QUINTA DA ROMANEIRA
2012 Late Bottled Vintage
The 2012 Late Bottled Vintage Port is a traditional LBV, unfiltered and classic. Romaneira does a fine job with this category. It is a go-to producer for fine LBVs. Its elegant 2012 is lovely, with expressive and seemingly rich fruit. For all of the initial impression of richness, the fruit is nicely supported and well defined. It seems fresh, with finesse, too. It is graced with velvet for texture and finishes with hints of chocolate, baked strawberry and herbs. If it seems light and understated on opening, that is misleading. It puts on weight and shows its power with aeration. The backbone is impressive. Real steel comes out as this sits in the glass and tightens. Four days later, it was still expressive and intense, both in flavor and power. The fruit was gorgeous at that point. Overall, it was much improved. It is not the most concentrated ever LBV, but it has more than enough. It is actually on the impressive side there, in the context of the vintage. It should have the wherewithal to improve over the next decade and drink well for 20+ years. It is approachable now, but a couple of years in the cellar would help it. It is terrific value. Drinking range: 2018 - 2035 Rating: 93 Mark Squires, robertparker.com (Jun 2017)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Quinta da Romaneira
Whilst an old estate with a consequentially long history, Quinta da Romaneira only really becomes of note when new purchasers of the estate placed it under the management of Christian Seely and Antonio Agrellas who had worked such wonders at Quinta do Noval. Since then the vineyards have been overhauled, the best old vines have been retained in tandem with a replanting programme for the rest of the vineyard. A brand new winery has been constructed, two-thirds of it underground allowing Romaneira to have a proper cool wine cellar in the heart of the Douro valley.
85ha of vineyard, stretching some 3km along the River Douro are planted with both traditional Douro grapes and some plantings of international varieties.
Of course, this being the Douro valley, Quinta da Romaneira produce some very high quality Ports, but the forward focus of the estate is to realise the potential for table wine. In the words of Christian Seely, "our challenge has been, and remains, to find ways to vinify unfortified wines from the Douro that can take their rightful place among the great wines of the world, alongside the other great classic regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy or the Rhone Valley."
Time to fortify yourself against the winter chill. Wines to sip from small glasses whilst relaxing in a cosy armchair, slippers on, in front of a blazing fire. Fino sherry to liven the mind before dinner; a complex and luxurious Amontillado; Port both Tawny and Ruby; some red dessert wine from Maury to enjoy with some fine and dark chocolate; some warming Madeira; a selection of fine sweeties from classic regions; and a small bottle of super-sweet but oh so wonderful Pedro Ximenez.
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