Croft Vintage Port 2009
One of the original founding Port houses, Croft traces its origins to 1588 when the company was established in England by Henry Thompson, a member of the Merchants Company of York. The Croft family, who joined the partnership in 1736 and gave the firm its present name, served the Port trade with great distinction.
Croft is one of the most famous Vintage Port producers. Its reputation derives from its ownership of Quinta da Roêda, one of the finest estates in the Douro Valley, and from such legendary wines as the Croft 1945, recognised as one of the best of that landmark year.
In 2001 this distinguished and historic firm was acquired by the owners of the Taylor and Fonseca Port houses and since this return to family ownership has consolidated its position as a ‘first growth’ Vintage Port producer.
Croft’s CEO Adrian Bridge commented: “2011 will mark the tenth anniversary of Croft’s return to family ownership. Our investments at Quinta da Roêda continue to enhance the reputation of this iconic vineyard and have borne fruit in the fourth vintage to be declared since we acquired the property. It therefore gives me particular pleasure to announce the declaration of the Croft 2009”
It is the distinctive wines of Quinta da Roêda, with their characteristic scented quality, rich, round supple texture, opulent fruitiness and heady aroma, which are the cornerstone of the Croft Vintage Port style. These characteristics are clearly expressed in the wonderfully scented Croft 2009. Croft’s family owners have reverted to traditional wine making practices at the Roêda estate and head winemaker David Guimaraens commented: “The return to traditional foot treading at Quinta da Roêda means that we could bring out the best in the 2009 wines. We were able to extract all the density and the massive tannins typical of the year without sacrificing complexity and finesse.”
2009 was marked by an early start to the viticultural cycle. At Croft’s Quinta da Roêda the first buds began to appear on 8th March. The shoots were vigourous and the vines produced very healthy leaf canopies. However all varieties showed low fertility and produced a small amount of fruit. The first signs of colour in the grapes also appeared earlier than usual. The ripening season started with relatively cool conditions which continued throughout July but in August the weather turned very hot. Almost no rain fell during the summer and the very dry conditions remained into September. As a result yieds were low and musts showed above average concentration in sugar, tannin and colour. Picking at Quinta da Roêda started earlier than usual on 9th September.
Croft Vintage Ports have the merit of being supple and approachable when young but retaining a remarkable ability to age, developing layers of rich opulent flavour over decades in the cellar. The Croft 2009 is therefore an excellent choice for those seeking a Vintage Port for early drinking but capable of improving if laid down.
Owing to the very low yields at the 2009 harvest, the amount of vintage port is less than in the previous three declared years.