2011 Cockburn

2011 Cockburn

Product: 20118106058
Prices start from £298.00 per case Buying options
2011 Cockburn

Description

The reclaimed, albeit not in the sense of being rescued from the River Douro, Quinta dos Canias, is now in the expert hands of the Symington team. One of the great properties of the last century (I missed last year’s vertical where, apparently, the 1908 triumphed as primes inter pares) Cockburn now has its second declared outing under the new ownership, and leaves the taster with little to declare, other than high praise for the genius of Mr Charles Symington.
 
For a family who make so many wines, the points of difference, the nuances of excellence, are key. Cockburn is a good example, as it is dominated by forward primary fruit, most of it red rather than black. There is a joyful almost tropical mouthfeel, but no shortage of definition and finesse. It is the most feminine member of the family and therefore one of the most teasingly complex. 
Simon Field MW, Port Buyer


In Cockburn, Symington Family Estates have awakened a sleeping giant. Up until the 60s, Cockburn’s Vintage Ports were considered amongst the very finest, a wonderful Port house, blessed with some of the best vineyards in the Douro. Now into the second year of Symington ownership, the focus upon quality has been re-kindled.

The fruit is supremely attractive; concentrated but cool, pure cherry and dark red fruit sits alongside spicy notes of cinnamon and clove. A generous structure fills the mouth but the freshness and precision is the talking point here. There is impeccable balance and integration and the finish is very, very long. This is one of the most refined wines within this Declaration.
Martyn Rolph, Private Account Manager
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About this WINE

Cockburn

Cockburn

Cockburn was founded nearly 200 years ago by Scotsman, Robert Cockburn, who returned to Portugal after first visiting the country as a soldier fighting under Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars. Originally it was based in the Douro valley, the traditional centre of Port production. A year later, Cockburn moved east to the Upper Douro Valley.

Cockburn has a reputation as innovators, which, in such a traditional and conservative industry is sometimes considered disregard for the “rules”.

It has, however, brought them great success, namely the revival of the Touriga Nacional vine. A grape recognised for its exceptional quality. Touriga Nacional now accounts for 35% of Cockburns yield.

Cockburns has led the way in modernising standards of wine and environmental management and in 1994 it became the first wine company to be awarded the ISO 9002 for quality management, wine making and production operations.

The owners of Cockburns, Beam Global Spirits, has recently decided to divest the Cockburn’s Port Brand to the Symington Family Estates, the leading producer of premium quality ports.

Following the transaction, the Symington family intends to apply their skill and expertise in the production of Port, which dates back for generations, towards further development and growth of Cockburn’s around the world.
 

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Vintage Port

Vintage Port

Vintage Port accounts for only a small percentage of the total Port production - which includes Tawny, Ruby, Late Bottled Vintage, Single Quinta Vintage styles, among others - but is the finest, longest-lived and most expensive style that is produced. The best are as good as any wine in existence.

With the exception of legendary vineyards like Quinta do Noval Nacional and Quinta do Vesuvio, Vintage Port is made from a blend of wines from a producer's finest plots. It is aged for around 18 months in wooden casks before bottling; from then on the watch-word is patience. At least 15 years ageing – and for the top wines it will be significantly longer – is required before the tannins, spirit and fruit are fully integrated. Indeed, the finest examples can last well over 50 years. 

Vintage Port is only made in exceptional years (normally around three times per decade) with considerable stylistic variation between different years and shippers. However, they all share a sweet, warming, spicy richness, power and complexity. In other good but not great vintages, many shippers produce a  Single Quinta Vintage Port from their finest vineyard. These are made in the same way and have the same style as Vintage Port but tend to mature faster and are less profound. All Vintage Port throws a sediment as it matures, and thus requires decanting.

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Port Blend

Port Blend

There are around 40 different grape varieties permitted in the production of Port - however the vast majority of Ports are produced from a blend of 5 grapes - Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, and Tinto Cão.

Touriga Nacional produces small, dark-skinned grapes that produce opaque black wines of great extract and high tannins - it gives grip, body, and structure to the blend.

Touriga Franca has a thinner skin and consequently produces wines lighter in colour and tannins than Touriga Nacional. It contributes fruit, aroma, suppleness and roundness.

Tinta Roriz is the Portuguese name for Tempranillo and its high sugar content and low acidity contribute colour and fruit.

Tinta Barroca which is normally grown at highish altitudes and on north-facing slopes, is prized for producing wines of delicacy, finesse and with smooth, velvety fruit. It brings elegance and sweet, ripe fruit to the final blend.

Finally Tinto Cão produces fine and complex wines, though it is probably the least important of the 5 grapes as its painfully small yields have reduced plantings to almost insignificant levels.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate94-96/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate94-96/100
The Cockburns Vintage Port is sourced from their two main vineyards, Quinta dos Canais and Quinta do Vale Coelho, plus a small contribution from Quinta do Cachao de Arnozelo. Around 55% of the blend is sourced from Touriga Nacional vines in Quinta dos Canais, the remainder of the blend 30% Touriga Franca, 5% Sousao and 10% a mixture of old vines. The fruit was picked between September 8 and October 5 at Canais and between September 12 and 30 at Vale Coelho. It has a lifted bouquet with raisin, fresh dates and some lovely tobacco and sandalwood aromas that lend the aromatic profile complexity, although it feels rather compact at the moment. The palate is very well-balanced with a spicy, black pepper-tinged opening and very good structure. There is wonderful focus here, with a refined, clove-tinged finish and a long, spicy aftertaste so you do not forget it in a hurry. The 2011 Cockburn harks back to those classics of yesteryear. Cockburns is back. Tasted May 2013.
Neal Martin - 28/06/2013 Read more