A declaration is made only when the vintage is exceptional and the wines have long term ageing potential. For the top port houses, declarations have usually occurred about three times a decade. However in the last decade nature has been benevolent and produced four great declared vintages: 2000, 2003, 2007 and now the outstanding 2009.
2009 will be remembered in the Douro Valley as a year of low yields due mainly to the dry ripening season. Not surprisingly the year produced dense and concentrated wines, with deep inky colour, crisp acidity, wonderfully fine, complex fruit and big thick muscular tannins. The latter have provided that important quality known as ‘grip’ which denotes longevity in a vintage port. In this, and in their massive scale, the 2009 vintage ports recall some of the great iconic vintages of the early 20th century. Such colour intensity and tannin levels have certainly not been seen for at least two decades. If ever there was a vintage port for laying down, this is it.
This site contains tasting notes and background information on the 2009 Vintage Ports, including the rare Vargellas Vinha Velha, as well as the contact details of distributors around the world. Allocations will be made in the coming weeks and all wines will be released later in 2011.