2016 Quinta do Vesuvio Capela da Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Porto

Year: 2016
Appellation: Oporto
Country: Portugal
Wine Spectator: 98
Wine Advocate: 97+
Vinous Media: 95
James Suckling: 96
Wine Enthusiast: 97
Fortified Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 20.0%
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"Showy and vibrant, with stunning, pure waves of açai berry, blackberry, blueberry and boysenberry confiture flavors spilling forth, barely harnessed by a mouthwatering anise note and a long briary spine. Just as this nearly teeters from its fruit, this is reined in by terrific drive and cut though through the extremely long finish, thanks to a wellspring of acidity. Best from 2035 through 2060. From Portugal. -J.M" (WS)

"The 2016 Capela da Quinta do Vesúvio Vintage Port is principally a field blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Sousão and Alicante Bouschet, coming in with 109 grams of residual sugar. It shows even drier. If the regular Vesuvio was pretty terrific, this is even better. Not quite as lush and sexy, it is tighter, better textured and more intense. Bursting with flavor too, this has rich chocolate-cherry nuances and a long, long finish. This is pretty super, one of my favorite wines in this vintage. Yes, everyone talks about The Stone Terraces (including me; if this isn't my favorite of the vintage so far, The Stone Terraces is). Let's talk more about Vesuvio and Capela, though. The Symingtons struck gold with this Quinta and this bottling. This is unsettled, but it may yet merit an uptick in score. It seems like a superstar in the vintage. There were 3,000 bottles produced.

Part of the Symington Family houses, Vesuvio was declared this year, along with everything else. All of them were bottled, although not long in bottle. They are set for release in October 2018.

As we debate the trends in Ports (see last year's article on the 2015s, "Undeclared and Unashamed"), it's worth noting that my favorites of the Symington group are easily the single-quinta/single-plot Ports—The Stone Terraces and Capela are both wine-of-the-vintage candidates, and the regular Vesuvio wasn't exactly a slacker. The Vesuvio property is a personal favorite, as is The Stone Terraces, so you have my biases up front.

Charles Symington said that 2016 started off very rainy, followed by a hot and dry summer, but with moderate temperatures. It was fairly apparent it would be a later vintage. In mid-August, some rain helped the maturation. At the beginning of September, there was a wave of hot weather. He said that was a crucial moment when he thought of starting harvest, even though it was not quite perfect, but they waited. Victory goes to the bold. Rain in the second week of September caused them to hold back another week, beginning harvest around 22 September. It was a very late harvest, creating a certain element of risk. Touriga Franca, he said, is particularly susceptible to rain. But there was no rain for the next 30 days, making harvest easy. Charles said that the "blue skies and mild temperatures from the 13th September to the 10th October allowed for the Nacional to be picked in late September and the Franca in early October in perfect conditions with fantastic balance. The freshness coming through in these wines being a defining feature of this vintage."" (WA)

"The 2016 Capela da Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port has been only released in exceptional years since 2007, this being the third release of the "tête de cuvée". It is more backward and broody than the regular Quinta do Vesuvio with blackberry, cassis and briary aromas, and a hint of clove. Yet there is a sense of holding something back on the nose, something that will only be revealed with bottle age. The palate is rounded and supple with good depth, far more open than the aromatics with lightly spiced black cherries, cassis and blueberry fruit. It feels silky smooth towards the finish with a long aftertaste that just needs to gain a little more complexity, as I am sure it will in bottle. This has huge potential." (VM)

"This a tiny-production vintage Port from old vines planted in a particular parcel near the winery that are at least 60 years old. Full-bodied, tight and linear with beautiful dark fruits and intense tannins. Very focused and beautiful. The splendid tannins show through here. Drink in 2023." (JS)

"The wine is dense, packed with great fruits and tannins, dark and concentrated, and full of perfumed black fruits. It is a wine that makes a great statement of ripe fruits and tannins for long-term aging. Drink from 2028." (WE)