2018 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 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)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 6)

* 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.

The 2018 Quinta da Romaneira has a very sensual bouquet with black plum, clove, Xmas cake and liquorice scents that give the olfactory senses a big hug. The palate is medium-bodied with quite a tangy/spicy opening salvo of cracked black pepper, tobacco, black fruits and subtle tertiary notes. This is a slightly more introverted single quinta Port on the palate than the nose, but I appreciate its length and the residual allspice and 5-spice aftertaste. It constitutes one of the vintage's more cerebral offerings. Drinking range: 2030 - 2060 Rating: 93 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Jun 2020)

For years this quinta upstream from Pinhão was a sleeping giant which is now reawakening under the direction of Christian Seely, managing director of Noval. Predominantly south facing which explains the dense, dark chocolate character on the nose, scented too; rich an opulent with ripe, dark cherry fruit backed by full ripe tannins and a muscular finish, verging on jammy and lacking the freshness of nearby Noval, there is real integrity here. 550 cases produced. Rating: 18 Richard Mayson, www.richardmayson.com  (Jun 2020)

The 2018 Vintage Port is mostly Touriga Nacional (70%), with the rest Touriga Franca, aged for 24 months in neutral tonels. It comes in with 91 grams of residual sugar. A very friendly 2018, this has relatively ripe tannins, reasonable depth and a tasty finish. The nose is laced with some eucalyptus (some would say "cistus," but that's a bit obscure) aromas. The fruity demeanor makes it rather delicious. Walking down the middle of the road, this is a well-constructed but very accessible Port that does everything well—but little stands out. It should age well and develop more. It is drinking fairly decently right now. Drinking range: 2025 - 2055 Rating: 90-92 Mark Squires, robertparker.com (Jul 2020)

For me, Romaneira is darker on the nose, with blackcurrant and dark chocolate aromas.
On the palate, it had more pronounced chocolate flavours, with darker damson and mulberry fruit, and a delicious twist of mint.
Keep your eye on wine merchant Lea & Sandeman’s website for availability – it imports Romaneira and is currently selling the 2008.
Peter Ranscombe, The Scottish Field (Sep 2020)

We are very happy to announce the declaration of the Quinta da Romaneira 2018 Vintage Port. Romaneira is one of the major historic Port wine quintas of the Douro Valley, and great Ports have been produced here since the 18th century. The past fifteen years have marked the rebirth of Romaneira as one of the highest quality quintas in the Douro. During this time we have established a reputation as a producer of the highest quality red and white unfortified wines, but a third of the production of our 85 hectare vineyard is still devoted to Port wines, trodden in stainless steel lagares in our modern winery, construction of which was completed in 2006.

From the 2018 harvest, we selected a small proportion of our Port production to make the blend for this wine, which we consider will be a milestone in the re-establishing of Romaneira’s historic reputation for making great Vintage Port. Like 2017, 2018 was a year of low yields, but for different reasons. 2017 was a year of extreme drought, while 2018 was marked in the first part of the year by heavy rainfall. This meant that potential yields were naturally much reduced by the difficulties of the flowering period. Subsequently however, a long hot dry summer ensued. Water levels in the soil had been replenished, and the result of this excellent ripening period on a low yield is evident in the 2018 Quinta da Romaneira Vintage Port, which is magnificently ripe, with profound colour, expressive intense rich fruit, and a wonderful underlying freshness. The nose is very characteristic of Romaneira, wild and aromatic, like taking a walk through the Quinta. The finish is fine long and delicate

Winemaker's notes (May 2020)

Whilst an old estate with a consequentially long history, Quinta da Romaneira only really becomes of note when, in 2004, new purchasers of the estate placed it under the management of Christian Seely and Antonio Agrellos 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."

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


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.