2011 Vintage Port – A Brilliant Opportunity

One last bite at the Cherry – In a year when the 2012 Claret en primeur campaign failed to engage wine lovers, people did manage to get excited about the 2011 Ports that were released on sale, for delivery at the end of this year. With prices that are generally within the reach of mere mortals and quality that puts many of these wines on a par with the ambrosia of the Gods, these are well worth stocking up on. Our offer of these wines comes decidedly late but they are so good we couldn’t do anything other than give you one last chance to buy at these en primeur prices*.

The most profound Vintage Ports made in decades
2011 has produced some of the most profound Vintage Ports to be made in the Douro for decades. Wonderfully they combine rich ripe fruit with fresh acidity and plentiful tannins, making them both age-worthy and accessible. While many off these wine will be delicious in 100 years it will be an effort of will to keep them as they will be drinking beautifully well within their first decade of life.

I include below my notes from the Institute of Masters of Wine tasting held on the 13th May 2013, alongside those by Neal Martin on erobertparker.com who attended the same tasting. We are in reasonable accord for most of them, though he is a touch more generous in most cases – except the Smith Woodhouse where we diverge quite radically.

My favourites
There are plenty to choose from here. My favourite wine was the Graham’s, I have to admit to loving their overtly sweet, rich rounded style. Neal Martin felt the Dow’s was the better of the two of these. Both the wines from Quinta do Noval were unquestionably spectacular with the Nacional easily the best wine of the vintage. A rejuvenated Cockburn’s offers superb value while Quinta do Vesuvio has produced a lovely elegant, balanced wine that is also well worth considering.

Tasting notes and scores

Burmester Vintage Port 2011
Restrained notes of candied peel on the nose. On the palate this has an initial intense dried citrus peel and lively lifting acidity. The wine is mid-weight with plumy red fruit and a touch of spirit. The finish lasts well.   88/100 David Allen MW

The 2011… Burmester has a sweeter, comparatively floral bouquet with open, generous scents of ripe dates, black plum and raisin that need to show a little more restraint. The palate is similarly sweet and viscous on the mouth. It leans away from the 2011s more structured style, but it is nicely balanced and would appeal to those that like a little hedonism in their Vintage Ports    88-90/100 Neal Martin

Churchill Vintage Port 2011
Rich ripe fruit aromas with a whif of spirit. The palate is very sweet with abundant dark fruit and liquorice plenty of fine tannins. There is fresh balancing acidity. The spirit on the finish is quite obvious, but is clean    88-89/100 David Allen MW

The Churchill’s Vintage Port has a comparatively light, aniseed-tinged bouquet with orange blossom that wafts seductively from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe tannins and very well-judged acidity that lends this young Churchill’s great precision. This is a very harmonious Vintage Port with a lovely touch of salted liquorice towards the finish. Beautiful.   92-94/100 Neal Martin

Cockburn Vintage Port 2011
The aroma is initially spirit diving way to ripe plum and raspberry aromas. The palate is very sweet and is again at the red fruit end of the spectrum with cherries and strawberries. The palate is mid-weight with quite obvious, but clean spirit and good fresh acidity giving excellent length to the finish which displays very attractive red fruit.   90-91/100 David Allen MW

 It has a lifted bouquet with raisin, fresh dates and some lovely tobacco and sandalwood aromas that lend the aromatic profile complexity, although it feels rather compact at the moment. The palate is very well-balanced with a spicy, black pepper-tinged opening and very good structure. There is wonderful focus here, with a refined, clove-tinged finish and a long, spicy aftertaste so you do not forget it in a hurry. The 2011 Cockburn harks back to those classics of yesteryear. Cockburn’s is back.    92-94/100 Neal Martin

Dow’s Vintage Port 2011
Aromas are spirity at first with concentrated, dark, meaty black fruits behind. The wine is sweet and structured with plentiful ripe black fruits that evolve beautifully in the glass. The wine is medium to full-bodied with good acidity and a lovely structure of fine firm tannins.  93-94/100 David Allen MW

It has a beautiful, quite extravagant bouquet with copious black and red fruit, Indian spice, and hints of menthol and orange rind that unfold wonderfully in the glass. The palate is a sumptuous affair, one that is beautifully balanced with velvety smooth, plump tannins, copious black fruit with a harmonious, white pepper-tinged finish that is a decadent delight. This is one of the finest of the declarations of 2011 Vintage Ports, a sublime expression of the vintage you would be foolish not to buy. This is Dow at its best.   96-98/100 Neal Martin

Graham’s Vintage Port 2011
Restrained dark plum aromas on the nose. The palate is lusciously sweet with plenty of dark black cherry fruit and sweet vanilla hints. The richness and intensity of the fruit stops the spirit standing out. Superb acidity gives the wine a profound finish that is exquisitely balanced.  94-96/100 David Allen MW

The 2011 Graham’s… has a more “serious” bouquet compared to the Dow, with beguiling scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow, tobacco and cloves. Straight-laced, very well-defined and compelling, the palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and supremely well-judged acidity. It is utterly harmonious, with a pure core of ripe black cherries, damson, marmalade, clove and spices, and the finish lingers long in the mouth.  95-97/100 Neal Martin

Noval Vintage Port 2011
On the nose concentrated blackberry aromas combine with the fortifying spirit to give a strangely attractive coal-like note. The palate is deep, rich and concentrated showing vivid black cherry flavours. There is a lovely fresh acidity and the plentiful spirit is kept well in check by the ripe fruit. The finish combines the plentiful black fruits with drying tannins. Lovely.  93-94/100 David Allen MW

The 2011 Quinta do Noval has wonderful precision on the nose with blackberry, cassis, intriguing flinty notes and a whiff of smoke. It might not possess the power of the Nacional but it has freshness to spare. That comes through on the beautifully composed palate, which is underpinned by fine tannins that lend it a silky smooth mouthfeel. There is real intensity here, but it is very controlled with superb minerality on the finish. Excellent.   94-96/100 Neal Martin

 Noval Nacional Vintage Port 2011
Intense spirity aromas are supported by huge amounts of black fruit that resolve into a vivid black cherry jam character. The palate is juicy, intense and clean in its nature with good acidity. The huge fruit overpowers the spirit on the palate and subdues the powerful tannins. The wine has great intensity and excellent balance. This really is a tour de force!  99+/100 David Allen MW

The Quinta do Noval Nacional 2011 is one of the most breathtaking, nascent Vintage Ports that I have ever met. The label should state a health warning: “Sensory Overload” – since the bouquet is endowed with copious dark berry fruit, minerals, bay leaf and cloves that manifests like a slow-motion explosion from the glass. The palate is velvety-smooth on the entry, but do not let that kid you. Wave after wave of intense ripe black fruit lap along your sensory shoreline – indescribably harmonious with extremely well-judged acidity. There is a crescendo of flavors that build towards a sensual, date and raisin-tinged, magisterial finish that I can only analogize to the dramatic E-major chord that concludes The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life.” In fact, Lennon & McCartney’s magnum opus probably sums up the 2011 Nacional better than any descriptor I can think of.   98-100/100 Neal Martin

Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port 2011
The sample had just been opened when I tasted it and this accentuated its very spirity aromas, behind which are lovely, open, ripe fruit. The palate is mid-weight with some nice firm tannins and good, fresh acidity. The lovely open red to black fruit is in a range from plum to damson. There is a long, pure finish.   92-93/100 David Allen MW

The 2011 Quinta do Vesuvio has a primal bouquet with heady scents of macerated dark cherries, boysenberry jam and a slight fug of alcohol that should be integrated by the time of bottling. The palate is very rounded with sweet ripe tannins, plenty of raisin-tinged black fruit, and delicate touches of cracked black pepper and shaved ginger on the cohesive finish. This is a superb Quinta do Vesuvio.   92-94+/100 Neal Martin

Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port 2011
The wine is spirity on the nose with some quite simple fruit. The palate has a pleasant, straightforward nature with fruit on a spectrum between ripe red cherries and dark black fruit. The acid is balanced but the tannic structure makes the finish quite drying.  88-89/100 David Allen MW

Perpetually underrated, the 2011 Smith Woodhouse… has a broody but intense bouquet of blackberry, kirsch, Oriental spices and a slight resinous note. It is very well-defined – but serious. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, fine acidity, and a lovely spice note at the side of the mouth that leaves the mouth tingling long after it has departed. Very harmonious and long, this is a wonderful Smith Woodhouse. Excellent.  92-94/100 Neal Martin

Ordering & Prices

Wines are available to pre-order in multiples of 6 bottles or cases of 12.
*Offer ends September 2013,  except Burmester, orders for which must be placed by the end of August 2013.

Orders to David Allen MW, 020 8418 2823  email davida@coevintners.com

Coe Vintners 2011 En Primeur Port Offer

Duty Paid Delivered per dzn ex VAT

In Bond per dzn

Burmester

£222.00

£190.00

Churchill

£427.00

£395.00

Cockburn

£402.00

£370.00

Dows

£468.00

£436.00

Graham

£510.00

£478.00

Noval

£515.00

£483.00

Noval Nacional

£4,452.00

£4,420.00

Vesuvio

£457.00

£425.00

Smith Woodhouse

£367.00

£335.00

E&OE

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About Coe Vintners Fine Wine

Coe Vintners Fine Wine is part of the Coe Group, one of the leading wine and spirit suppliers in the UK. An independent family business established in 1930, Coe Vintners will celebrate 85 years continuous trading in 2015.
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