Cockburn's

Cockburn's Vintage Ports are very full bodied with characteristic floral and esteva (rock rose) aromas, with fresh acidity and a characteristic long, dry finish.

History

Cockburn’s was founded in 1815 by Robert Cockburn, a Scottish soldier who had served in the Peninsular War under the Duke of Wellington.  Over the course of the 19th century three more families joined the firm and were instrumental in building Cockburn’s reputation: the Smithes, Teages and Cobbs, and by the early 20th century Cockburn’s Vintage Ports were among the most highly-regarded.   Like many Port shippers, the firm suffered in the difficult years following the Second World War, and in 1962 it passed into corporate ownership. 

The firm has a tradition of pioneering viticulture:  Cockburn’s were the first to plant experimental vineyards in the 1930s, and in the 1970s were instrumental in saving Touriga Nacional from near extinction: although this grape is a winemaker’s delight for its aromas, flavours, tannins and balanced acidity, it had fallen from favour with the growers, due to its exceptionally low yields.  Cockburn’s were remarkable for planting single-variety blocks before this practice became common and for their commitment to the Douro Superior, proving the enormous quality potential of this remote region by producing high quality Ports based on the wines made from their extensive vineyard holdings east of the Valeira Dam.

In 2006 Symington Family Estates acquired all the assets of Cockburn's including its properties and stocks of ageing port wines, and began making the wines under contract to the then owners.  In 2010 SFE were able to buy the brand and take full control of Cockburn’s.  The reputation of Cockburn’s Vintage Ports is rising once again, with Cockburn’s Quinta dos Canais 2007 Vintage Port winning a Silver Medal at the 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards and both the Cockburn's 2007 and Canais 2009 winning multiple awards in the 2012 tasting competitions.

For more detailed information about Cockburn's and their full range of Ports, visit the Cockburn's website.

Quintas

Cockburn’s flagship quinta is the magnificent Quinta dos Canais, which has been at the heart of Cockburn’s Vintage Ports for almost a century.  Located in the Douro Superior just east of the Valeira Dam on the north bank of the river, the vineyards stretch out along undulating hills with east, south and west facing exposures, from 110 metres at the river front up to 345 metres. 

Quinta do Vale Coelho, just upriver from Canais, was purchased by Cockburn's in 1893 and has also been a key contributor of wines to the Cockburn's Ports for over 100 years.  In addition, specially selected wines from other privately-owned Symington family quintas in the Douro Superior are used in the blends to create Cockburn’s Vintage Ports.

For more viticultural details, see the Canais Quinta Profile and the Quinta do Vale Coelho Quinta Profile.

Flavour Profile

The Vintage Ports are very full bodied with characteristic floral and esteva (rock rose) aromas, with fresh acidity and a characteristic long, dry finish.

The Wines

Cockburn's produces both a Cockburn's Vintage Port, which is declared only in exceptional years, perhaps three times in a decade, and also a Quinta dos Canais Quinta Vintage Port, which typically is produced only in intervening years. 

In a tasting of Cockburn’s Ports for his 1990 Vintage Port book, James Suckling tasted 11 of the vintages from 1896 to 1958, and his notes consistently remark on the very long and elegant finish of the wines.  The judges at the 2012 International Wine Competition awarded the Cockburn’s Vintage 2007 both a Gold Medal and the prestigious IWC Vintage Port Trophy, praising the flavour and structure “... a dense flavour of blackberry and black cherry, underpinned by tannin but the texture is seamless and this scented, balanced style will be sumptuous young and age for a generation or more.”

See details of all the years in which Cockburn's was made

  1. 2015
  2. 2011
  3. 2007
  4. 2003
  5. 2000
  6. 1997
  7. 1994
  8. 1991
  9. 1985
  10. 1983
  11. 1975
  12. 1970
  13. 1967
  14. 1963
  15. 1960
  16. 1955
  17. 1950
  18. 1947
  19. 1945
  20. 1935
  21. 1931
  22. 1927
  23. 1912
  24. 1908
  25. 1904
  26. 1900
  27. 1896
  28. 1894
  29. 1890

See details of all the years in which Cockburn's Quinta dos Canais was made

  1. 2014
  2. 2012
  3. 2010
  4. 2009
  5. 2008
  6. 2007
  7. 2006
  8. 2005
  9. 2004
  10. 2003
  11. 2002
  12. 2001
  13. 2000
  14. 1999
  15. 1998
  16. 1995
  17. 1992
  18. 1991


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