1980 Port: Vintage guide


An unfairly under-rated vintage which produced relatively dry, highly drinkable wines

Weather Conditions

An unusually early spring was followed by an extremely dry growing season and sugar readings were on the low side when picking began a week or so later than normal, at the end of September.

Ambient temperatures were high during the harvest and the lagares fermented furiously fast and therefore took little work before being run off.

Best Producers

Perhaps deterred by a steep hike in opening prices, the 1980s were largely overlooked by the trade. The wines however are very attractive; open, fresh and fruit-driven, which has stood them in good stead for drinking over the medium-to-long-term.

As a result, 1980 is something of a Cinderella vintage, delicious for drinking now and over the next ten or more years.

Smith Woodhouse