Quinta do Vale D. Maria Vintage Port 2003

Quinta do Vale D. Maria Vintage Port 2003

Cristiano van Zeller is a fairly big name in the Port game.  He was part owner in one of the most prestigious port houses, Quinta do Noval, for many years and branched out on his own in 1993.  He started off making table wines and when the lease came up on his wife's family vineyard, Qunta do Vale Dona Maria, they quickly took over and started a reno project. 

The wine is made in a more tradition way,foot trodding in concrette lagares etc, from vines from a particular area of the vineyard.

Now this is a port that is open for business.  Wide open.  I would challenge any wine lover to stop at one glass of this stuff.  Its full of raisins, currents, plum mixed with Christmas spice, hot cinnamon and black pepper.  Smooth and luscious, the tannins give great texture and the sweetness is well balanced by the acid and not over-powering.  There are some crunchy minerals and sarsaparilla/cola that add even more interest.  Great stuff, full of character and all the flavour you want in a good Vintage Port. 93 Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $105 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.valedonamaria.com

Niepoort Vintage Port 2003

Nieport Vintage Port 2003We are at last having a real winter here in Melbourne.  Loads of rain, cold nights and plenty of wood for the fireplace have kicked off port drinking season.  I've heard this theory that these "new wave" vintage ports from the Douro boys drink well for about 5 years from vintage, then need to sleep for another 10.  From what I've seen so far, it seems to work.  However, I think this applies to 750ml bottles, this half bottle was closed down on day 1 and started to open up when I finished it off on 2. 

So no real tasting note on this one, more of an impression.  There is some intense, pure fruit there waiting to come out, a bit of aniseed and Christmas cake spices (nutmeg, cinnamon etc).  The sweetness level is just right, with big brawny structure and to-die-for tannins.  I think it's going to be great in 10-20s years, whatever you do, don't drink it now.  If Tinto y Blanco in still going in 2017, I'll let you know.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $110 (375ml) Closure: Conventional Cork