The Capela do Vesuvio (Vesuvio Chapel) is only made in years of exceptional quality. The 2016 is the third Capela Vintage Port to be released, since its debut Vintage in 2007. Like its two predecessors, this wine is from a year that has merited a full declaration. Capela do Vesuvio reflects the Symington family’s detailed knowledge of the vineyards that make up the majestic Vesuvio estate and this Port is crafted from vineyard to bottle in tiny quantities.
As with preceding Capela releases, this Vintage Port is inspired by the incredibly low-yielding 90-year-old vines from the Vinha da Capela vineyard, which yielded just 330g/vine and brings an extraordinary complexity and character to the wine. The Vinha da Escola vineyard which is named after the old estate schoolhouse which is still standing at the edge of this vineyard, also makes an important contribution to the Capela Vintage Port with its Sousão and Alicante Bouschet varieties.
The good soil water reserves created by the generous 2016 winter and spring rainfall and the sheltered location combined to counterbalance one of the hottest and driest summers of the last four decades.
The west-facing Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional vines in the Vale da Tejavineyard, planted in the 1970s, have deep roots which are vital in a dry growing season. Grapes from these vines complemented the structure provided by
Vinha da Escola and the complexity from Vinha da Capela.Over the last 20 years, two of the lesser-known varieties
in the Douro; Sousão and Alicante Bouschet have gained importance at Quinta do Vesuvio. This follows a long tradition of viticultural innovation at the property, which was one of the first in the region to plant varietal vineyards in the 1970s. Sousão maintains tremendous freshness and acidity even in the hottest years in the Douro, and again it proved its worth in 2016. Alicante Bouschet adds structure and length, and has equally proven its worth, contributing weight and colour from its intensely dark coloured berries. The Sousão and
Alicante Bouschet from the Escola vineyard have become signature varieties for Capela do Vesuvio and are the perfect counterpoint to the Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca varieties. The Vesuvio Capela 2016 Vintage Port is an excellent showcase of these four varieties from specific sites on the property. Experience at Vesuvio has shown that joint fermentations of some varieties brings wonderful complexity to the wines. Accordingly, the Touriga Franca and Sousão were fermented together in the same small granite lagar, as were the Touriga Nacional and Alicante Bouschet. The field-blended varieties (very old vines) were fermented in the Touriga Nacional / Alicante
Bouschet lagar. Longer fermentations are usual for Capela Vintages, as the lower Baumés provide a drier profile and later run-off allows more extended skin contact and underscores the powerful structure.
2016 was a very late vintage; the Vinha da Escola was picked from the 22nd September and the Vale da Teja from October 4th. The rain of the 13th was perfectly timed and gave the vines a lifeline to ripen the berries fully and evenly which is mirrored in this wine’s supreme refinement and balance.
Luxuriously perfumed and seductive nose. Impressive aromatics revealing lavender, rockrose and eucalyptus.
Very substantial on the palate, with remarkable structure showing great refinement. Precise, fresh and
multi-dimensional. An inspirational wi