The Symington Family Estates has produced Vintage Port from six of their principle properties from 2018.

The port producers have selected two wines that will be released en primeur: Quinta do Vesuvio and Dow’s Quinta de Senhora da Ribiera. Another four will be bottled and aged in their cellars for future releases.

The wines will be launched via a live video presentation on May 14 2020, and this will be open to all, although viewers will need to register in advance.

Quinta do Vesuvio is the last major property on the region to produce its Ports exclusively using the traditional method of treading in granite lagares, an unbroken tradition since the winery was built in 1827.

Dow’s Quinta de Senhora da Ribiera is one of the classic riverside Douro Quintas and has belonged to Dow’s Port since 1980.

The 2018 growing season was described as a “rollercoaster” consisting of a winter drought, a deluge of rain in spring and then heatwaves through the ripening period.

For the Quinta do Vesuvio 2018 Vintage Port the Touriga Franca was co-fermented with the Alicante Bouschet, which delivered a “notably more elegant” Port, balanced by the freshness of the Touriga Nacional and the Sousao.

Dow’s Quinta de Senhora da Ribiera 2018 Vintage Port has “aromas of violets and discreet undertones of fresh mint”. It is described as being big and bold on the palate with bags of opulent black fruit, liquorice and kirsch. The producer said: “It has a richer profile than usual for a Dow wine, but it is all held in perfect balance by pin-sharp acidity”.

The producer said for this Port the heat sensitive Touriga Nacional grapes were shielded from the heat because they were situated in an area with a cooler aspect and high altitude.

With its natural high acidity, the Sousao played “an even greater role” in 2018, according to the producer. It was needed to balance the high concentration that the warm and dry Douro Superior imprints on the wines. The Sousao was co-fermented with Alicante Bouschet for the first time at Senhora da Ribiera, which added “wonderful structure and colour” to the wine.