The 2017 was a very different year to 2016 in terms of the viticultural conditions and it was interesting to watch the progression of the wine and scrutinize its quality as it developed over its first two winters. Whereas 2016 had a very mild winter and exceptionally hot summer, this was compensated by abundant winter and spring rainfall. Conversely, 2017 was warm and dry throughout, although summer temperatures were closer to average, which proved to be a very significant factor allowing for complete, balanced ripening.
It is rare to see such tremendous depth and intensity in color as this wine displays. The freshness of the floral aromas is very attractive with a dominance of rockrose, a flower that grows wild around the hills of Senhorada Ribeira. On the palate, it is exceptionally full-bodied, rich and powerful with black fruit coming to the fore. Gorgeous, ripe fruit is balanced by the fine tannin structure. On the finish, it is typically Dow,austere and somewhat drier than many other ports. The intense fruit flavors linger long on the palate.
"Pure grape aromas that remind me of fermenting must but then goes to stems and dried flowers. Full-bodied, medium sweet with fine-grained tannins that coat your palate. Powerful and muscular yet remains agile and beautiful. Grows on your palate. Wonderful ripe fruit in the middle palate. Try after 2030." James Suckling, 98
"A dense, thickly textured version, dripping with warm salted licorice, tar and açaí paste notes, while plum and blueberry pâte de fruit, chai spice and chocolate elements fill in behind. Lots of brambly grip flows underneath. Shows a very sappy feel on the finish. Best from 2035 through 2055." Wine Spectator, 96