Vintage Port 2016 Initial thoughts
Having just tried five 2016 Vintage Ports, as well as multiple Tawny Port’s, I can safely say that the quality of both of these styles of Port’s is just improving year after year. The question which is on everyone lips, how good is the 2016 vintage?
The 2016 vintage was a fully declared vintage, which means that all Port houses declared a vintage. This was the first time since 2011 that all of the port houses declared they would produce a vintage Port. This usually happens only a couple of times each decade, and so the marketing department goes into overdrive during this period. I have heard that this is the best vintage this century on more than one occasion, however, upon tasting and discussing off the record, I get the real story.
So how good is the 2016 vintage? Well, 2016 is a very good vintage. 4*/5. Not an outstanding vintage and certainly not as good as 2011. However, this is still a vintage to be bought for those who enjoy Vintage Port. There are great Purity, balance and good age worthiness about these wines. I like the approachability of these Ports, compared to the 2011 vintage. The temptation to drink them upon release is high. However, I would strongly recommend to keep them around 10 years, since most will shut down for 6-7 years. What are my favorites? I will reveal those during my full tasting report in a couple of weeks.
As for the Tawny’s, I tried a range of Tawny’s and the quality of these are extremely high, it is clear that the Tawny age is really only used as a guideline and most producers well exceed these limits. I remember drinking a 10 year Tawny many years ago to find it quite sharp and aggressive on the palate, this has since changed, and the Tawny’s being produced now are a lot softer and approachable.
With only 15% of Douro wines being made into Port, the quality of Port is extremely high. It is an exciting time to be a Port lover, and if not, why not? Stay tuned for a detailed report in the coming weeks.