Kopke, the oldest Port wine house, has launched two very old Ports, aKopke has a long-established reputation for producing the finest Ports, especially Colheitas, aged tawnies and aged white ports. These two limited releases cement Kopke’s reputation as a producer of fine Port, and the guardians of an historic and valuable library of aged Ports, passed down from generation to generation. Curated by winemaker Carlos Alves and his team, this special edition pair of Colheitas was launched
“As is the case with many of the Houses in the Douro and in the history of Port, many facts, figures and documents have, unfortunately, been lost over time. However, it is likely that the 1940 White Colheita is made from Viosinho, Gouveio, Rabigato, Malvasia Fina grapes, a true ‘field blend’ commented Joao Belo, International Business Manager for Sogevinus. The wine shows expressive and intense aromas with notes of citrus, spice, beeswax, and hints of smoke. On the palate it is fresh, with clean flavours of syrup citrus, white plum, and hazelnut with a long and consistent finish.
The 1940 Colheita is likely to be composed of Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and shows abundant complex aromas of dried fruit balanced with the expression of the wood, hints of spice and notes of coffee. In the mouth it develops in layers, complex, and ends with a long and textured finish.
1940 was an important year for Kopke as it was the year Kopke was officially recognised as the oldest Port wine House by the Trade Association of both Porto and Lisbon. Of the vintage, Carlos Alves states “1940 is recalled for being very wet, both in winter and spring, and very hot in the summer, causing several damaging fires in the vineyards. The harvest of 1940 is a rarity and it is extraordinary that these wines have survived the passage of time, wars and revolutions to be released to the market.”
He adds, “as a winemaker I am delighted to be able to be a part of such an amazing release and to be the custodian of such a significant library of aged Ports. Working with these two 1940 Ports has been remarkably interesting and despite their age, we had to do very little filtration work before bottling.”
A video of the tasting can be found here https://youtu.be/jy3XMuK4U5g.
Other wines showcased at the event entitled “Travelling through time with Kopke”, included the Kopke White Colheita 2003 and two other new Colheita releases the 1980 and 1960. These wines were chosen to show the consistency, freshness, and development of these tawny styles through the ages. The 1980 was described by Jamie Goode as being “very harmonious with lots of flavour intensity. Such depth and weight here, but the remarkable thing is the harmony and length. Thrilling stuff.” Of the 1960, Richard Mayson said it was “in very, very good condition, magnificent” and Jancis Robinson MW described the occasion of tasting the two 1940 Ports “a real treat”.
Junior Vianna MW summed up the tasting very well at the end, saying: “Thank you for sharing these wonderful wines and for a great initiative, it was very creative at this difficult time. I must also pay homage to the ancestors who are no longer with us for these phenomenal wines.”
When the wines reach the market, the 1940 wines will be available in the UK at approximately £799 and £899 or as a pair at £1399 (retailers TBC). Kopke is imported and distributed in the UK by Hayward Brothers.