Cockburn 2017

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Tasting Notes

2,500 cases which is 8% of Cockburn’s total vineyard production. Key to Cockburn’s are the vineyards at Quinta dos Canais and its high proportion of Touriga Nacional. Just 246 mm of rain at Canais and record-breaking spring temperatures. Yields were one-third below the 10-year average. Quinta dos Canais 74%, Quinta do Vale Coelho 18%, Quinta do Cachão do Arnozelo 8%. Touriga Nacional 52% (800 g/vine), Touriga Franca 30% (670 g/vine), Sousão 10% (1.3 kg/vine), Alicante Bouschet 8%. TA 4.57 g/l, Baumé 3.5. Bottled May 2019. Black core with narrow purple rim. Much more stony and mineral first impression compared with the Dow's and Warre's but no lack of that wild black fruit and, as it opens, the floral character that was so strong on the Stone Terraces. Even with the floral notes this is more sober and savoury on the nose with a rich dark-fruit intensity on the palate. Power and immense length emerge underneath that black, black fruit. Lots of pepper and spice on the finish. Tannins are dense and spicy but polished – lovely texture.

Score: 17+

Julia Harding MW, Maturity: 2027-2057 04 June 2019

The 2017 Cockburn’s Vintage Port, picked from August 28, comes mainly from Quinta dos Canais (74% of the blend.) It sports an iridescent purple hue. It has an irresistible nose with black plum, raisin, vanilla and blackcurrant, super-concentrated but managing to maintain superb delineation. The palate is medium-bodied and full of tension. I must admit to being shocked how tense and agile this Cockburn’s is showing. It is a live-wire young Port, brimming over with energy and bridle and with an almost citrus-fresh finish that leaves the mouth tingling. The name might be synonymous with the more commercial end of Port, however, recent vintages testify a fortified wine that should be taken very seriously. Superb. Total production is 2,500 cases.

Score: 95

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2030-2070 01 June 2019