Wines

9 -February -Feb -2011

Vintage Port 2007

  • Vintage Port 2007

Dow’s Vintage Ports are only produced in years of exceptional quality and represent only a very small part of the total company’s production in that year. On average only two or three times every ten years are the weather conditions sufficiently good to allow for the making of Dow’s Vintage Port.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Dow’s Vintage Ports have been landmark wines in virtually every great year, consistently setting the standards amongst all Port houses. Vintage Ports such as the remarkable Dow 1896, the 1927, 1945, 1955, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1980 and the Dow 1994 are all legends in the history of this great wine. These Ports are still magnificent today, even when 50 or over 100 years old. Few wines can claim this quality and this pedigree.

Dow's Vintage Ports are drawn from the companies' finest vineyards; Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta de Senhora da Ribeira. Each property contributes to the Dow’s unique and distinctive style. When young, Dow’s Vintage Ports are purple-black, austere, complex and intensely concentrated, full-bodied and balanced with very fine peppery tannins.

Over the centuries, the Dow winemakers have evolved a style that suits the house’s key vineyards; fermentations are a little longer, resulting in a drier Port Wine that has become the hallmark of Dow’s. Abundant fruit flavours with hints of ripe blackberries, give elegance and poise to Dow’s. The nose is deep and powerful with strong overtones of violets when young, these mature into fine cinnamon and rose-tea aromas with age. The very high percentage of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional planted on the vineyards result in the powerful structure and aging potential of Dow’s Vintage Ports

Dow’s Ports avoid an over-rich style and requires a very high degree of skill in wine making and great experience in selecting the finest wines of each year and each vineyard. These wines are aged in seasoned oak casks for some 18 months and are bottled without any filtration or fining whatsoever.

Dow Vintage Ports can be enjoyed when vibrant and young or they can be allowed to age for many years in bottle into a soft and delicate wine of velvet-like elegance.

In the 1920’s, the celebrated Oxford Professor George Saintsbury underlined Dow’s outstanding reputation when he wrote in his famous ‘Notes on a Cellarbook’ (first published in 1920), “There is no shipper’s wine that I have found better than the best of Dow’s 1878 and 1890 especially.”

James Suckling, one of today’s leading authorities on Vintage Port was equally impressed by another legendary wine - the Dow’s 1896 - “The ancient {1896} Port still had an amazing ruby colour with a garnet edge, and it smelled of raisins, black pepper and berries. It was full-bodied, with masses of fruit intertwined with layers of velvety tannins. It was superb.” In 1998, when this wine was 102 years old, he awarded this Port an exceptional 98 points.

9 -February -Feb -2011

Quinta do Bomfim Vintage Port

  • Quinta do Bomfim Vintage Port

One of the Douro Valley’s finest vineyards, Bomfim is the heart of some of the company’s greatest Ports, having provided wines for Dow’s Vintage Ports ever since it was acquired in 1896. The estate is situated in the centre of the best wine-producing area known as the ‘Cima Corgo’, which offers an ideal balance between the relatively wet ‘Baixo Corgo’ to the west and the intense heat of the ‘Douro Superior’ to the east.

In the good year’s when Dow’s does not ‘declare’ a Vintage, the best Ports of Quinta do Bomfim are carefully selected and bottled as Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim Vintage Port. These wines are exceptionally good. They will tend to mature a little earlier than the very rare ‘Declared’ years, but can be every bit as good as some other Vintage Ports.

