Croft Vintage Port 2011
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Founded in 1588, the distinguished house of Croft is the oldest firm still active today as a Port wine producer. The company is renowned above all for its Vintage Ports as well as for its range of wood aged reserves and tawnies, time-honored styles refined by skill and experience passed down the generations. This is Croft's Vintage Port from the 2011 vintage. The way a vintage is declared is a traditional, time-honored process : April 23rd is St George’s Day, and one of the most eagerly awaited dates in the Port wine calendar. It is the date on which the ‘first growth’ Vintage Port houses announce their intentions in respect to the last single harvest. On 23rd April 2013 for example the announcement related to the 2011 vintage. The hope among wine merchants, collectors and Vintage Port enthusiast around the world was that Croft and other classic houses would declare the vintage, and they did. 2011 was hailed 'a classic' and Croft winemaker David Guimaraens exclaimed: ‘The 2011s stand out for the purity of the fruit and the quality of the tannins, which are silky and well integrated, but provide plenty of structure.’ The Wine Spectator gave the 2011 Port vintage 99 points saying it is a 'powerful and elegant vintage, with concentrated fruit flavors and plenty of grip; a benchmark vintage.'
As reported by The Telegraph : 'It does not happen often, but vintage port is having a moment. Make that a big moment: the declaration of the 2011 vintage is causing quite a rumpus. 2011 is a breathtakingly good year for port. If you are already a port fan then my advice is simple: pile in. If you have ever thought that maybe one day you will buy some to shove under the stairs and bring out in a decade or two, now is the time (though I recommend opening it on a Saturday afternoon when it can take centre stage, rather than at the end of one of those dinners when everyone gets a dangerous second wind at about midnight and you become a suddenly incredibly generous host). And if you have children or godchildren who were born in 2011 – well, what are you waiting for?'
Wine SpectatorEffusively juicy, rich and concentrated, showing plenty of snap to the crisp and well-spiced flavors of wild berry, dark currant and plum tart. Orange-infused chocolate notes linger on the exotic, mocha-filled finish. Best from 2020 through 2045. 5,000 cases made.
Wine AdvocateThe 2011 Croft is initially taciturn on the nose, even after allowing it 20 minutes in my glass. A light swirling immediately awakens the aromatics to offer blackberry, Seville orange marmalade, blueberries and dried fig - complex and quite compelling. There is real mineralite within this bouquet that, returning after 30 minutes, offers alluring ocean spray scents rolling in off the ocean. The palate is medium-bodied with a velvety-smooth opening that belies the fine, structured tannins underneath. It clams up a little towards the finish, shuts the lid tight and consequently there is the sensation of less persistency here compared to the Taylor's or Fonseca. But Croft has a knack of filling out with bottle age and becomes both gentle and generous with the passing years. Tasted May 2013. 92-95
Wine EnthusiastThis shows very sweet fruit that's ripe, dense and already delicious. That doesn't mean the tannins don't bring out the firmness at the core of this powerful wine. It is integrated, packed with black plum flavors, and full bodied. For long-term aging.