2007 is set to join the ranks of the great Vintage Ports, its wines already imbuedwith an extraordinary purity of flavour, wonderfully polished tannins and a wealth of fruit. Elegance is already evidenced rather than brutal power; the spirit is finely integrated, the acidity fresh, and the palate broad and long.
A wet winter replenished reserves, but was followed by a rather humid spring with work required to combat rot; then an outstandingly mediocre early summer in terms of sunshine, but with a persistent dryness which made for healthy leaf canopies. The vintage was made by the intense late summer heat; the temperatures ranged from 35 -38 degrees in the first two weeks of September and it became increasingly clear that patience would be repaid by a happy coincidence of high sugars, balancing acidity and ripe phenolics.
The lengthy growing season ensured the complexity in the musts, and then the welcome sunshine at harvest was more than enough to underwrite the nascent quality. The harvest ran from 12 September all the way to 20th October; layer upon layer of flavours evolved as time went by, and proved extremely beneficial to later–ripeners such as Touriga Francesa and also to those high quality varietals such as Touriga Nacional, which shun the excesses of very hot August weather.
So why all the excitement? The 2007 vintage was made by the intense late summer heat which repaid the patience of the growers with high sugars, balancing acidity and ripe phenolics. The lengthy growing season imparted complexity, and the welcome sunshine at harvest provided “excellent conditions for the full ripening of Turiga Francesa and Turiga Nacional, the two most important grape varieties” (Jay Miller – eRobertParker.com – Feb 2010). Add to that the significant progress made by the vineyards, where the romance of multi-varietal planting has been replaced by single blocks tended with increasing focus, and a vintage worthy of declaration was born.
“In many cases, less than 10% of the total production in 2007 was bottled as vintage, a remarkable figure considering that the Bordeaux First Growths boast about selecting only the top 33-40% of their production for the Grands Vins” (Jay Miller – eRobertParker.com – Feb 2010) and this further suggests that 2007 Vintage Port is an outstandingly fine vintage; with its relative approachability belying a great ageing potential.
An outstanding vintage for Port wines then, its relative approachability belying a great ageing potential.The longevity of these wines promises enjoyment over the next couple of decades at least, and they are all thoroughly recommended additions for your cellar.