Delaforce, Vintage Port, Douro, Portugal, 2017
The iconic Real Companhia Velha is the oldest wine company in Portugal, with a history of over 260 years of port production.
Founded in 1756 by the Portuguese Prime Minister Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, Marquis of Pombal (called Douro Wine Company back then) to regulate the trade and production of all Port wine. One of the first official duties of the company was the delineation of the boundaries of the Douro wine region. This act essentially made the Douro the world's first regional appellation. Today this company represents some of the finest Quintas in the Douro. Prestigious and experienced, they have been able to preserve and honour the traditional winemaking while investing in the future with constant modernisation and experimentation in their vineyards.
Overarching some of best Quintas in the Douro, they have been able to preserve and honour the tradition of winemaking while investing in the future, with constant modernisation and experimentation at their vineyards.
Once the grapes have been crushed, the fermentation starts to convert the natural sugar of the grape juice into alcohol. At this time, the grape skins must be constantly submerged in the fermenting wine so that they release the natural substances which give the wine its structure, colour and flavour. For Delaforce’ s most prestigious wines this is done by foot treading, an expensive but very effective method. Other wines are made in specially designed fermentation tanks. When about half of the natural sugar of the grape juice has been fermented, a small amount of clean and neutral grape spirit is added to the wine. This fortification, as it is known, stops the fermentation and preserves some of the natural sweetness of the grape in the finished wine. The wine is then left to settle in large vats until early the following year when it is taken down to the coast to age in the cool and tranquil wine cellars, known as ‘lodges’, in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Almost black in colour, Delaforce Vintage Port is packed with blackcurrant and dark red berry fruits.
Serve with blue cheese, mature cheddar, nuts, and chocolate desserts.
Wine Spectator 94 Points
This is bursting with gutsy red and black currant, fig, and boysenberry compote flavors, infused with black tea, anise and wood smoke notes. The brambly finish shows latent energy as it pumps along, ending with nice dry cut. A rock 'em sock' em Port, with an old-school hint. Best from 2035 through 2060. 400 cases made. 94 Points, JM, Dec 2019.
Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 91 Points
The 2017 Vintage Port is a field blend from old vines aged for 24 months in used Portuguese oak. It comes in with 103 grams of residual sugar. This is sourced from the same quinta as the separately listed Carvalhas Port (namely, Carvalhas), but the selection of parcels is different. They are very different wines. This is not as bright and has a more brooding demeanor. Dry and stern, this shows off serious power and fine focus. It's not as exuberant as some 2017s—its fruit is not quite as vivid—but it is beautifully structured and should age well. It has good concentration as well. Give this some time, but it won't be unapproachable if drunk somewhat young. It should hold for 50 years or so. There were 441 cases produced, set for September release. 91 Points, MS, July 2019.
6 x 75cl
Award: Decanter 92 Points
Award: Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 95 Points
Award: Wine Spectator 90 Points