Bomfim is a classic ‘River Quinta’ with several natural advantages: it is south-facing ensuring ideal exposure to the sun; its stony schist soil affords excellent drainage, allowing water to reach the vine’s deep roots; the annual average rainfall is near perfect at 800mm; the altitude ranges from 120 to 340 metres above sea level, accommodating both gentle gradients lower down and progressively steeper slopes higher up the valley side. A further advantage is the consistency of the climate, blessed with a favourable combination of temperate and Mediterranean influences, respectively from Portugal’s Atlantic coast to the west and the Spanish plateau to the east

The whole Bomfim vineyard is ‘A-rated’, the highest quality grading conferred by the region’s wine regulatory body. The vineyards are now almost entirely planted in varietal batches, meaning each variety may be picked and subsequently vinified separately, thus allowing for each grape’s maximum potential to be achieved. The principal grape varieties planted are: Touriga Franca (30%); Touriga Nacional (20%); Tinta Barroca (13%); Tinta Roriz (13%) and old mixed vines (12%), whilst other grape varieties account for the remaining 12%. Two-thirds of the vineyard is now over 20 years old, whilst one third is between 30 to 40 years old.
Wine profile: When young, Bomfim wines are purple-black, austere, complex and intensely concentrated; they are characterised by very fine peppery tannins. Over the centuries, the winemakers at Bomfim have evolved a style that suits this particular vineyard; fermentations are a little longer, resulting in a drier Port Wine that has become the hallmark of Dow’s. The grapes are normally extremely ripe at the time of picking, a direct result of the low-lying position of the main vineyard. Spice and pepper balance the black chocolate flavours and these are very evident in all Bomfim Ports. Abundant fruit flavours with hints of maple, raisins and ripe blackberries give elegance and poise to this wine. The very high percentage of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional planted on the estate result in the powerful aromas of mint and violets on the finest Ports from Bomfim.

Winemaking: Bomfim’s wines are vinified in the quinta’s fermentation vats which have been successively upgraded over the years and which continue to produce excellent wines. Selected batches of wines are also made at Dow’s other winery, Quinta do Sol, just a short distance downstream where the prototypes of the revolutionary robotic lagares were first trialled in 1998 and 1999.

9 -February -Feb -2011

Senhora da Ribeira Vintage Port

  • Sra da Ribeira Vintage Port
     

One of the Douro’s most beautiful vineyards, Senhora da Ribeira is located 24km (15 miles) upriver from Quinta do Bomfim in the remote Douro Superior. The vineyard commands a magnificent north bank position, overlooking a broad sweep of the Douro, directly opposite another famous Symington owned vineyard: Quinta do Vesuvio. Senhora de Ribeira was built close to an ancient river crossing, guarded by two 12th century castles on either side of the river built by the Moors during their centuries long occupation of Iberia. A small chapel dedicated to the ‘Lady of the River’ (literally: Senhora da Ribeira) has stood here for centuries and gave the quinta its name. Travellers would pause here to ask for a safe river passage and onward journey.
Senhora da Ribeira’s wines are some of the finest in the Douro and they complement those from Bomfim in the composition of Dow’s classic Vintage Ports. The quinta’s high proportion of old vines (45% are over 25 years old) is of critical importance. The old vines are very low-yielding, producing on average less than 1Kg of grapes each, giving intense and concentrated musts which are ideal for classic Vintage Port. The remainder of the vineyard was replanted as follows: 21% in 2001 and 34% from 2004, the latter involving mainly Touriga Nacional vines. This grape variety - very important for Vintage Port - now represents almost exactly a third of the total planted at the quinta. The entire vineyard has the maximum ‘A’ rating.

As with Bomfim, the consistency of the climate plays a key role, although the rainfall is only half of that experienced at Bomfim: 448mm is the 10 year average. This more extreme climate, hot dry summers and cold, equally dry winters results in wines with unique depth of colour and complexity.
As with Quinta do Bomfim, the best Ports from Senhora de Ribeira are used to make Dow’s Vintage Ports in the great and rare ‘Declared’ years. In the good year’s when Dow’s does not ‘declare’ a Vintage, the best wines of ‘The Lady of the River’ are bottled as Dow’s Quinta de Senhora da Ribeira Vintage Port. They will tend to mature a little earlier than the very rare ‘Declared’ years, but can be every bit as good as some other Vintage Ports.

