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Dows Vintage Port Reviews



Dows Vintage Port Reviews



Learn More About Dows Vintage Port Through its Reviews.




2017 Dows Vintage Port Reviews



98 Pointz James Suckling


“Pure grape aromas that remind me of fermenting must but then goes to stems and dried flowers. Full-bodied, medium sweet with fine-grained tannins that coat your palate. Powerful and muscular yet remains agile and beautiful. Grows on your palate. Wonderful ripe fruit in the middle palate. Try after 2030.”


98 Pointz Vinous



“The 2017 Dow’s Vintage Port showed a slight reduction and required more time to really open in the glass. Typical of Dow’s it has a more backward and introspective bouquet compared to its peers, scents of blackberry, clove, wild mint, cassis, and vanilla, gradually gaining more intensity with aeration. The palate is simply glorious. It is built around a compelling tannic frame that seems finer than any Dow’s I have encountered apart from the ethereal 2011. There is so much energy coiled up in this Port, a sense of symmetry that is enthralling, and yet you just know that it needs to be cellared for 15-20 years for it to reveal its full potential. For serious Port-lovers. One of the vintages most cerebral offerings. Total production is 5,250 cases.”



96 Pointz Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate


“The 2017 Vintage Port, bottled in May for release in the third quarter of 2019, is mostly a 42/38 blend of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca with old vines and miscellaneous others (including about 8% Alicante Bouschet) for the rest. It was bottled about a month before this tasting after 18 months in seasoned vats, but the just-bottled sample was not actually used for fear it might be in shock. This, accordingly, was actually a pre-bottling sample. It comes in with 106 grams of residual sugar. Opening with dramatic color, this adds violets on the nose. It retains elegance while seeming subtly concentrated rather than jammy. Then, it finishes with pop and controlled power. For those who remember the powerhouse Dows in the past, that's not quite this for the most part. It is an accessible and elegant Dow, relatively speaking. Charles Symington said that the higher proportion of Touriga Franca compared to some years contributed to that. That said, this still has the structure to age and develop. It seems wonderfully fresh and lifted all the while, but it's neither rich, nor intense nor austere. This is a Dow that still needs some time to become more expressive and complex, though. There were 5,250 cases produced.”



96 Pointz Wine Enthusiast


“This is a dry while also floral wine, perfumed and enticing with its juicy acidity. At the same time, the structure is very present, showing power and dark black fruits. The balance is coming together with the rich fruits and tannins melding into one. Drink from 2028.”



Bonus Reviews

United Kingdom


97 Pointz Decanter


“Based on fruit from the predominantly south-facing Quinta do Bomfim in the Cima Corgo and Quinta Senhora da Ribeira in the Douro Superior, with Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca making up 80% of the blend. This is opaque and closed in but powerfully ripe with underlying pure berry fruit. It's seemingly quite introverted compared to some of its peers at this stage, but it's still full, rich, and opulent on the palate. It also shows the latent power of the vintage, made as it is in a slightly drier style (3.4 Baumé), with lovely minty fruit and full, ripe sinewy tannins all the way through the finish. Long and lithe, and very fine. Drinking Window 2035 - 2060”



18/20 Pointz Jancis Robinson,

Master of Wine


“Black core with purple rim. Very different from the Stone Terraces just tasted, sweet and somehow more lifted as if more volatile. Hedgerow fruits on the nose, floral too, and again that real sweetness of fruit on the palate. Intense, firmly built but very generous in its sweet fruit character even if not analytically sweeter. Fine-grained but still grainy tannins with some hints of dried fruits on the finish. When I tasted this a second time on a different occasion, it seemed much fresher and more vibrant so I increased my score and lengthened the drinking window.”





