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Symington, Niepoort declare vintage

The Symington Family Port Company has confirmed that each of its Port houses will declare a 2003 vintage.

This will be the first widely declared vintage since 2000. This first official declaration comes from one of Port’s biggest producers.

The Symington porfolio comprises Dow, Graham, Warre, Smith Woodhouse, Gould Campbell and Quinta do Vesuvio. Each will declare a limited quantity of 2003 Vintage Port.

2003’s notoriously hot conditions were less extreme in the Douro – where hot, arid summers are normal – than other parts of Europe.

Rupert Symington said, ‘The 2003 harvest produced wines of the highest calibre. It was an optimal viticultural year.’

The Symingtons make extensive use of their innovative robotic lagar, first introduced for the 2000 vintage. The temperature controlled stainless steel foot replaces traditional foot treading in stone troughs or lagares.

For those looking to purchase 2003 Port the news is that yields were low – down by about a third on 2000 – so allocations may be limited. However, while the prices of top table wines continue to soar, Paul Symington has indicated that his 2003 Vintage Port prices are likely to rise only 3-4% on the 2000’s.

Niepoort has also declared a 2003 Vintage Port. Other producers are expected to follow next week.

Written by Matthew Hemming

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