SAN FRANCISCO, April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Symington family is pleased to announce its decision to declare 2011 as a Vintage year. This is only the third Vintage Port declaration since 2000 for all the Symingtons' Port companies including Graham's, Cockburn's, Dow's, Warre's, Quinta do Vesuvio and Smith Woodhouse.
The 2011 Vintage Ports are of an exceptional quality and are expected to age superbly over the coming decades. The weather is the decisive factor in creating outstanding wines in the Douro and the strong winter rains in late 2010 were influential. April and May 2011 were unusually warm and, combined with some rainfall, resulted in a reduction in the overall production of the region.
The warm spring encouraged early bud break, flowering and veraison. Similar conditions occurred across most of Europe, leading to predictions of a harvest several weeks before normal. It was clear in the Douro, however, that although the sugars were rising in the berries, the tannins were unripe as there was insufficient humidity in the soil to allow the grapes to fully mature. Less than one inch of rain fell in May, June and July 2011 compared to the average of nearly four inches, so by mid-August the vines were showing signs of stress. On August 21st rain swept in from the west and over the Serra do Marão, and again on September 1st and 2nd. This beautifully timed rain was perfect for those producers who had the courage to avoid the early rush, and was followed by a succession of fine sunny weeks well into October. The stage was set for the making of superb Ports.
The Symington family's substantial investment in the 1980's is now bearing fruit with vineyards of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, amongst others, now well over 25 years old. These vines are producing excellent quality grapes and are invaluable, together with the vineyards of very old mixed vines that were planted by the grandfathers and great-grandfathers of the current generation. The additional investment in several small specialist wineries, all equipped with lagares (open treading tanks), has allowed the family to make Vintage Ports of quite outstanding quality. All of the Symington family's 2011 Vintage Ports were made in lagares and all the grapes came from the family's own vineyards. Selection was rigorous and only the finest barrels were chosen, representing a very small proportion of the production of the family vineyards.
The 2011 Vintage Ports have an exceptional depth of color and concentration, rarely seen in the Douro and with marked minerality from the schistous Douro soil. The palate has superb balance, with a powerful and rich bitter-chocolate taste, in hand with wild berry fruit, supported by well-structured and schist-edged tannins that will give these wines the traditional longevity for which the great Vintage Ports are so famous. For details of all the Symington 2011 Vintage Ports and a full 2011 Harvest Report, please visit The Vintage Port Site at http://thevintageportsite.com/.
About Symington Family Estates
The Symingtons have been Port producers for five generations since 1882 but their involvement in Port dates back fourteen generations to 1652 through their great-grandmother Beatrice Leitão de Carvalhosa Atkinson. The family company is the leading quality Port producer with brands such as Graham's, Cockburn's, Dow's and Warre's as well as being the leading vineyard owner in the Douro Valley with 2,385 acres of vines at 26 Quintas. Many of the region's finest Quintas belong to the family. For more information on Symington Family Estates, visit www.symington.com and discover more on http://malvedos.wordpress.com and www.facebook.com/grahams.port.wine.
Media Contact: Melanie Dougherty
Calhoun & Company Communications
(415) 346-2929, [email protected]
SOURCE Symington Family Estates