Croft Vintage Port 2016
Very expressive, this unfurls with mouthwatering licorice snap, fruitcake, apple wood and violet notes, which are quickly followed by a wave of mouthfilling plum, blackberry and fig paste flavors. This is packed but well-defined, and the energy allows the fruit to ripple through the long finish. Built for the long haul, with distinctly dry cut at the end. Best from 2035 through 2055. 3,000 cases made, 900 cases imported.
Juicy, luscious and with excellent ripe fruit, this is a balanced wine with a fine future. Its tannins are almost sweet to match the sweetness of the berry fruits. As it ages, this will be a lovely wine. Drink from 2027.
The 2016 Vintage Port is a field blend originally seen about a week before bottling. It comes in with 104 grams of residual sugar. Not a lot has changed except that it seems even more approachable and much better balanced now. It also seems drier than its statistics would suggest. Tight and intense on first taste, this comes around relatively well with a couple of hours of air on the first day tasted, but it isn't expressive until a couple of days later. The initial firmness moderates to some extent, showcasing a relatively approachable young Port. (That doesn't mean it is ready or close to it.) The concentration seems good enough now, so that the hints of alcohol that I saw in June-and again this time around when this was in its first 90 minutes of aeration-seem under much better control. The balance is just more appealing. It shows beautifully with a couple of days of air. As with all Ports of any quality, this could use some time. This is gripping, but it won't sear your mouth with tannins. You are going to have to cellar it awhile to allow it to acquire more complexity and more harmony, though. This is showing more promise than ever.
The 2016 Croft Vintage Port has a taut bouquet at first that demands a good 20 or 30 minutes to get into its stride. It eventually reveals scents of blackberry, bilberry, chimney soot, clove, and just a hint of scorched earth in the background. The palate is spicy and vivacious on the entry: black fruit, clove, white pepper and curry powder (almost like a Balti!) I love the personality imbued into this Croft, a Vintage Port that seems to be wearing its heart on its sleeve. Excellent. Production is 3,050 cases.