Grapes: Tinta Roriz/Touriga Franca/Touriga Nacional/Tinto Cão/Tinta Francisca/Tinta Amarela/Sousão
Dow's Vintage Ports are among the longest-lived, possessing impressive backbone and structure; they are also at the drier end of the scale and often show magical qualities on the nose. Much of the fruit used in declared vintage years comes from the premium vineyards at Quinta do Bomfim, which also makes a very fine wine in non-declared years under that name.
The Symington family has been involved with Dow most of the 20th century, taking full control in 1961 and building on the legacy of the preceding Silva and Dow families. Dow dates back to 1798 when Bruno da Silva, a Portuguese merchant, moved to London and began importing wine from his native country. Through Bruno da Silva, Dow became the first and only Port Company to transport its precious cargo of casks of fine Ports under its own armed protection across the Bay of Biscay during the treacherous Napoleonic wars. Over the next generations there formed a partnership with the Frederick Cosens and they were later joined by George Acheson Warre. Finally in 1877 Silva & Cosens merged with another leading Port company, Dow & Co and it was decided to adopt Dow’s as the brand name.
In 1912 Andrew James Symington was invited to manage the Douro Valley vineyards of Dow and in 1961 the Symington’s finally became sole owners of Dow’s. Five members of the Symington family are currently engaged in the management of Dow’s which is the only surviving independent Port producer in the hands of just one family amongst all the great historic Port companies. Paul, Johnny and Rupert Symington (Andrew Symington’s grandsons) are the joint managing directors and together with Paul’s younger brother Dominic they work towards the development of new markets and customers. Charles Symington is in control of the winemaking. Being one of the most highly regarded winemakers and tasters in the Port industry, with more than 40 vintages to his credit, Peter has passed on his knowledge to son Charles.
'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.' 94pts, RobertParker.com Anticipated maturity: 2008-2030.