Winemaking:
Senhora da Ribeira has one of the most advanced specialist wineries in the Douro, combining the best of traditional winemaking practice, evolved over centuries, and the latest state-of-the-art automated systems. Three granite ‘lagares’ for foot treading are complemented by three ‘robotic’ lagares, designed by the Symington family and installed in the quinta’s winery in 2001.
It has long been recognised that traditional treading produced some of the finest Ports, but there are some drawbacks involved in traditional treading; temperature control is difficult, there is a limit to how long people are willing to tread and they need to sleep. The winemaker’s options are therefore limited, he or she cannot order treading at different times through the night, or pull people off the picking team at will. Furthermore, emptying the traditional lagar takes a long time; in the meantime the fermentation process is accelerating away. A further handicap arose over recent years, when an increasing scarcity of labour obliged producers to look for less labour-intensive vinification solutions. The Symingtons opted to devise a mechanical means of replicating the proven method of foot treading. The result was the Symington ‘robotic lagar’, an automated treading machine which exactly replicates the gentle action of the human foot and which has revolutionised winemaking in the Douro Valley. This equipment is very expensive but the results have been so good that an increasing proportion of Dow’s finest wines are now made in these automated lagares. Approximately half of the wines for Dow’s much praised 2003 Vintage were vinified in them.
The Senhora da Ribeira’s Quinta Vintage Ports have amassed a highly impressive number of awards: three Gold Medals at the International Wine Challenge, (2008, 2006 and 2001, for the 2005, 2002 and 1999 Vintages, respectively) as well as seven Silver Medals and two Gold Medals at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (London, 2008 for the 2005 Vintage and 2002 for the 1998 Vintage). In September 2006, Jancis Robinson MW wrote, “One very exciting new bottling is Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira 2004...this single quinta bottling demonstrates superb quality with wonderful vibrancy. Great wine in any context - not that unlike some California reds! This is definitely a wine to look out for when it is released.”
Wine Profile
The very hot climate through the summer at this vineyard results in highly complex and concentrated wines but very low yields. Colours of the musts in the fermentation tanks are always purple-black due to the very high skin to juice ratio. The old vines add further to the intensity of the wine as they make up a very large percentage of the vineyard. The resulting wine can be described as being the essence of Vintage Port, with powerful wild red-fruit flavours, leading into rich black chocolate notes, the whole balanced by complex, attractive and peppery tannins.

9 -February -Feb -2011

Crusted Port

  • Crusted Port

Dow's Crusted Port is a blend of particularly full bodied Ports of very high quality from recent vintages (normally from the two or three harvests immediately preceding the bottling date). These Ports are matured in cask for some 12 to 18 months before being bottled without any fining or filtration. Dow’s Crusted Port is then aged for a further three years in bottle in the Dow’s cellars prior to being released for sale. This prolonged bottle-ageing gives this Port a superb style and character with the distinctive Dow’s dry finish.

Dow’s Crusted Port is an outstanding wine with which to end a fine lunch or dinner and is ready for drinking when released onto the market, but it will continue to improve in bottle.

Vibrant and full of ripe red-berry fruit flavours balanced by rich black chocolate over tones, Dow’s Crusted Port is superb value for money and gives many of the unique flavours of the great bottle matured Vintage Ports at a fraction of the price.
 

9 -February -Feb -2011

Aged Tawny Ports

  • Aged Tawny Ports

Dow’s Old Tawny Ports are the ultimate expression of the wine makers and blender’s art. Only tasters with a profound experience and knowledge of the great Ports of the Douro can nurture these wines through many years of aging in seasoned oak casks in the Dow’s cellars. The Dow’s blenders will select particular wines that are set aside and destined to become these great Old Tawny Ports.