2016 Dows Vintage Port Reviews


98 Pointz Vinous


“The 2016 Dow’s Vintage Port is based around the Vinha dos Ecos vineyard behind Bomfim, populated predominantly by mature Touriga Franca vines that were cropped at just 0.68kg per vine. It has a quite astonishing bouquet with layer upon layer of intense black cherry and cassis fruit, touches of clove, leather, and a hint of over-ripe Satsuma. This is a mercurial bouquet that keeps changing in the glass, revealing smoky/burning ember scents with time. The palate is quite magnificent – perfectly balanced with a killer thread of acidity slicing through such pure intense black fruit that there is no heaviness at all. There is a sense of thrust on the finish as it fans out with almost careless abandon, a Vintage Port so self-assured that you can only sit back in amazement. Simply one of the best Dow’s ever made.”


98 Pointz Wine Spectator


“This packs a lot of fun, with a wallop of blackberry, fig, boysenberry, and açai berry compote flavors working together, laced with a mouthwatering licorice snap note and driven by a fresh, well-detailed finish. A roasted apple wood accent is integrated as well, lending textural contrast through the vivacious finish.”


97 Pointz Wine Enthusiast

Cellar Selection


“Very floral, intense, and ripe, this is a wine that is based around big black fruits as well as fine acidity. It is obviously destined for long aging with its powerful dry tannins and perfumed acidity. Drink this wine from 2028.”



96 Pointz James Suckling


“Aromas of blueberries, blackberries, and dried flowers plus hints of slate follow through to a full body, very fine tannins, and a driven and linear finish. Orange peel and dried fruit. Sleek and racy. Ready to try in 2024.”


93 Pointz Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate


“The 2016 Vintage Port, bottled in May for release in October 2018, is mostly a 48/31 blend of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional, with various other grapes and some very old vines for the rest. It comes in with 111 grams of residual sugar. This is a very elegant Dow's, but there is certainly both power and concentration lurking underneath. Adding fine fruit, it is expressive and sophisticated, a very refined offering that seems not quite as burly as in some years. It is still exceptionally appealing, but it was curiously understated when seen. Some bottle shock, perhaps? The fresh 2016 Vintage? This is an illustration of Charles Symington's philosophy, as relayed to me, that the "wines should be in harmony from the first day." I don't think this will be a great Dow's, but it is an enjoyable one. If it wakes up, it might be entitled to an uptick. For the moment, between the top blends in the Symington stable, I'd lean to Graham's as the best in this vintage. Both are easily outclassed by the single-plot wines.”


93 Pointz Wine & Spirits


“Blended from Bomfim in the Cima Corgo, and Señora de Ribeira in the Douro Superior, this vintage is prettier than most young Dow’s of the past. The fruit feels cooler than most of the other top wines of 2016, with red and purple highlights, both in flavor and in floral scents. Alcohol warms the finish, but it’s the impression of luscious fruit and flowers that lasts. Rich and complete, this is a wine for the long haul.”



Bonus Reviews

United Kingdom


98 Pointz Decanter


“Based on Touriga Franca with Touriga Nacional and Sousão. Tight-knit, with firm, rapier-like tannins on the palate – a ramrod all the way through with the opulence and flesh of the fruit on the finish. Fine-grained with great purity and expression. Leaner and much more restrained in style than others: the drier style of Dow works really well in ripe years such as 2016 (as it did in 2011). Outstanding wine for the long term.”



18/20 Pointz Jancis Robinson,

Master of Wine


“Extremely dark blackish crimson (like Graham 2016!). Rather savoury and minerally on the nose. Such a strong, almost minty personality. Lovely blend of freshness and ripeness, though some may reproach it for slightly less tannins than others. Lovely briny impact. Relatively forward, possibly tempting to drink it quite young?”




2011 Dows Vintage Port Reviews



#1 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2014

99 Pointz Wine Spectator

Highly Recommended



“Powerful, refined, and luscious, with a surplus of dark plum, kirsch, and cassis flavors that are unctuous and long. Shows plenty of grip, presenting a long, full finish, filled with Asian spice and raspberry tart accents. Rich and chocolaty. One for the ages.”


