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Juniper and Good End: 1983 Dow’s Vintage Port


Dow’s Vintage Port is produced  using fruit primarily sourced from Quinta do Bomfim, Quinta da Senhora de Ribeira (prior to 1952 and after 1988), and finally Quinta do Zimbro.  Quinta do Bomfim might sound familiar because in non-declared years the best parcels are used to produce a single-vineyard vintage port.  In focusing in on the 1983 vintage the fruit for this bottle I turn my attention to Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta do Zimbro.  These two quintas are located within Cima Corgo which is the central region located around Pinhao.

Quinta do Bomfim (Good End) is located just east of Pinaho along the Douro with Quinta do Zimbro further east pats Tua.  Quinta do Bomfim was purchased by George Warre in 1890, making it his third estate.  Bomfim was regarded with less importance until after WWII.  Both the winery and vineyards were renovated and expanded throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.  The ~35 hectares of vineyards are located on more gentle slopes at an altitude of 80-130 meters.  At the time they were planted with 28% Touriga Francesa, 12% Tinta Roriz, 11% Tinta Barroca, 10% Tinta Nacional, and 39% old mixed vines.  Through a combination of replanting old terraces and creating new terraces there were a fair portion of young wines.  Whereas not much is known about Bomfim, Quinta do Zimbro (Juniper) dates back to the 17th century.  This was George Warre’s first purchasing occuring around 1888.  At the time there were 12 hectrares of vines located at an altitude of 110-190 meters.  It was planted with 50% Touriga Francesa and 50% Tinta Roriz, Periquita, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Carvalha, Rufete, and other varietals.  The majority of the vines were even younger than at Bomfim.  Interestingly enough, the four lagares were used for the 1983 vintage.

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In the end, this proved to be a solid and enjoyable wine but it did not evoke any particular emotions.  This could be due to the half-bottle size and some variation.  At less than the cost of a single half I might be inclined to purchase the 10-year-old tawny or for less than two halves, the 20-year-old tawny.   This bottle was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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1983 Dow’s Vintage Port, Douro – (375 mL)
Imported by Wines Unlimited.  Bottom neck fill.  Alcohol 20%.  The nose was tight and remained a bit uninspired.  In the mouth there was ripe fruit, round delivery, and some cedar wood box notes.  It was not the most dynamic of wines but it was certainly mouthfilling with its racy black and red fruit.  It was ripe and sweet with a hint of acidity.  Though it took on ripe spices it never showed great complexity.  A solid wine with seamlessly integrated spirits and tannins, probably best from full bottles.  ** Now-2030.

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  1. Wendy Parker- Wood
    May 2, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Just what you need! Let’s talk soon.

    Sent from WPW’s iPhone4 SKYPE: wparkerwood2 Cell:505.980.8283 Address: 9417B Rio Grande NW Albuquerque, NM 87114

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