Extremely perfumed with dark-berry and currant aromas. Hints of earth and spices. Full-bodied, round and medium sweet. Hints of resin. Opulent yet restrained. Shows ripe and beautiful fruit with clarity. Try in 2025.
The 2016 Vintage Port is a field blend that was set to be bottled about a week after this tasting. It was the final blend, aged for 20 months in wood. It comes in with 104 grams of residual sugar. Tight, powerful and very intense, this is a big boy with the firmness you expect from fine Vintage Port, although the Fonseca is even more powerful. Showing good concentration and a fresh, lifted finish too, this is impressive at the outset. Initially, I was wowed by this. A few more tastes with more air made me think I'd like to see it prove some things in the cellar. It's not hot, but it seems a bit more alcoholic than its Fonseca and Taylor siblings. Still, there's a long way to go before making a final call. As noted, this is very tight, not nearly as approachable as many 2016s are in this relatively restrained year. It won't sear your mouth with tannins—they are not TOO hard—but you are going to have to cellar it a while to allow it to acquire more complexity and more harmony. I'm not quite convinced this will ever become as attractive as Taylor and Fonseca in this vintage, though.
Intense purple ruby core with vivid purple rim. The nose displays the ripe strawberry and blackcurrant fruitiness and resiny notes of rock rose and eucalyptus that are the essence of the Croft Vintage Port style. The palate opens with a surge of rich berry fruit flavour and is supported by a dense mesh of close-knit tannins. Although the wine displays some of the plump, rubenesque character of prior Croft vintages, the accent here is on symmetry and finesse. The characteristically exuberant fruit and heady herbal aromas are carefully modulated and the wine is classical in its proportions. An elegant and aromatic Vintage Port, perfectly poised between opulence and restraint.