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See details of the wines declared or bottled from the year 1980:

1980 Vintage

A hugely underrated year, the good wines are outstanding. This Vintage is like the '66 in that it only became recognised for its real star quality years after the declaration. Overshadowed by the 1977, but as a result a real bargain at auction. General declaration.

Ready now, but will continue to develop and improve over the next few years. The best, and some are outstanding, will age well for decades.

Generally well-balanced, the 1980 wines are typical examples of Vintage Port with backbone, freshness and plenty of fruit. Notable for their strong colour. The best have a depth and structure that places them amongst the finest Vintage Ports of the post-war era, so selection is important.

Viticultural and Weather Conditions

Spring was very wet, the weather only became warmer at the start of summer. Flowering in the Douro was generally rather poor resulting in lower yields than usual. Temperatures rose substantially as the summer progressed which greatly helped a generally difficult year. A little rain fell just before harvest in late September.

Vinification

Sugar readings tended to be rather low due to the variable growing season, however the heat during the vintage ensured a good start to fermentation and wines with plenty of good colour were produced.

Winemaker's Overview

Unusually early spring with hot sunshine and 20° C in shade, and vines already budding. This is much too early, and we may well pay for this later on.

Michael D Symington
11-12 March 1980

Overcast and very muggy weather. Temperatures 34° C at 8pm... vines looking nice and have evidently caught up nicely having been rather behind-hand before.

James R Symington
21-25 August 1980

Yields were surprisingly high... Temperatures were high and some lagares had to be drawn off before repisa (re-treading) when they approached 30° C... colour seemed excellent and the musts smelt fresh and most attractive... reminded one of 1977. 27 September - 8 October 1980

From a price/purchasing angle this vintage has been completely calm and free from the tensions and speculative fever... But with the price of brandy almost double that of last year... the cost price of a pipe of 1980 Port will stand at 22-25% above that of a pipe in 1979... from a quality point of view the prospects are excellent and a good stock of young, good quality full-bodied Port wine is now in existence.

Michael Symington



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