The Fladgate Partnership, Quinta do Noval and Symington Family Estates presented the 2017 Vintage Ports from their respective portfolios. Key Port houses at the tasting included Cockburn’s, Croft, Dow’s, Fonseca, Graham’s, Quinta do Noval, Quinta do Noval Nacional, Quinta da Romaneira, Taylor’s, Quinta do Vesuvio and Warre’s.
Trade briefings conducted by Adrian Bridge, Christian Seely and Charles Symington took place during the day.
The venue was The South Room, The Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
The Fladgate Partnership is a group of three distinguished Port houses, Croft (founded in 1588), Taylor (1692) and Fonseca (1815). Family owned and managed, it is dedicated entirely to the production of Port. Each firm maintains its own identity, traditions, vineyards and distinctive house style. These find their quintessential expression in each firm’s classic vintage port: the restrained power and longevity of Taylor, the heady opulence of Fonseca and the luscious and exotic fruitiness of Croft.
Underpinning this diversity of individual styles is each firm’s historical link with its quintas or estates. The group possesses one of the most extensive vineyard holdings in the Douro, including many of the valley’s most famous vineyards. Its dedication to the development of these unique properties and to the best in both old and new wine making practices make The Fladgate Partnership the guardian of the finest traditions in Port production.
Symington Family Estates is one of the leading producers of premium ports, the leading vineyard owner in the Douro Valley and one of the top Portuguese wine producers.
The Symingtons is a family of Scottish, English and Portuguese origin who has lived and worked in Portugal since 1882. For five generations they have combined their passion for producing premium ports and wines with a deep commitment to the region’s land and people. Today, 10 members of the 4th and 5th generation work together across their four famous port houses – Graham’s, Dow’s, Warre’s, and Cockburn’s – as well as our portfolio of Douro wines including Quinta do Vesuvio, Quinta do Ataíde, Altano, and Prats & Symington (producers of Chryseia and Post Scriptum). They have recently launched a new venture, Quinta da Fonte Souto, in the Alto Alentejo sub-region of Portalegre.
They own 27 Quintas with 1,067 ha of vineyard. All their vineyards are managed under sustainable viticulture practices and 112 ha are organically farmed – the largest such area in the Douro. They are unique amongst the major Port companies in that each working family member also farms their own private vineyard. They are leading innovators in the Douro with research vineyards at Quinta da Cavadinha, Quinta do Ataíde and Quinta do Bomfim. At Ataíde they have planted a grape variety library with 53 different varieties, as part of a long-term study to preserve indigenous strains and to help them adapt to climate change. They developed the first modern treading lagar in 1998, which represented a significant advance in the making of premium quality ports.
Perched high above Pinhao in the Douro valley, Quinta do Noval is often called the ‘jewel in the Port’s crown’, With its steep vineyards, iconic whitewashed walls and spectacular views across the Douro and Pinhao rivers, the estate dates back to 1645.
This large single 145 ha vineyard – where all the wines are made, blended, stored and matured – is at the heart of Quinta do Noval’s philosophy Since its acquisition by AXA Millesimes in 1993, the property has been extensively replanted with noble Douro varieties, a new winery built and the cellars carved into the hillside completed
Wines bearing the Quinta do Noval name, including several 100 point Vintage Ports, are made exclusively from grapes grown on the estate, and foot-trodden in stone lagares. The estate has built an enviable reputation for classic Vintages, including the unique Nacional Ports, Aged tawnies and award-winning table wines.
As with the reputation-cementing 1931 Vintage, Noval has developed an idiosyncratic approach to vintage declarations believing that if a parcel of vines – however small – produces a wine worthy of the Quinta do Noval Vintage label, then it is equally worthy of release.
South Room, The Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
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