We are delighted to declare 2017 a vintage year for Churchill’s Port.
This marks the first back-to-back general vintage port declaration in almost a century. Although we may have hesitated at the idea of declaring two consecutive Vintages, there was no hesitation by Johnny Graham, founder and head taster of Churchill’s, in declaring the exceptional quality of the 2017 Ports.
As he says: “there is a raw vibrancy to Churchill’s 2017 Vintage Port, combining a purity of fruit with a vein of natural acidity, which will give this wine great ageing potential.”
Churchill’s 2017 Vintage Port has a very deep violet colour, with a resinous intensity on the nose and layers of fresh blueberry aromas upfront. Exuberant and vinous on the palate, with flavours of crushed blackberries in combination with a gravelly tannic structure, this wine has a vibrant natural acidity contributing to a long-lasting finish.
Our winemaking team has been excited about the 2017 ports since tasting the first run-off samples from the lagares at the vintage. The fresh intensity of the 2017 Vintage stands as a distinct representation of Churchill’s style, complimenting our elegant 2016 Vintage Port in showcasing our vintage pedigree.
Following on from 2016, we once again saw extremely low yields in the Douro. The 2016-2017 viticultural year was exceptionally hot and dry, with 30% to 46% below average rainfall in the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior sub-regions. This precipitated a faster vegetative cycle of the vines, and here at Churchill’s we had our earliest vintage ever, with the first parcels of grapes coming into our Quinta da Gricha winery in mid-August. These conditions contributed to an intense concentration of fruit and tannins.
All our ports are made in the “lagares” at Quinta da Gricha – the traditional granite treading tanks. This is our preferred choice of vinification for Port, allowing for a gentler maceration of the grapes. Although costlier, we believe it is still the most effective process for making top quality Vintage Port.
As is customary for Churchill’s, we have also bottled a small quantity of our single-quinta Vintage Port, Churchill’s Quinta da Gricha Vintage 2017, of which we can offer small allocations.
We are excited to share these exceptional wines from Churchill’s and once again showcase the Douro as one of the world’s great wine-producing regions.