Grape(s): Touriga Franca, Sousão, Touriga Nacional
Localization: Douro, Portugal
Tasting notes: The extremely low yields of the Vesuvio vineyard produced a wine of unparalleled concentration and richness and with a deep purple color. The wine combining floral aromas of eucalyptus and has intense flavors of very ripe fruit and rich blackcurrant.
Quinta do Vesuvio 2007 is a fabulous accompaniment to chocolate desserts, such as flourless chocolate cake or dark chocolate truffles, but can also be enjoyed on its own - it is an experience in itself. Port is best served in classic Port wine glassware or white wine glasses. Avoid cordial or liqueur glasses as they are too small to fully appreciate the wine's aromas.
96 points Wine & Spirits: A great vintage of Vesuvio, this is completely the Douro in its flavors, a bold stroke of color across the palate, a rush of green, red, blue, and purple. It's plump, if not downright fat (the wine seems softer in acidity than some of its peers), but it's ripped by tannin, with a pervasive schistiness that makes it grand. Those resonant tannins combine with vibrant spice, licorice, and green herb to create a hum of energy around all the fruit. The wine vibrates with power, intensely compressed. Drink it young to be wowed, or cellar it for decades; it's anyone's guess when this will calm down.
The Domain: Although historical records mention Vesuvio as early as 1565 it was primarily under the auspices of the Douro's redoubtable widow, Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, that this vineyard estate acquired its legendary reputation. The estate's industrious founder was her husband who from 1820 began the ambitious task of planting the vineyard. This gargantuan enterprise involving the shaping and construction of terraces on the intractable slopes and the planting of hundreds of thousands of vines took his legions of workers thirteen years to complete. Following the founder's death, his widow continued to develop the property, which under her able management became the showpiece Quinta of the Douro. At Vesuvio she built one of the Douro's largest wineries, containing eight granite 'lagares' (treading tanks) each capable of holding 25 pipes (1 pipe: 550 liters). In 1989 Quinta do Vesuvio was purchased by the Symington family whose involvement in the growing, production and shipping of Port began more than a century ago. The family decided from the outset to preserve the traditional character of the Quinta especially with regard to the vinification process where the time-honored method of treading the grapes by foot has been retained. Some technological innovations have been introduced principally in the form of a cooling system to control fermentation in this ancient wine-making method. Vesuvio is offered exclusively as a Single Quinta Vintage Port in view of the outstanding quality of the wine. Only about 50 pipes (36,000 bottles) are bottled each year although the production of the property is much greater and this exemplifies the family's steadfast policy of releasing none but the very finest wines from the Quinta.