Expressive, with a wave of pure creamed plum, blackberry and blueberry fruit gliding through atop enticing anise and milk chocolate notes. Velvety, caressing finish makes it hard to see the graphite structure here, but it's there. Suave finish too. Will be hard to lay off this one in its youth, but it's destined for terrific development. Drinking range: 2032 - 2055 Rating: 97 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Dec 2020)
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While Charles Symington and the family concluded that the overall quality of the vintage was not sufficient for a blanket declaration it is clear that very small quantities of top wines from their various estates are thrillingly concentrated and utterly delicious and so these Single Quinta Vintage Ports will represent 2018 very strongly indeed. I can sense that legions of parents with new-born babies will breathe a collective sigh of relief. 2018 Quinta do Vesuvio is superbly aromatic and perfumed with tender, juicy, black-fruited tones augmented with spiciness, mintiness, woodsmoke and masses of energy. There is always a wildness and savagery which I adore in Vesuvio and these traits are heightened in 2018. But while these flamboyant notes are eye-catching, the fruit still holds court and it presents a seemingly forward and uncommonly appealing wine. Less muscular and more pliable than expected this immediacy is both alluring and attractive. With less grunt and more suave, honed fruit, this is more a gentleman rogue than Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. Forward and thoroughly alluring this is a delicious wine which will flatter in its youth but I know it has the power and poise to run, hence the ‘+’ in my score, and I don’t doubt that it will make the 30-year mark with ease. Drinking range: 2028 - 2050 Rating: 18.5+ Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Jul 2020)
The 2018 Vintage Port is a blend of 54% Touriga Nacional and 40% Touriga Franca and Alicante Bouschet combined, with miscellaneous others filling out the blend. It comes in with 112 grams of residual sugar. This is one of the two Ports being released en primeur now by the Symingtons in this issue. If you are judging the group on concentration and power, this is easily the winner, the one with the biggest upside. There are some other points to make, though. You may like the style of some others more. Inky black, it is also probably the most concentrated Port in the group, although it doesn't seem to quite scale the heights of, say, the 2017. The signature features here will be the pungent aromatics and the big, ripe fruit. Actually, it is not only big in flavor, it's a little flamboyant. There is a nuance on the finish that makes it seem especially ripe; it will be interesting to see if that folds into the whole in time. The baked plums up front suggest very ripe Touriga Nacional, in particular. Then, the hammer falls, and this shows off a fair bit of power too, especially the next day. It was by far, also, the 2018 in this article that was most on top of its game when tasted a couple of days later. It will be interesting to see where this goes. It certainly has potential. There were 965 cases produced. Drinking range: 2028 - 2065 Rating: 92-94 Mark Squires, robertparker.com (Jun 2020)
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-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)
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