Quinta do Vesuvio Port
This estate of 400-odd ha spread over seven hills was one of the grand properties of the 19th century. In 1989 it was bought by the Symington family and turned into one of the new breed of true (château-like) quintas. The wine from the expanding vineyard (currently 100 ha of vines) is made and matured on the estate. Though its massive lagares and winery buildings have been renovated, it remains the last bastion of foot-treading in the Symington portfolio (other port houses use robotic lagares). Vesuvio has produced wine of high quality made in almost every vintage since 1989 and the wines are frequently among the very best of the declaration. Other years can be very good too, there being much less vintage variation in the dry Douro Superior than further downstream. At its best the extraordinary ripeness in the tannins, as well as the fruit from low-yielding vines, can make the wine tempting when quite young but it will also be very interesting to see how well it might show with 20 or 30 years’ age. Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca all contribute to its unique character. Since 2007, the full potential of the vineyards, carefully parcellated by the Symingtons, has been realised in the production of both a second vintage Port and two red table wines, Quinta do Vesuvio and Pombal. The limited production (250 cases) Vesuvio Capela Port is a formidably structured, deeply concentrated blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Sousão designed to contrast with the sweeter, softer Vesuvio Vintage. It promises to be long lived. The first vintages of the table wine show promise if not yet the refinement or concentration of the Douro’s top wines.
To find out more about Quinta do Vesuvio and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide Portugal..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines.