Croft Vintage Port 2017
A beauty in the making, with waves of dark currant preserves, warmed fig and steeped blackberry fruit, all infused with chai spice, tobacco, singed alder and espresso cream accents. Very grippy on the finish, but this is long and smoldering too. Best from 2035 through 2060.
The 2017 Vintage Port is a field blend aged for approximately 20 months in French oak. It comes in with 97 grams of residual sugar. This was only seen before bottling previously. Now, with some bottle aging, it looks super, superior to the 2016, also reviewed, and a fine 2017. It is, of course, extremely young. It's tight but not astringent (at least with decanting); the fruit is as if just crushed, and it is beautifully balanced. This is not even close to showing all it has. Throw it in the cellar. You can drink it now, but you'll just be wasting it. Right now, this and the 2016 are close, but I predict this will pull ahead with every passing year.
The 2017 Croft Vintage Port was picked from August 31, the earliest since 1945. Deep purple in color, the nose is initially standoffish, checking you out before opening intense black plum and crushed violet aromas, orange blossom and veins of Seville orange marmalade. Yet it is extremely well focused, disguising the warmth of the growing season. The palate is medium-bodied with a luxuriant, velvety smooth opening that lacquers the mouth. Beautifully balanced, effortless even, it gently seems to roll across the senses towards its surprisingly controlled, clove and bayleaf tinged finish that leaves a discrete tingling sensation on the tongue. Superb and probably one of the 2017 Vintage Ports that will drink sooner than others.
A beautifully juicy wine, packed with firm tannins and with great black fruits already in balance. The wine has style, never hinting too much at power, but instead going for complexity. Drink from 2030.