Recently Rated Dow’s Wines

From Wine Spectator's blind tastings

Dow’s is renowned for its Vintage Ports that are blended from multiple estates and can be aged for decades, but the house makes the full spectrum of Port styles, from single-quinta Vintage Ports to late-bottled Ports, various tawny Ports, ruby and even white Ports. Following are our most recent ratings.

In the best “declared” years, the top wines from the Symington family’s Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta Senhora da Ribeira (“Lady of the River”) vineyards go into the Dow’s Vintage Port. In strong years that are not declared, Dow’s bottles a Senhora da Ribeira Vintage Port, which reaches its peak a little earlier.

Among the other wines in the lineup are a non-vintage Crusted Port, a style of full-bodied Port blended from recent years’ harvests, aged in cask for 12 to 18 months and then aged in bottle for three years. It’s ready to drink on release but can be cellared as well.

There’s also a colheita bottling—a tawny Port from a single year’s harvest that has been aged in oak casks for at least seven years, though often longer at Dow’s, which can give these wines nutty, woody, spicy and dried-fruit notes.

A dry red wine called Vale do Bomfim, a blend of the same native varieties used in Port, is also sourced from the same Douro Valley vineyards that are the basis for Dow’s Ports.

To learn more about Port styles, read “Ports: Vintage, LBV and Ruby” and Dr. Vinny’s Port primer in our online magazine archives.

Dow Vintage Port Quinta Senhora da Ribeira 2010
Score: 93
Release Price: $60
Very peppery, with lush, broad flavors of red raspberry and orange zest that are fresh and well-spiced. The minerally finish offers notes of chocolate mousse and savory herb. Best from 2016 through 2036. 350 cases made. —Kim Marcus
Region: Douro, Portugal
Issue: Oct. 15, 2013

Dow Tawny Port Single Harvest Colheita 2002
Score: 91
Release Price: $39
Offers a spicy aroma, with rich, mouthcoating flavors of plum tart, mincemeat, baked fig and nutmeg, supported by ample acidity. Citrus zest and dried apricot details linger on the rich, fresh finish. Drink now. 150 cases made. —Kim Marcus
Region: Douro, Portugal
Issue: Sept. 30, 2014

Dow Douro Vale do Bomfim 2011
Score: 90
Release Price: $13
An elegant, medium-bodied red, with flavors of olive tapenade and dried red berry. Forest floor notes show on the sinewy finish. Drink now through 2018. —Kim Marcus
Region: Douro, Portugal
Issue: Nov. 30, 2014

Dow Port Crusted NV
Score: 89
Release Price: $33
Shows plenty of savory notes to the dried plum, fig, chocolate and licorice flavors. The muscular finish features some smoke and cream accents. Drink now. 150 cases made. —Kim Marcus
Region: Douro, Portugal
Issue: Sept. 30, 2014