98 Pointz Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate


“The 2011 Dow Vintage Port was made from no less than 44 separate ferments from finest fruit sourced from Quinta do Bomfim (35% of the blend), Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira (42%), and the Santinho (14%), and Cerdeira (6%) estates. Just six of the best lots were used in the final blend, which consists of 40% Touriga Franca, 36% Touriga Naçional, 10% Sousão, and 14% of old vine plantings. 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.”


97 Pointz Vinous


“Deep, saturated dark ruby. Penetrating aromas of black cherry, violet, lavender, licorice, dark tobacco, and minerals. Then plush and elegant in the mouth, with outstanding depth and a hint of youthful bitterness to the superconcentrated flavors of black raspberry and spices. The wine's perfectly integrated acidity and floral lift give the finish great hang time. With 48 hours in the recorked bottle, this beauty showed its powerful underlying medicinal reserve without losing its freshness. Should be a wonderful follow-up to the splendid 2007 Dow--and very long-lived. Snap this one up and grow old gracefully with it.”




97 Pointz Wine & Spirits


“Dow’s Vintage is often remote on release, a kernel of impacted flavor. This vintage is more like a perfect sphere. All the elements are there, from plump, superripe fruit to polished schist tannins, suspended in a round, complete integration that refuses to break apart. Smoky, bright, luscious, and bold, it’s a wine that’s easy to imagine being still fresh and complex at 50 years old, and it’s not a reach to believe it will live well to 80 or 100. This is a blend of Cima Corgo fruit from Bomfim and Douro Superior power from Senhora da Ribeira.”


96 Pointz James Suckling


“Wow. What a sexy nose with aromas of crushed berries, wet earth, and pebbles. Full body, medium sweet with an intense and powerful finish. A vintage Port that leaves an impression. 5,000 cases produced of this mechanically trodden wine. Try in 2023.”


96 Pointz Wine Enthusiast

Cellar Selection


“A powerfully dense wine, solidly based on dry tannins and rich black fruit. Structure, fruit, and acidity all come together in a wine that shows immense potential as well as a softer side now.”

Bonus Reviews

United Kingdom



19/20 Pointz Jancis Robinson,

Masrer of Wine


“Very dark purple. Massive and great combination of ripe fruit and very fine tannins. So chewy but wonderfully concentrated. Refined and dry and with lots of fine, dry tannins.”



2007 Dows Vintage Port Reviews



100 Pointz James Suckling


“The is a phenomenal young port that showcases flowers, stones, black olives, and dried mushrooms on the nose. The polished and finesse are second to none. Full yet so refined and dense with a compact and gorgeous mouthfeel. Goes on for minutes. Hard not to drink now, but this will seemingly live forever.”


100 Pointz Wine Spectator


“Amazing aromas of lilac, violet, crushed blueberry, and mineral that turn to black pepper and spices follow through to a full-bodied, medium-sweet palate, with a long, chewy finish. Evolves to tar and asphalt. Really held back, yet powerful grip slaps you—and makes you happy. This is mind-blowing in texture. The greatest Dow ever made.”


96 Pointz Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate


“This young wine has a very deep purple-black colour with aromas of kirsch, blackberry compote, prunes, licorice, dark chocolate, spice box, and a whiff of coffee grounds. An earthy character comes through on the rich, unctuous palate, well structured with firm, finely grained tannins and medium to high acidity. Long finish.”




96 Pointz Wine Enthusiast

Cellar Selection


“A solidly structured wine, packed with initially sweet fruit that then becomes drier as the ripe tannins show through. All the ingredients are there, supported ny a tense texture to go with the first sweetness. It's an exciting wine, obviously very age-worthy.”


94 Pointz Wine & Spirits


“The color shows the intense concentration of this wine, its deep purple edge predicting the big bite of fruit up front. The bold berry and plum flavors are round, supple, and ripe, completely filling the mouth before settling into the schist of the tannin and the char of the oak. Dow is often compressed and hard to read as a young vintage release: This inky 2007 may well make the current rating seem conservative as it expands with age.”


