As Close To The Port God As You Can Get
(TORONTO, ON) – On a 2014 trip to Portugal, I had the pleasure of visiting many Port producers. It would seem there was great deference shown by all to the Port produced by Dow’s at Quinta do Bomfim. Dow’s is but one of many labels of the Symington family who have been Port producers for five generations.
I had the privilege of being invited into the Quinta with my journalist pal Brenda in November of 2014. We started the afternoon with white Port before the fireplace and in the late afternoon went for a walk in the terraced fields as the sun set.
A glorious dinner in a beautiful dining room after taking tasting notes on a few Ports. Served by butlers and maids, we went through several Ports and table wines.
It was quite clear that our host, Gustavo Devesas, was extremely proud of the single vineyard Ports of Quinta do Bomfim. We talked late into the night until the fire was out, and retired to the chilly guest rooms.
Now, two years later, and away from the charming quaintness of the Quinta, and the very great honour of being hosted by the Symington’s, it is time to revisit the Quinta do Bomfim 2004 Vintage Port.
I should note I had yet another wonderful time at the Quinta last September, trying many Ports and table wines and having a spectacular lunch of duck and rice casserole in the garden overlooking the Douro River.
The Quinta has been updated with a new visitor’s centre. To me, that has somewhat detracted from its charm and my wonderful 2014 experience there. Progress? Development of the Douro?
The 2004 Quinta do Bomfim is garnet in colour, but readily transparent. It packs a solid punch on the nose, however. Loaded with plum, raspberry, and cherry, and tar and a faint whiff of wood smoke from burning old vines in the Douro hills in November. Lovely underlays of chocolate, salami, and mint.
On the palate, stupendous elegance and charm with a huge, smooth finish that just goes on and on. Muted tannins, but enough to persuade me this is good for at least another 10 years.
Loads of cherry, plum, chocolate; an aphrodisiac for the gums and palate. At the risk of being vulgar, a sexy beast.
I’d like to see more Port come in these smaller sizes. This 375mL size served five at dessert quite easily.
Really, a stellar choice for grilled flank steak marinated in honey, garlic, soy sauce, and tequila. Or, to a simpler level, a lamb or beef burger.
Although I like Tawny Ports for dessert, this just might make it with a blueberry pie made from fresh, local fruit. I did try it with a cherry Clafuti and it was a really spectacular match.
Decanting is a necessity as there is some sediment to deal with.
As for Vintage Port, this is a killer. (Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim 2004 Vintage Port, Symington Family Estates, VN Gaia, Portugal, 375mL, 20%, $29.95, LCBO #8193, Square Media Group Rating 93/100)