Quinta de Roriz
Quinta do Vesuvio
Dow’s Vintage Ports are austere and superbly concentrated.
Dow's HistoryDow's History
The story of Dow’s is unusual amongst all the great Port houses. It began in 1798 when a Portuguese entrepreneur, Bruno da Silva, did the exact opposite of contemporary Port merchants by establishing himself in London. British partners entered the thriving company, which became Silva & Cosens, Dow & Co, and then Dow’s when the two merged in 1877.
For over two centuries the name of Dow’s has been closely linked with the finest Port from the vineyards of the Upper Douro Valley. Throughout most of the 20th century the Symington family were, and continue to be, the custodians of this famous company, building on the legacy of the Silva, Dow and Warre families. Five generations of Symington winemakers have lived and worked at the Dow’s vineyards of Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira from where they have produced many outstanding Vintage Ports.
In 1912, Andrew James Symington became a partner in Dow’s and from that time he and his sons, followed by their descendants have managed Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira, the two vineyards that are at the heart of Dow’s outstanding Vintage Ports. Dow’s 2007 Vintage earned a perfect 100-point score from Wine Spectator and the same publication named the Dow’s 2011 Vintage Port its ‘Wine of The Year’, ranking it number 1 in the annual Top 100 Wines of The Year ranking in 2014.
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Dow’s Vintage Ports are big, muscular wines with powerful, peppery tannins. They are made in a drier style than most, giving them a distinctive hallmark. The wines have fine, floral aromas of violets and rockrose and often with an element of mint. They are full-bodied on the palate with expressive ripe black fruit flavours, balanced by fine acidity. Irresistible when young, Dow’s Vintage Ports have impressive longevity and will repay long-term keeping.
Dow’s Vintage Ports are an expression of its two historic vineyards, located in each of the Douro valley’s two finest subregions, the Cima Corgo and the Douro Superior. Quinta do Bomfim is in the very heart of the Upper Douro Valley with 60 hectares of vineyard yielding on average just 1.15kg per vine. The estate has an excellent balance between a temperate and a Mediterranean climate with an average 660 mm of annual rainfall. Predominantly south-facing and with ample solar exposure, the vineyard terraces are arranged on the schist slopes from 90 metres above sea level up to 349 metres. The grapes harvested at Bomfim are vinified at the estate’s own winery where they are fermented in lagares, faithful to the method developed over centuries and which makes the finest Ports.
Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira: One of the classic river-side quintas of the Douro and one of its most beautiful, is relatively small with just 25 hectares of vines. This Quinta is located 23 km upriver from Bomfim and has a different climate; rainfall in this remote area of the Douro Superior is about 30% less than at Bomfim with just 450 mm on average each year, and the summers are hotter. Yields are very low at just over 1kg per vine, resulting in full and dark wines of incredible structure which age exceptionally well. The Senhora da Ribeira wines are made at the property’s own winery, where, as at Bomfim, the grapes are fermented in lagares.