Bonus Reviews

United Kingdom


17.5+/20 Pointz Jancis Robinson,

Master of Wine


“Particularly dark and youthful-looking. Rich, round, and approachable on the palate. Inky and polished. Racy too. Fun and vibrant. Liquorice notes.”





2003 Dows Vintage Port Reviews




96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate


“A magnificent Dow. A deep opaque purple/black colour. Very youthful in appearance. The nose is very pure and as primal as its appearance: blackberry, liquorice, black olive, and an engaging sense of minerality. But it is very tight and unwilling to express itself at this stage. The palate is very well balanced with ripe blackberry, olive, and spice flavours on the entry, good acidity, and focus with a fine tannic structure towards the finish. Leaves the most fresh and vibrant. More depth than the Croft, this is a superb Dow. Drink 2020-2050+ Tasted May 2009.”


93 Pointz Wine Enthusiast


“A powerhouse, but one that shows a certain degree of lushness to its robust blackberry and mint flavors. Finishes long and minerally, bolstered by slightly drying tannins. Should be more approachable by 2015 and last for three decades beyond that.”


93 Pointz Wine Spectator


“Aromas of blackberries and licorice follow through to a full-bodied palate, with lots of sweetness, fine tannins, and a caressing, textured finish. A refined Dow.”



92 Pointz Stephen Tanzer’s

International Wine Cellar


“Full ruby. Knockout nose features black cherry, blackberry, and licorice pastille. Rich and sappy on the palate, with a suave, velvety texture and unusual power for a young Dow. Flavors of kirsch, minerals, and licorice are not at all overly sweet. In fact, this is ultimately quite taut, focused, and powerful, with a very firm core of fruit. Finishes firmly tannic, highly aromatic, and quite long. A 2003 of outstanding purity and precision, in need of 15+ years of aging. May ultimately merit an even higher score.”


92 Pointz Wine & Spirits


“The black kernel of flavor that often forms the core of a Dow vintage is there in this wine, surrounded in '03 by juicy sweetness. Firm, bitter chocolate tannins are present behind the lush, honeyed fruit; savory herbs parallel the sweeter, floral tones. Rounder and more approachable than most young Dow vintages, this wine's structure is masked, and it's not clear whether it's a 20-year vintage or longer.”

Bonus Reviews

United Kingdom



17+/20 Pointz Jancis Robinson,

Master of Wine



“Dark blackish ruby. Very compact and tight-grained on the nose. Then lots of slightly tart sweetness on then palate. Not very harmonious at the moment with the tannins very dominant.”




2000 Dows Vintage Port Reviews



99 Pointz James Suckling


“Shows the intense ripeness of the vintage with hints of raisins and other dried fruits. Full-bodied, medium sweet and so very velvety. A big mouthful. Superb. Just starting to open.”


95 Pointz Wine Enthusiast


“An impressively concentrated wine, showing the hallmark Dow’s dry edge, but still full of ripe fruit, flavors of black plums and berries. It has weight and spice, but also a delicious perfume, layered through a smooth, opulent texture.”


94 Pointz Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate


“An opaque blue/purple color (typical of this vintage's top offerings) is followed by a strikingly provocative aromatic display (flowers, licorice, blackberries, and cassis). This firmly structured, classic, tightly-knit, restrained port exhibits brilliant purity as well as impressive intensity. While not the most dramatic or flamboyant, it is a beautiful, classically structured port that will age gracefully.”


94 Pointz Wine Spectator


“This is on point now, with a mix of cassis, cherry paste, and warmed fig fruit that has some youthful energy even as it has melded with bramble, licorice snap, and Black Forest cake notes. There's a solid finishing kick of fruit and grip.”


