Croft is one of the most distinguished of all Port houses. Founded in 1588, it is the oldest firm still active today as a Port wine producer. The company is renowned above all for its Vintage Ports as well as for its range of wood aged reserves and tawnies, time-honoured styles refined by skill and experience passed down the generations.
But in spite of its rich heritage and history spanning over four centuries, Croft has never been constrained by tradition. Today, as in the past, it maintains a pioneering spirit, continuing to create innovative new styles such as Croft Pink, the first ever rosé Port.Behind every great wine producer is a great vineyard. The cornerstone of Croft’s distinctive house style is the famous Quinta da Roêda, described as the jewel of Port wine estates. The wines of this magnificent property, which contains some of the oldest vineyards in the Douro Valley, are the heart of Croft’s Vintage Port blend.
As important as its history, traditions and vineyards, is the fact that Croft remains a family company, dedicated to the production of the finest Ports of all styles, from full bodied reserve Ports to the iconic Croft Vintage Ports prized by the connoisseur and collector.
The viticultural year in the Douro Valley began with a very wet spring. In April and May, 249mm of rain fell at Croft’s Quinta da Roêda estate in the Douro Valley, nearly three times the average for the last decade. This rainfall was welcome after the very dry conditions in 2015 and helped restore ground water reserves at Roêda and throughout the Douro Valley. As a result of the cool, wet spring conditions, the ripening season started late. The first colouring of the grapes was observed around 11th July and coincided with the onset of very hot, dry weather which continued until mid-September.
During the ripening season, the weather station at Quinta da Roêda recorded 13 days with temperatures exceeding 40°C. In spite of the heat, owing to abundant ground water reserves and the late cycle, maturation was slow and even. At the end of August, most grapes were far from ripe. In mid-September, a spell of rain helped accelerate and complete the ripening process. In the second half of September and well into October, the weather remained fine, providing ideal harvesting conditions. Low night-time temperatures helped to extend fermentation times and allow for gradual and gentle extraction, a factor which contributed to the elegance and finesse of the 2016 wines and the quality of the tannins. Picking at Croft’s Quinta da Roêda started on 17th September.
This unfurls with mouthwatering licorice snap, fruitcake, apple wood and violet notes, followed by a wave of mouthfilling plum, blackberry and fig paste flavors. This is packed but well-defined, and the energy allows the fruit to ripple through the long finish. Best from 2035 through 2055
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.
Juicy, luscious and with excellent ripe fruit, this is a balanced wine with a fine future. Its tannins are almost sweet to match the sweetness of the berry fruits. As it ages, this will be a lovely wine. Drink from 2027.
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.
It eventually reveals scents of blackberry, bilberry, chimney soot, clove, and just a hint of scorched earth in the background. The palate is spicy and vivacious on the entry: black fruit, clove, white pepper and curry powder (almost like a Balti!) I love the personality imbued into this Croft, a Vintage Port that seems to be wearing its heart on its sleeve. Excellent.
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