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As a general rule, the further one travels up the Douro, the better the quality and concentration found in the fruit, though as a result of the drier conditions, the quantities are greatly reduced. The Symington Group took the plunge in 1989 and purchased Quinta do Vesuvio, which despite its remoteness, has to be the grandest quinta, with about 400 hectares of which about 100 are covered with the finest vines.
The transformation of Vesuvio into the Douro’s showpiece vineyard began with António Bernardo Ferreira who bought the Quinta in 1823 with a vision and determination to build a vineyard on a scale never seen before in the Douro.
In addition to building hundreds of terraces and planting thousand of grape vines, an adega (winery) was built. It took thirteen years to complete and within a few years Quinta do Vesuvio became widely regarded as the Douro’s finest property. Quinta do Vesuvio only produces Vintage Port, both in declared years and those which are not - though only the latter if conditions are of a very high enough standard. This ability to declare in most years is due to the quality of fruit produced on the estate, which is trodden by foot in stone lagares - the time-honoured method that the best producers use for making the best wines. Although released in most years, quantities can be scarce of this most impressive, long-lived wine which frequently rates among the very best for sheer finesse and depth. In May 1827 António Bernardo Ferreira wrote “All the English have poured praise on my lodge and hold that they cannot find another adega to match mine in the Douro… stating frankly that both in Oporto and the Douro, nobody has better wines”
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This is an unfortified wine from the legendary Quinta Do Vesuvio, itself long known to BBR customers as one of the very finest of single Quinta vintage ports. The quality is evidenced here too. The 2008 is made from 60% Touriga Franca, 30% Touriga Nacional and 10% Arinta Amerasl, all three solid indigenous grape varieties, of which the first two are probably more familiar than the third…. The vinification takes place in state of the art gravity-flow fermenters and the wine is matured for 10 months in 400 litre French barrels. Pombal is rich, with powerful flavours of cassis, mulberry and black plum, all laced with a stony minerality and underpinned by very fine tannins. Stylish and not without local charm, this is a very popular wine, deservedly so. Simon Field MW - Wine Buyer More commonly known for their fine single Quinta vintage ports, Quinta do Vesuvio’s still red wine is a sumptuous style produced from three noble varieties. Deep in colour, brooding dark fruit and a touch of red liquorice are characteristics displayed among the velvety tannins on the palate, wrapped up with a fine acidity. Chris Lamb - London Shop Staff
Case price (12)
Case saving £34.80
Bottle 6 x 75cl
2013 was not ‘declared’ a vintage as such but high up the Douro river the Quinta (‘farm’) do Vesuvio’s vineyards are of such high quality they are blessed to be able to make and release a notable wine in more years than those universally ‘declared’. The ’13 reveals a gorgeous, plump, pure-fruited and very fulsome nose followed on tasting by a hi-toned character which is beautifully pure and elegant. As good a Vesuvio as ever, and one that will drink very well, if youthful, from 2022 before evolving into something more aged up to, say, 2033. Tom Cave, Cellar Plan Manager
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Case saving £72.00
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Magnum 3 x 150cl
From the legendary Quinta do Vesuvio, origin of some of the very finest vintage ports, an outstanding table wine, sure rapidly to acquire the same reputation as that of its fortified sibling. The blend is 70% Touriga Nacional, 20% Touriga Franca and 10% Tinta Amarela, all vinified separately and given an unusually long cuvaison to enable maximum extraction of fruit and tannin. The wine is then aged for 10 months in 400 litre French barrels. The 2008 season was more temperate than its immediate forebear; probably more of a fillip for table wines than for those which have been fortified. This wine which is balanced and finely structured with finely etched tannins providing the perfect backdrop to the wonderful classic Vesuvio perfume and the opulent plum and raspberry fruit profile. (Simon Field MW, BBR Wine Buyer)
Quinta do Vesuvio is the most magisterial of all the Quintas, the near-baroque grandeur of the building dominating the river high in the Douro Superior. As the show-case property, its lagares are often trodden by the international wine trade when they visit, usually after dinner, so with a degree more abandon than the professional teams, whose march is tighter in a rather different sense. The night temperature at Vesuvio did not drop below 20 degrees for all of September 2011, entitling it to an official description of ‘tropical’. After the mild mid-summer and rain on 21st August and 1st September, this balmy hinter-season was ideal and the sugar levels and phenols matured harmoniously. The late-ripeneing Touriga Franca, which makes up 45% of the blend, had an especially happy time of it and ensures that the famous Vesuvio aromatic gum cistus aromas are present and correct. This is a fabulous wine, one of my favourites this year, reminding me of the 1994 at a similar age. It manages to combine a seductive fin de siècle plush with a very firm and disciplined mid-palate, with ripe and harmonious tannins providing counterpoint. Simon Field MW, Port Buyer Displaying a vivid nose with complex floral aromas, spices and lifted, pure fruits, this is rich and ripe on the palate, with layers of spices, blackberry and damson. The finish comes packed with cigar box, gunpowder and spicy fruits. All in all, this is layered and very fresh with great elegance; it is outstanding. Hamish Orr-Ewing, Private Account Manager
Methusel. 1 x 600cl
From the legendary Quinta, origin of some of the very finest vintage ports, an outstanding table wine, sure rapidly to acquire the same reputation as that of its fortified sibling. The blend is 70% Touriga Nacional, 20% Touriga Franca and 10% Tinta Amarela, all vinified separately and given an unusually long cuviason to enable maximum extraction of fruit and tannin. The wine is then aged for 10 months in 400 litre French barrels. The 2007 vintage was very good, with an especially pleasing late ripening season and harvest; Charles Symington is more than satisfied with the result; here we have a wine which is balanced and finely structured with finely etched tannins providing the perfect backdrop tot the wonderful classic Vesuvio perfume and the opulent plum and raspberry fruit profile. (Simon Field MW, BBR Buyer)
A reserved but very classic nose, followed up with a big, voluptuous taste. The Symington's hard work at Vesuvio has placed this quinta up with the very best since the early 1990s. The 2000 is very rounded, weighty and full, and even at this early stage shows a wonderful array of flavours.
The 2004 vintage is more about perfume and energy rather than raw power and firm tannins. Notes of crushed violet and cassis, with the famous eucalyptus and loganberry nose; on tasting, the rich, velvety fruit is matched with very fine grip and vigour. Decadent sweetness, with Vesuvio's typical focus and poise - in short, the tannins though present are already very well integrated and this will make a delicious drink in 8 to 10 years, though it will last for 20 years and more. A rare and beautiful gem to lay down for future enjoyment.
From the finest estate in the Symington empire, the 1992 Vesuvio is a classic. The dominant Touriga Francesca grape provides a perfumed, ethereal nose; on the palate power and restraint are translated into silky tannins and layer upon layer of flavour. Harmonious and elegant, this wine is a worthy ambassador for an historic property. Drink 2006 - 2030.