Croft Vintage Port 2017
Dense inky core fading to a magenta rim. A seductive Croft nose, ripe and voluptuous but with the depth and density characteristic of the 2017 vintage. As usual, plump, juicy blackcurrant, black cherry and raspberry form the backdrop. However, the nose is soon drawn into a vortex of heady, complex aroma in which resiny scents of eucalyptus and gumcistus blend with pungent notes of sage and mint, fresh hints of grapefruit and a mellow spiciness. On the palate, firm, sinewy tannins are wrapped in a thick envelope of dense, velvety texture. As is often the case, this is one of the most exotic and beguiling wines of the vintage. However, it is also a weighty wine, dense and deeply coloured, with the concentration and stamina to ensure a long life in bottle. One of the finest Croft Vintages of recent years.
The vineyard cycle got off to an early start, with the first buds emerging between 8th and 10th March, in spite of the cold, dry weather. The very dry Spring stood out as a defining feature of the 2017 viticultural year. Only a few millimetres of rain fell in April, usually one of the wettest months, with May and June continuing dry. Temperatures were above average for the period. The early development of the vines continued, with flowering starting right at the beginning of May and a very early véraison making its appearance around 18th June. The drought conditions continued throughout the summer and until the end of September. July was hot but, fortunately, the temperatures in August fell to more moderate levels, particularly at night, giving balance to the ripening crop. Picking at Quinta da Roêda began on 31st August, the earliest start date for over 70 years. Winemakers’ notes refer to the exceptional density of the musts, yielded by thick skinned grapes, and for the impressive scale and richness of the wines produced from the oldest vineyard plots.