- Touriga Nacional / Tinta Roriz / Tinta Barroca
- 2020 - 2035
- Case size
Goedhuis, May 2013
Founded by Johnny Graham in 1981 Churchill’s has now rightly established itself as one of the leading port houses in the Douro valley. The backbone of the 2011 vintage comes from very old vine fruit at Quinta da Grincha situated on the south bank of the river Douro, which with its cooler northerly exposure was a huge contributing factor to the success of their wine in a hotter year such as 2011 according to Johnny. A clean pure fruited vintage port, balancing freshness and bright red berry fruits. This is a gentle and refined style with plenty of finesse on the finish
Neal Martin, May 2013,
The Churchill’s Vintage Port has a comparatively light, aniseed-tinged bouquet with orange blossom that wafts seductively from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe tannins and very well-judged acidity that lends this young Churchill’s great precision. This is a very harmonious Vintage Port with a lovely touch of salted licorice towards the finish. Beautiful. 3,000 cases declared.
Wine Advocate, December 2013,
This was blended from the winery’s old vines, particularly including its Quinta da Gricha (50+ years of age). That Quinta, says the winery, does well in hotter years because of its cooler, Northern exposure, and in 2011 they got a small, concentrated crop. Concentrated it most certainly is, plus it has controlled intensity leading to beautiful balance, one of the most important hallmarks of this beautifully constructed and rather elegant wine. It is aromatic and dry despite its exuberant young fruit, and it continues to become drier with air. It is sensually textured and well controlled in most all respects, always a bit subtle, yet also quite tasty. If the tannins seem refined early on, note that there is power and pop on the finish, which shows more and more as it airs out, detracting a bit from that early impression of sensual balance, but providing welcome evidence that there is more potential lurking underneath. It is, after all, Port, and it is no one-trick pony. The fine acidity slices through it all and leaves a beautiful package, one of the top VPs from Churchill that I've seen. It’s not the wine that will make you go "wow," but it one day will be one that you want to keep drinking. On Day 2, after being held open for an extra 9 hours, it was far more expressive. Complex, crisp and solid, this has a long, happy life ahead. I'm hoping I'm here to see most of it. It should age beautifully and it will undoubtedly have periods of time when it seems to be in an awkward place. Its acidity and its wonderful overall structure will stand it in good stead. This is well balanced enough to be very approachable rather early, perhaps even earlier than my drinking window suggests, but don’t commit infanticide. It will show far better around 2030 or so. Drink 2025-2060.
Jancis Robinson, May 2013,
Very scented and refined. Treacle and liquorice the top notes and real rigour. Absolutely classic 'Brit style' vintage port. Sort of the Léoville Barton of the Douro? Not the most generous arguably but very straight backed. Dry and almost austere. Drink 2030-2055.
Port is made in the Cima Corgo, Baixo Corgo and Douro Superior districts of the Douro Valley in the north of Portugal. The summers are hot and dry and the climate becomes more continental as you move further east towards the upper Douro Valley. Here temperatures often exceed 40 degrees. The Douro Valley has steep hillsides with terraces, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but is also extremely useful for making quality wine. The schist soils aid in drainage and have become very important to port production, so much so that much of the Douro table wines have been relegated to granite soils. The six main grape varieties used for port production are Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Tinta Barroca, Touriga Francesa and Tinta Amarela. There are another 42 grape varieties that are permitted but these six are considered to be the noblest ones, each adding something different to the blend. After the harvest the grapes are trodden, often by foot but more often by machines, in giant lagars (troughs). Port is a fortified wine so during fermentation ‘brandy' (not actually brandy but a grape-distilled spirit) is added to increase thealcoholic strength to around 17-19 % abv. This leaves a sweet, red fortified wine with lots of vibrant fruit. There are many different types of Port from the Basic Ruby Ports, through to Tawny Ports and LBVs, to probably the most famous of all Vintage Port that can take 20 years to reach its peak. When mature, Vintage Port is a unique tasting experience with warm, concentrated spicy-fruit flavours and a superb length that just goes on and on.