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See details of the wines declared or bottled from the year 1966:

1966 Vintage

An outstanding Vintage of exceptional quality, but always unjustly overshadowed by the 1963. Now recognised as being one of the very best post-war Vintage Ports. Declared by most of the major Port houses.

The 1966s are solid wines with superb structure, filled with fruit and tannins. Depth of fruit persists even now after more than 30 years. Mature and ready to drink, but the best wines will keep for many decades if well cellared.

Viticultural and Weather Conditions

A wet winter followed by storms and low temperatures in May with the sun only showing itself at the end of the month.  A fine and hot July, more leaf than usual on the vines prevented burning.

August was exceptionally hot, twice 45° C was recorded. Fortunately the month ended with cooler weather and a little rain fell, but the first week of September saw a return to fine hot weather.

Vintage started at Bomfim on 19th September in continued fine, hot weather, with the Rio Torto and other areas generally starting on the 26th. Unfortunately, rain interrupted the harvest for a few days at that point, but it did little harm to the grapes. By the 29th the weather had cleared and become much cooler and harvest continued until 2nd October when the weather broke completely with two days of torrential rains.  After that fine weather returned and the harvest continued in ideal conditions.

The overall harvest was small but of very good quality.

Vinification

In the first few days of harvest at Bomfim, graduations were all over 14 Bé and while temperatures rose to over 32° C the fermentations were slow and the colour and flavour of the musts appeared excellent.

Winemaker's Overview

The nascença (emergence of flowers) is looking very healthy and plentiful.

James R Symington
23 April 1966

The vines and grapes are not as dried up as the [intense August heat] would indicate, as the exceptionally wet winter left good reserves of moisture in the soil and leaf growth is above average. In the Upper Douro yields will be less than last year but the prospects for quality are good.

Michael D Symington
6 September 1966

Musts everywhere showed higher than average readings and the colour is excellent. Yields on the other hand are the lowest for many years, some Quintas being as much as 30% down on their 1964/5 productions.

We are delighted with the prospects for the 1966's. It will be surprising indeed if 1966 does not prove to be an excellent vintage for Port.

Michael D Symington
9 October 1966



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