Old Tawny Ports need to be regularly tasted throughout the many years that they lie in the cellars. The wines need to be ‘racked’ from time to time during each year. Racking is the process by which the Dow’s team of experienced lodge men will carefully draw the wine off its ‘lees’ (the natural sediment that is formed at the bottom of the cask) and then pour the wine back into the clean cask. During these many years of careful attention and aging, the dark, purple and vibrant young Port mellows and ages into the complex but delicate aged Tawny Ports, gaining a classic amber tawny hue which gives them their name.
Most of Dow’s Old Tawny Ports are aged in the company’s extensive cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia where the moderate coastal climate plays a key role in bringing a balanced aging process to the wine. Ports aged in the Douro tend to react to the great heat of the summer months by gaining over-strong caramelised flavours. A small proportion of Douro aged tawny Ports are normally a valuable addition to the final blend, but in excess, they will unbalance a great Tawny Port.

Dow’s holds one of the largest stocks in the entire Port trade in oak casks in its cellars. This un-surpassed investment in valuable Port is fundamental to the great quality of Dow’s Old Tawny Ports.
Dow’s Old tawny Ports are drier than most (although they retain the classic richness of all Port wines). It is widely acknowledged amongst generations of Port producers that producing slightly drier Old Tawny Ports is far more difficult than producing sweet tawny Ports. The sweetness can cover any slightly less well balanced wine but it will tend to make the final blend rather cloying and less enjoyable to savour. It is for this reason that Dow’s Old Tawny Ports are slightly drier than others. This fact makes the blender’s job more difficult and demanding but the wine that is finally bottled is superb and is the reason why Dow’s Old Tawny Ports regularly win the top awards around the world for their unique style and quality.

The great Tawny Ports of Dow’s are particularly good when drunk slightly chilled in warmer weather.
Dow’s Ten Years Old Tawny Port.
Amber golden in colour, soft and rich on the palate with a fine and mellow fruit flavour blending in with the almond overtones of prolonged cask aging. A very fine Port to be savoured in a reasonable sized glass so that the aromas and colour can be appreciated. Serve slightly chilled in warm weather.

Dow’s Twenty Years Old Tawny Port.
For many the perfect age for a great Tawny Port. The vibrant purple colour of a great young Port has softened to a delicate green-gold after 20 long years in seasoned oak casks under the watchful eye of the master blender and the Dow’s head lodge man. On the palate, Dow’s Twenty Years Old Tawny is perfectly balanced, with notes of dried nuts and spice. One of the greatest wines a Port blender can make.
Dow’s Thirty Year Old Tawny Port.
Very few Ports can age for 30 long years and still show the complexity and flavours that can be found in Dow’s Thirty Year Old. At any one time only 6 or 7 casks in the ancient cellars of Dow’s in Vila Nova de Gaia are available to be bottled for this very rare and fine Port, the remaining barrels of Port in cask are on the long and slow journey to reach this pinnacle of the Port tasters art.

This is a Port to be savoured as a special occasion, truly a memorable experience.

Dow’s Forty Years Old Tawny Port.
An incredibly rare and fine Port of immense age and delicate elegance. A Port where the essence of fine Tawny Port is encapsulated; pale golden-green with age on the rim and sweetly concentrated by four decades in seasoned oak barrels. A brilliant Port of rare pedigree.
 

9 -February -Feb -2011

Colheita Port

  • Colheita Port

Dow’s ages some of its best Ports for many years in seasoned oak casks in its ancient cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. This prolonged time in barrel ensures that the wines take on soft almond and walnut aromas, losing the intense red colour of its youth but gaining immense delicacy, richness and profound intensity of flavour.

The word ‘Colheita’ means ‘harvest’, for Port this word is used to describe a wine from a single year that has been aged in wood for a minimum of 7 years.

Many of the Dow’s Colheitas available today have been aged for considerably longer and Dow’s has one of the finest collections of cask aged Ports in existence today.
The family team of tasters regularly tastes all the old tawny Ports as they mature in the cellar. These wines are ‘racked’ two or three times a year and then returned to the original cask. When the tasters judge that the wine has reached the perfect state of maturity, the Port is carefully drawn off the cask and bottled. Due to the long and careful aging process no fining or filtration takes place.

