Port 1994 Smith Woodhouse
Vintage Port, Bottled 1996
Provenance: Sylvies, 1/29/2016
Bottle may differ slightly from picture
3-5 day U.S.A. delivery
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The early 1800s was a watershed era for the vintners of Portugal’s Douro Valley, On one hand, the grape harvest of 1820, after fermenting and aging for four years, presented connoisseurs with a wine of remarkable sweetness, with “plenty of crust and plenty of color…and a well-stained cork,” according to T.G. Shaw, who recorded his views in Wine, the Vine, and the Cellar (1863), The remarkable vintage established Portuguese wine as a favorite among the British.
Christopher Smith, a prominent figure in the British wine trade and Member of Parliament, who was later to become Lord Mayor of London, opened offices in Oporto in 1784 to ship Port wine from the bar of the Douro. In 1810 Smith's son Newman took over and in 1818 were joined in partnership by the Woodhouse brothers, already well established as importers of wine from other regions, and the firm became known by its present name. Smith Woodhouse built a strong clientele for more than a century, but after World War II, in common with other firms, business became increasingly difficult. In 1960 W. & J. Graham bought Smith Woodhouse and then in 1970 the Symington family acquired the firm.
Smith Woodhouse owns Madalena Vineyard, which lies along the riverbed of the ‘Torto’, one of the tributaries of the Douro, famous for its top rated production. In fact the Rio Torto is acknowledged as having the highest concentration of top quality vineyards in the Douro.