93 Pointz Stephen Tanzer’s

International Wine Cellar


“Saturated bright ruby. Primary, backward aromas of cassis, redcurrant, licorice, minerals, bitter chocolate, and spices. Penetrating, structured, and powerful. Not hugely sweet but boasts superb flavor definition and impressive extract. A very unevolved port that's best today on the expanding finish, which features notes of cassis, violet, dark chocolate, and peaty earth and terrific grip and thrust.”


1997 Dows Vintage Port Reviews



95 Pointz Wine Spectator


“Warm and inviting, with a worn leather feel to the mix of dried anise, espresso, bittersweet cocoa, steeped fig and mulled currant notes, which move seamlessly together through the buckwheat-edged finish. There's plenty here to like now, but this has ample energy for additional development.”


94 Pointz Wine Enthusiast


“Mouthfilling and round, without any sharp edges, but this wine remains extremely firm and dense, with several decades of life ahead of it. Dried fig, chocolate, and black licorice flavors only hint at what lies ahead.”


92 Pointz Stephen Tanzer’s

International Wine Cellar


“Good full ruby. Lightly floral aromas of blackcurrant, maple syrup, mocha, espresso, and fresh herbs. Lush and medium-sweet, with very good intensity, bright acidity, and a deep, tight core of fruit. Subtle and juicy rather than unctuous or powerful, and impeccably balanced. Long, youthfully aggressive finish features a note of dark chocolate and sneaky persistence.”


1994 Dows Vintage Port Reviews



97 Pointz Wine Spectator


“A blackstrap, powerful Port. Black, with intense aromas of raspberries, raisins, flowers, and stems. Full-bodied and medium sweet, with a long, rich finish. Tannins pull at your palate. A wine for the future.”


96 Pointz Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


“The 1994 Vintage Port is set for re-release. It has about 92 grams per liter of residual sugar. It's a beauty, with all that Dow power and structure that I've loved over the years--even after some hours of decanting. Intensely concentrated in flavor, without being jammy, this lingers on the gripping finish after starting with a touch of mint. Serious and brooding, it is not yet as complex and as developed as it could be--but this is Port and that will come in time. Be patient. In the meanwhile, if you must crack this now, give it a few hours in a decanter, to state the obvious. This is a terrific Dow's VP that is still growing and improving. It is still about its potential in some ways and it may well exceed expectations. It will certainly acquire even more complexity with more cellaring. Personally, I would try to give it at least another decade in the cellar.”


Bonus Reviews

United Kingdom


93 Pointz Decanter


“Deep in colour, this is rich but withdrawn on the nose, perhaps still in its adolescent phase. It's sweet and succulent initially, with a bitter-sweet backdrop, slightly rustic too, with some plummy fruit underneath. Lovely weight and depth. This still needs time to show at its best.”



1991 Dows Vintage Port Reviews



92 Pointz Wine Spectator


“Perfumed and gorgeous, with flowers, berry and plum. Full-bodied, very sweet and round, with lovely rich fruit and a long finish. A tiny bit of heat, but will come around nicely. Very pretty indeed. Hard not to swallow now.”


90 Pointz Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate


The firmly-structured, moderately tannic, impressively colored and concentrated 1991 Vintage Port is less precocious and more reserved than the 1992 Quinta do Bomfim Vintage Port. It may develop along the lines of the stern but powerful 1977. The wine offers a classic display of black fruits, licorice, and chocolate aromas and flavors, as well as a full-bodied, muscular style with considerable tannin and firmness. Give it 10-12 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 30+.”


1985 Dows Vintage Port Reviews


93 Pointz James Suckling


“Aromas of walnuts, dried fruit, and raisins. Surprisingly rich and powerful. Yet medium-bodied now. Concludes with a nutty finish. Beautiful.”


93 Pointz Vinous


“The 1985 Dow’s Vintage Port has a gorgeous, very pure bouquet with mulberry, leather, terracotta tiles on a warm day, and hints of clove all beautifully defined. The palate is very well balanced with supple tannin, lightly spiced on the entry, touches of liquorice and black pepper, curry powder, and ginger with a very harmonious and long finish. This may well be the pick of the 1985 declarations and appears to have edged past the Taylor Fladgate 1985 in recent years.”

