2017 Quinta do Vesuvio Capela da Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Porto

Year: 2017
Appellation: Oporto
Country: Portugal
Wine Spectator: 97
Wine Advocate: 97-99
Vinous Media: 96
James Suckling: 99
Julia Harding: 19.5
Fortified Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 20.0%
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"Intense, with a terrific beam of blueberry, açaí and blackberry puree flavors coursing along, flanked by graphite and baker’s chocolate notes and scored by streaks of licorice snap on the finish. A subtle violet accent weaves in the background, giving this lift and contrast. Offers a sappy, concentrated finish. Best from 2035 through 2055. -J.M." (WS)

"The 2017 Capela da Quinta do Vesúvio Vintage Port is principally a field blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Sousão and Alicante Bouschet aged for 18 months in seasoned vats. It comes in at 105 grams of residual sugar. This was a pre-bottling sample. I thought the regular Vesuvio was concentrated and powerful. This kicks it to the curb in those senses and takes no prisoners. In other words, it is spectacular. Showing old-school power and depth, this is very ripe and nowhere near as elegant or as fresh as most of the Symington lineup this issue. However, it revels in its power and preens. It feels like intense, traditional Port. If you have no patience and no cellar, this is a good time to stop and read other notes. This isn't for you. It grips the palate and refuses to let go. The long finish seems endless. For as much density and muscle as it showed, about 90 minutes in a glass made this seem a little fresher (although the regular Vesuvio easily outdoes it there). The Alicante and the Sousão combined (so I surmise) to give it some distinction in flavors, with hints of beef and strawberry. It's very complex. This is potentially one of the great Ports in a great vintage, but I would like to see it project something more than just ripeness and muscle in time. It also needs to maintain its balance. It doesn't seem quite as fresh as many 2017s, even if it's still potentially brilliant. Let's be a little conservative just now, because at times, this was simply impenetrable, but this certainly seems like a superstar in the making. This is relatively available too. There were 472 cases produced, expected to be released in the third quarter of 2019." (WA)

"The 2017 Capela da Quinta do Vesuvio is the fourth release named after the quinta's chapel. Its vines were one of the first planted after the phylloxera crisis and the grape varieties were co-fermented in the same lagaretes (a small lagare). It is a serious step up from the Quinta do Vesuvio: much more finesse and delineation, slightly more mineral-rich blackberry and bilberry fruit, veins of crème de cassis and camphor. I adore the harmony of this Vintage Port. The palate is medium-bodied with very supple tannin that caress the mouth. The acidity is beautifully judged, a somehow effortless fortified wine with a silky-textured, sensual finish with layers of luxuriant black fruit laced with clove and cracked black pepper. What a brilliant Vintage Port from the Symington family. Production is 5,184 bottles." (VM)

"This is an old-vine Port with two-thirds coming from ancient ones. Bark, black tea, crushed grapes and mahogany. Big and grippy. Old, traditional styled Port with incredible depth and power. Big yet polished tannins. This is foot-trodden. Co-fermented. Real deal. 470 cases. Try after 2030." (JS)

Includes 90-year-old field-blend vines from the Capela vineyard. The Vinha da Capela vineyard was one of the first to be replanted post-phylloxera at Quinta do Vesuvio in the late 19th century. Also includes fruit from Vinha da Escola (Alicante Bouschet, Sousão, Touriga Nacional) and Vale da Teja (Touriga Franca). A lot of co-fermentation in this wine depending on the coincidence of ripening – eg early ripening Alicante Bouschet with the grapes from the Vinha da Capela field blend, the Touriga Nacional was joined with the Touriga Franca and the Sousão, as their ripening unusually overlapped. Baumé 3.3, TA 4.06 g/l.

Black almost to the rim. Super-concentrated black fruit, so intense it draws you ineluctably in. Intense wild blackberry and elderberry, smells almost sour in its tangy fruit. Thick-pile and so rich on the palate. Incredible concentration but neither over-ripeness nor heaviness. Glorious fruit supported by compact but almost soft tannins that are so fully ripe they seem to become the fruit. (JH) Julia Harding of jancisrobinson.com