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Symingtons declare first ever consecutive vintage

With the 2017 wines, Symington Family Estates has announced the first back-to-back vintage declaration in its history but also one of the smallest.

The “remarkable” 2017 crop was eventually judged good enough to be declared a vintage and so follows on from the highly acclaimed 2016s (declared last year) to be the first consecutive vintage pair since the company was founded in 1882 and just the sixth declared vintage of the 21st century – and also the smallest, producing a third less than the 2016s (which was also a small vintage).

This was due to low rainfall and high summer heat which resulted in small but compact bunches, with the final crop 20% below the 10-year average.

It was also an exceptionally early harvest with harvests beginning in August but the wines had, “extraordinary intensity, concentration and structure, combined with stunning aromas and freshness,” Symington Family Wines said in a statement.

The conditions of the year were very close to 1945 which produced an extremely famous vintage it was also noted.

Charles Symington, head winemaker at Symington Family Estates, said: “In my 25 years as a winemaker in our family vineyards, I have never seen a year like 2017. The yields were extremely low, but the concentration and structure took my breath away. We have made some really remarkable wines.”

Vintage Ports have been produced across Graham’s, Dow’s, Warre’s and Cockburn’s as well as Quinta do Vesuvio, Capela da Quinta do Vesuvio and Graham’s ‘The Stone Terraces’, with the 2017 marking just the fourth release of the latter two.

Johnny Symington, chairman at Symington Family Estates, added: “Few wine regions in the world restrict vintage years with such integrity as we do in the Douro. The decision to declare Vintage Ports from two consecutive years was not one taken lightly. However, these two exceptionally strong harvests have produced wines of such immense quality that we felt justified in making this historic decision.”

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