rather than in larger wooden casks down-river in the cooler warehouses of Vila Nova de Gaia (which he does with his regular Vintage Port). This he says does allow more oxidation, but it also gives the wine more stability for the long haul. Furthermore the Bioma spends another 8 months in barrel compared to the Vintage – and it needs it. The intensity here is immense. Deep, rich, dark fruit gives a lovely wallop of mashed black cherries, violets, a spicy – almost marzipan note of kirsch too. It’s like the Vintage but with the volume up – Loud! Brooding, powerful and long – this will take a moment, but will be immensely satisfying in a a few years’ time.

2015 QUINTA DO NOVAL – £264/6-pack (In Bond)
Exquisite aromas of blackberry, stone, violet and blueberry. Lead pencil too. Ink. Full body, chewy and linear with super polished yet intense tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Classic Noval character through a direct punch to the palate. This needs at least until 2022 to open but already excellent. 95 points.’ James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com


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