The 2017 Vintage Port Declaration
In the world of wine, a back to back Port declaration is quite the statement and is a reflection of the absolute confidence the famous port shippers have in both the 2016 and 2017 vintages. It is in fact the first time in the history of the Symington family tenure as port shippers and the first time in over 100 years for Taylor's to consider two consecutive years worthy to be declared vintage years.
Tasting the newly released 2017 vintage last week revealed just how special they are. More exciting still is that they possess such different qualities from the 2016 vintage. If the 2016s focused on elegance and restraint, the 2017s have an intensity and masculinity that makes them stand on their own. This is very much a vintage for the long term to be appreciated by more than a generation. The shippers themselves describe the vintage as “classic old school, Vintage Ports, deep and intense, with multi layered fruit, powerful with compact tannins”.
James Suckling rates the vintage highly, with scores in the high 90s. “Port producers are comparing 2017 with the legendary 1945 and after recently tasting a few bottles of the more recent vintage, I think the comparison is reasonable… They also have excellent tannin intensity... There’s a purity and unfinished or primary nature to the young Vintage Ports that makes them very exciting to taste.” He further comments: “2017 Vintage Ports show impressive concentration… they are certainly outstanding quality.”
Neal Martin has also (yesterday) released his comments and scores. He gets straight to the point: "Quite rightly, those that splashed out on 2016 will want to know why they should open their wallets again. Well, the answer is clear when you taste them: whereas the leitmotifs of 2016 are elegance and finesse, 2017 is more about structure and intensity. The 2017s are more hedonistic than their 2016 counterparts and yet the startling aspect of these Ports is their freshness. Theoretically the heat of summer ought to have sapped the wines of their brightness and acidity, yet it is clearly locked in and there is plenty of tension. The result is a number of very intense though not exotic Ports, in that they avoid hedonism and there is no loss in typicity. At times they verge on overwhelming the senses, though of course I am sinfully approaching them decades before their prime. Conjecturing what the 2017s will become, the mind boggles."
There is no question that it is a great vintage, the secret is to select a house style which appeals to your palate as they are all wonderfully individual and reflective of their locations.
With such a variety of styles, but uniformity of excellent quality, 2017 highlights the advantage of the growing fashion for 6 bottle cases. Instead of purchasing a block of one individual shipper’s wine, it is much more fun to buy a small selection of different ports to show the depth and range of this high class but very small vintage.
In addition to the cases below we are also offering a Trio Pack 2017, containing 1 x 75cl each of Taylor’s, Fonseca & Croft 2017, for £175.00 IB. This is such a brilliant opportunity to try all three of these exceptional wines without committing to a full case of each and would be a perfect gift for any child born in 2017!