The announcement - only the sixth declaration of the 21st century - concludes a period of intense discussion within the wine trade as to whether 2017 would warrant a full declaration, given the quality of the critically acclaimed 2016 Vintage Ports and the rarity of declarations. The first consecutive declaration by our family is a milestone moment in our long history and is the result of two very different but extremely high-quality years for port in the Douro.
The 2017 wines were the result of an advanced growing cycle which led to the earliest harvest ever recorded in our family’s 137-year history as winemakers and port producers. Warmer, drier conditions than usual resulted in small, compact bunches of grapes in excellent condition, with yields amongst the lowest of the century so far, 20% below the 10-year average.
Despite the harvest beginning in August, the maturations were perfectly balanced, resulting in wines characterised by extraordinary intensity, concentration and structure, combined with stunning aromas and freshness.
We have produced 2017 Vintage Ports from across our flagship Douro Quintas, and will shortly be offering limited quantities (by allocation en primeur) of Graham’s, Dow’s, Warre’s and Cockburn’s as well as Quinta do Vesuvio, Graham’s The Stone Terraces and Capela da Quinta do Vesuvio. The 2017 is just the fourth release of the latter two, which are only produced in truly exceptional years. Given the very low-yielding year, the 2017 Vintage Port is the smallest Symington declaration of the 21st century.
Cockburn's 2017 Vintage Port
The Cockburn’s 2017 Vintage Port is made from prime vineyards in its traditional Douro Superior heartland: Quinta dos Canais, Quinta do Vale Coelho and Quinta do Cachão do Arnozelo. Yields were very low at under 1 kg per vine. The small berries produced remarkable wines with great concentration and structure. When the Symingtons acquired Cockburn’s in 2010, we pledged to rebuild its reputation for Vintage Ports. Its 2011 and 2016 Vintage Ports garnered exceptional international endorsements, confirming that Cockburn’s was once again producing world-class ports.