Here is a wine with a history. This vineyard was purchased by Dow in 1890 and soon became known as one of the top three vineyards in Portugal. By 1954, it was in decline, along with the entire port industry, and was sold off. In 1998, Dow repurchased the vineyard and started much-needed renovations to the vineyard, mostly untouched since the 19th century.
This 2001 bottling is the last before the vineyards were replanted.
Hand-harvested and foot-stomped, this is as old-school as it gets. This bottling could use another 10 years of aging but drinks well if decanted three to four hours before serving. The tannins are high and still a bit raw, with a darker color than my black soul. Rich dark fruit and licorice on the nose carry through to the full-bodied palate and finish with ripe cherry.