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Symington hails 2016 Vintage Port year

Published:  09 April, 2018

The Symington Family has declared 2016 a Vintage Port year, marking only the fourth Vintage declaration of all the family’s Port companies since 2000.

The 2016 Vintage Ports, the first to be declared Vintage since 2011, are described as “exceptional with tannins among the most refined ever”, featuring red-fruit flavours with intense, purple colour.

Achieved despite the unpredictable weather that year, the producer said the Ports had impressive structure and balance, with Baumés, acidity, tannins and colour in "rare and perfect alignment".

This, it added, was a result of the later ripening cycle which allowed its grapes to mature evenly and completely, with production of each of its 2016 Vintage Ports approximately 1/5th below its previous declared Vintage following “rigorous selection in the tasting room”.

This was the year to "read the signs and to take risks", said head winemaker, Charles Symington, who delayed harvesting until the 19 September, with the best Touriga Nacional not harvested until the 26, and the late-ripening Touriga Franca only during the first ten days of October, he said.

“The greatest 2016 Symington Ports were made during this later period under lovely blue skies. It is not easy in our incredibly diverse region to pick grapes at exactly the right time, especially when yields are amongst the lowest in the world at 26 hectolitres/ha, with high risk of dehydration and when many producers rely on bought grapes and are therefore dependent on farmers for picking,” he added.

Made from the producer’s Quinta vineyards in its five small lagar wineries, all the 2016 Symington Vintage Ports are made using the classic treading method for Port.