On the 25th of April 1974, a military-led coup overthrew the dictatorship which had governed Portugal for half a century. In its immediate aftermath it unleashed social and political tensions, in the prevailing turbulent climate the family elected not to bottle Vintage Port. Nonetheless, many of the year’s wines were so exquisite that they were selected for maturing in cask. For Peter Symington, this was just his fifth vintage in the Douro, but as he gradually took on the position of head winemaker, taster and blender, it became his responsibility to nurture the development of this wine during its prolonged ageing in cask, before passing that responsibility to his son Charles.
A fresh and vivid single harvest colheita with orange peel, apple peel, Butter Brickle and hints of caramel. Medium body. Refined and beautiful. Sweet crunchy finish. Weightless yet very sweet. Ethereal. Drink now.
In the series of great single harvest Colheita Ports, this is at a perfect age. There is a fine treacle and spice character to the wine along with a touch of orange zest freshness. Drink this great Port now.
The 1974 Single Harvest Tawny Port (that's called a "Colheita" traditionally, but some producers have decided to translate) is a field blend bottled in May 2022 with a bar-top cork and 132 grams of residual sugar. A terrific Colheita, this dribbles sweet fruit and sugar over the finish while seeming bright and elevated. It is so fresh and balanced, that it is just terrific. Then, it adds all the typical flavors, the caramels and chocolates. This is great.
Toffee, toasted sesame seed, salted caramel, green tea and hazelnut notes emerge slowly and steadily as this airs in the glass, backed by racy, embedded acidity through the lengthy finish. Shows some latent power too.
When you first approach this wine, it may appear fully mature in its orange marmalade richness, its zesty structure and length. What you many not notice is the cool tension, a current running underneath the flavors, bringing pale cranberry notes out of the vanilla scent of oak. Then it reveals scents of rose hips and spring grasses as it opens over the course of several days—still charged after 47 years.