Dow’s Colheita Ports are for savouring and quite appreciation for their intense and rare flavours.
 

9 -February -Feb -2011

Late-Bottled Vintage

  • Late-Bottled Vintage

    Late-Bottled Vintage

Over the last twenty five years the work done in the Dow’s vineyards and in the Dow’s wineries has resulted in constant improvement to the quality of all the house's premium Ports. Nowhere has this investment been more in evidence than in the quality of Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Ports (LBV). Dow’s LBV is full-bodied, rich but perfectly balanced with soft peppery tannins and with a fine acidity that ensure perfect balance on the palate. The classic Dow’s dry finish is always present in the house’s LBV; it is one of the finest LBV Ports available.

Dow’s LBV has consistently won more awards that most other LBV Ports on the market and this wine has become recognized around the world as an industry standard for excellence, it is served in countless fine restaurants, on several major international airlines and most importantly it is widely appreciated by consumers in many countries around the world.



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9 -February -Feb -2011

Trademark

  • Trademark

Dow’s Trademark is a very fine Reserve Port in the full-bodied traditional house style. Trademark reflects the great skill and experience of the Dow’s tasters.

Trademark originates from Dow’s own Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta da Senhora de Ribeira estates and a carefully selected handful of neighbouring vineyards. Fruity, luscious and mellow with an attractive undertone of spice, Trademark has the slightly drier finish which has always been the hallmark of all Dow’s Port. Trademark is bottled after a light fining (with no filtration) when ready for immediate consumption and requires no decanting.

Dow’s Trademark can be enjoyed after a fine lunch or dinner with friends or at any time in the evening in an informal or even a formal setting.
 

9 -February -Feb -2011

Fine Ruby

  • Ruby Port

The grapes used in the production of Dow’s Fine Ruby were a blend of traditional Portuguese varieties from the Douro Valley.
Dow’s Fine Ruby was aged in seasoned oak casks at our lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia for an average of 3 years, and bottled when ready to drink.
Exuberant youthful fruit flavours make it perfect for informal drinking.
It is ready to drink and enjoy when bottled and does not require further ageing.

9 -February -Feb -2011

Fine Tawny

  • Tawny Port

Dow’s Fine Tawny is a three-year-old blend aged in small oak casks at our lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia.
The barrel ageing produces a smoother and lighter style of wine than the Dow’s Ruby which is aged primarily in large oak vats and tonels.
Dow’s Tawny combines subtle fruit with delicious velvety nutty flavours derived from the cask ageing.
It is ready to drink and enjoy when bottled and does not require further ageing.

9 -February -Feb -2011

Fine White

  • White Port

Dow’s Fine White is made primarily at our Quinta do Sol winery. Only traditional white grape varieties from the Douro valley are used.
Dow’s Fine White was 100% fermented off the skins and using temperature control so that fermentation takes place between 18-22ºc.
Aged for an average of three years it is bottled when ready to drink and requires no further ageing.

17 -October -Oct -2011

Nirvana Reserve

  • Nirvana Reserve

    Nirvana Reserve

Nirvana is a special Port made to complement chocolate.


Port pairs wonderfully with many foods, but few as perfectly and pleasurably as chocolate. Dow’s wine making team set out together with the help of ‘The Flanders Taste Foundation’ in Belgium to craft a Port that would provide the ultimate match for chocolate.


After a series of tastings supported by scientific analysis to identify the key flavour components of both Port and Dark Chocolate the blend was refined accentuating the floral aromas and the tannic structure of the wine.


Dow’s Nirvana will pair well with most dark chocolates but particularly well with chocolate with a cacao content of between 60% to 75%.

 

Visit Dow's Nirvana Website

Wines

14 -February -Feb -2011


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