Warre’s Vintage Porto 2016

Deep purple color; dark fruits galore, black cherry, plum, blackberry, raisin, chocolate, caramel, dark nougat, violets, dried flowers on the nose and palate.

Warre’s Vintage Porto 2016

Sweet dessert wine (113 grams residual sugar); sweetness balanced by bright acidity and tasty tannins. Full body. Typical field blend, perhaps 40 different varieties, almost half from old vines, some more than a century old. Primarily touriga nacional and touriga franca,—traditional lead grapes in porto. Complex, delicious, smooth, seductive. Sails effortlessly into lingering finish. Critics deemed with 2016 vintage as outstanding, the best since 2011. This is just moving into its best drinking years. 20% ABV

Warre’s is one of Portugal’s most famous port houses. They make a range of ports, from this vintage porto, to reserve, to tawny, ruby, and white ports. The house’s origins began in 1670 when two Englishmen, Burgoyne and Jackson, established a company trading in wine, oil, fruit, fresh produce, and wool. William Warre arrived in 1729 and became a partner in the business, which by that time was named Clark, Thorton and Warre.

William Warre

According to the Warre website: “Commissioned as an officer in the British Army, the young Porto-born Captain Warre [grandson of the original William Ware] played a central and decisive role at virtually all of the key battles throughout the Peninsular War (1808 – 1812), during which joint British and Portuguese forces fought Napoleon Bonaparte’s successive invading armies.” He eventually attained the rank of Lieutenant–General.

The house stayed in the Warre family until 1905 when Andrew James Symington became a partner. Today, Warre is run by the 13th generation of the Symington family. The Symingtons also own the Dow’s and Graham’s port houses, easily making them the world’s dominant maker and exporter of porto.

Symington family–Johnny, Rupert, Charles, Paul, Dominic

According to the Warre website: “Warre’s has vineyards throughout the Douro, the most famous of which are the Quinta da Cavadinha, Quinta do Retiro Antigo and the recently acquired Quinta de Telhada. These three vineyards are used to make various ports throughout the portfolio, each contributing different characteristics – Cavadinha gives fresh aromatics and acidity, whereas Retiro Antigo produces wines with higher concentration. The estate’s Vintage Port tends to be blended from these two vineyards, although fruit from Telhada will soon be included in the blend as well. In years where a vintage is not declared, a single vineyard vintage port is made from the Cavadinha vineyard.”

Warre’s barrel aging

Warre’s Vintage Porto 2016 is superb easy drinker—plush dessert in a glass with alcohol oomph (20%). Wonderfully expressive dark fruits dominate. Elegant, balanced, charming. Sweetness deftly paired with excellent acidity and fine-grained tannins—classic attributes of quality sweet wine. Simply sip as your dessert. Can pair with chocolate, walnuts, figs; a charcuterie board certainly is in play with salami, prosciutto, nuts, blue cheese. Also could work with roast lamb and redcurrant jelly. Cheese—mature and hard cheeses; blue cheese—stilton, gorgonzola; aged gouda, gruyere, romano, cheddar, parmesan. $100-110 (750 ml; also available in 375 ml)

Warre’s website

Symington Family Estates vineyard
Warre’s vineyard
Quinta da Cavadinha vineyard main building