Symingtons and Noval declare 2016 vintage Ports

Symington Family Estates has declared 2016 as a vintage across all of its Port properties, the first time it has issued a general declaration since 2011, while Quinta do Noval has declared a ‘Nacional’ vintage.

It is also only the fourth time Symington Family Estates has issued a general declaration for Graham’s, Dow’s and Warre’s (and now Cockburn’s too) since 2000.

In a statement released yesterday, the company said that 2016 had been a year to “read the signs and take risks”.

It was a wet start to the year, with the damp weather lasting all the way into May and causing “considerable” fruit loss in some areas.

The weather improved from June onwards and August was very warm though with some relief brought by rainfall on the 24 and 26.

The heat led to some early picking in some areas but head winemaker Charles Symington held off until further rainfall on 12-13 September and then only beginning picking on 19 September; with the best Touriga Nacional not harvested until the 26th and Touriga Franca until early October.

The resulting wines are described as “exceptional” with tannins that are “among the most refined ever, beautiful red-fruit flavours with extraordinary intense, purple colour.”

The report continued: “They have impressive structure and balance, with Baumés, acidity, tannins and colour in rare and perfect alignment. This is no doubt a result of the later ripening cycle which allowed our grapes to mature evenly and completely.

“Production of each of our 2016 Vintage Ports is approximately 1/5 below our previous declared vintage following rigorous selection in the tasting room.”

In addition, Quinta do Noval announced this morning (10 April) that it was also declaring 2016 a vintage year and that it would also be producing a ‘Nacional’ wine. In a statement, managing director Christian Seely (pictured right) also mentioned the mixture of rainfall and intense heat and the need to wait to pick individual plots at optimum ripeness.

The result, he said, was wines with, “excellent structure, very intense bright fruit and aromatically very expressive.”

He continued: “I am delighted to announce the declaration of the Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2016 and of the Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 2016. This will perhaps come as no surprise, since rumours of the exceptional quality of the 2016 wines have been circulating for some time, and with justification. Blending the Quinta do Noval Vintage Port was a thrilling experience.

“The individual wines were wonderful, and we are sure that the final blend for our 2016 will be one of the great historic Vintage Ports of Quinta do Noval. The Nacional is of course made from one small parcel, vinified in one small lagar, and was clearly outstanding from the very beginning. We are confident that this wine also will take its place among the historic great Vintages of Nacional.

“The Nacional as usual has a personality all of its own, considerably more reserved than the Quinta do Noval, with a brooding powerful tannic structure that promises very long and great ageing potential.“

2 Responses to “Symingtons and Noval declare 2016 vintage Ports”

  1. Isn’t that a photo of Rupert Symington?

  2. Roy Hersh says:

    It will be fascinating to see the unique differences between the 2015, 2016 and next year’s release of 2017 Vintage Ports, early on and two decades hence. This might be the first time in the history of Port with 3 consecutive excellent vintages. I can’t wait to taste the 2016’s.

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