Bonus Reviews

United Kingdom


18.5/20 Pointz Jancis Robinson,

Master of Wine


“Saturated black-garnet. Rich, broad, and deep nose of fig, prune, dried blackberries, and spice, with an overtone of schisty minerality. Voluptuous and rich, with all the depth of crème de cassis to match the still-firm, fine tannins. A beauty of a 1985, built to last.”



1980 Dows Vintage Port Reviews


92 Pointz Wine Enthusiast


“Approachable now, but capable of further positive evolution, the 1980 is lush and supple, with abundant chocolate and dried-spice flavors and a long, warming finish.”


91 Pointz Wine Spectator


“A forgotten wine that has always been outstanding. Firm and tight, with raspberry and allspice character. Full-bodied and sweet, with a long, long finish.”


Bonus Reviews

United Kingdom



17.5/20 Pointz Jancis Robinson,

Master of Wine


“Mid-deep garnet. Fragrant and somewhat brandied nose, with fresh herb tones and layers of rich, dried black fruit. Supple and fruity on the palate, and its tannins are well resolved. Attractive, spicy length with a juiciness.”


1977 Dows Vintage Port Reviews


97 Pointz James Suckling


“This is really glorious and refined, offering a polished and creamy texture. Complex aromas and flavors with cream, dried fruit, and nuts. Medium body. Very beautiful. A refined and glorious 1977 now. Real deal.”


93 Pointz Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate


“This is an extraordinary house that seems to have been particularly successful with its vintage port since 1977. The 1977, still a baby, is fabulously scented, very rich and concentrated, and has a potential longevity of at least another 30-50 years.”


92 Pointz Wine Spectator


“Medium brick-red. Aromas of coffee, prune, and milk chocolate. Full-bodied and medium sweet, with a licorice, berry, custard, and cream character. Firm and racy. Long and delicious. Firm and beautiful.”


Bonus Reviews

United Kingdom


18/20 Pointz Jancis Robinson,

Master of Wine


“Pale fox-red with a mass of black sediment off which it was decanted three hours before serving, having been stood up for at least the hour recommended by Paul Symington. This wine is now quite delicate with toasty notes of cookies and prunes. Deserves to be savoured but I don't regret having opened the majority of bottles in the case of a dozen I laid down so many years ago.”


1963 Dows Vintage Port Reviews

95 Pointz Wine Enthusiast


“Perfectly mature, this Port's tannins have softened over the past 40-plus years, leaving it lushly textured and displaying rich fig and chocolate flavors. Finishes long, picking up a touch of almond to go with the fig, flavors Symington calls "Dow’s hallmarks."


94 Pointz Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate


“Pale brick colour with fragrant scents of mossy wood, potpourri, cinnamon and dried mulberry plus a whiff of espresso. A mature, well balanced Port comes through in the mouth with high acidity cutting through the lingering dried berry and spice fruit and a medium level of grainy tannins. Long finish.”


92 Pointz Wine Spectator


“Tasted from magnum. This is a wonderfully silky and rich wine. Deep and concentrated raspberry and cherry character, with a hint of spice. Full-bodied and very sweet, with layers of fruit and a long finish.”

Bonus Reviews

United Kingdom



19.5/20 Pointz Jancis Robinson,

Master of Wine


“Mid to pale ruby with a brick rim. Wonderfully mature, complex nose with dried fruits – prunes? – but freshness, too. Hint of dark chocolate. Alcohol wonderfully integrated. Then on the palate a real dancer of a wine – perfectly lively and truly tonic on the palate. Real delicacy – not desperately sweet, just beautifully balanced. Very very clean finish with a definite whisper of tannin on the finish. The Syms reckons this would be one of the top four or five vintage ports of the 20th century by anyone’s reckoning and certainly it demonstrated to me exactly what I love about really mature, top quality vintage port – a world away from young ruby.”




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