Deep purple-black centre with a vivid purple rim. The quality of the fruit is immediately apparent on the nose. It displays the hallmark ripeness and dark berry aromas of Retiro Novo, the Krohn property in the Rio Torto valley, but there are also crisp red berries, fresh plum and apricot to provide lift and vigour. The nose is very aromatic, pungent notes of rock rose blending with savoury marjoram and thyme and floral scents of rose and violet. In the background there is an evocative woodland redolence of pine needles and bracken. The palate is svelte and racy, with tightly wound, linear tannins and fresh berry fruit flavours carrying through into the long finish. A beautifully expressive Vintage Port, fine and fragrant, but with the depth and intensity characteristic of the 2017 vintage.
The vineyard cycle got off to an early start, with the first buds emerging between 8th and 10th March, in spite of the cold, dry weather. The very dry Spring stood out as a defining feature of the 2017 viticultural year. Only a few millimetres of rain fell in April, usually one of the wettest months, with May and June continuing dry. Temperatures were above average for the period. The early development of the vines continued, with flowering starting right at the beginning of May and a very early véraison making its appearance around 18th June. The drought conditions continued throughout the summer and until the end of September. July was hot but, fortunately, the temperatures in August fell to more moderate levels, particularly at night, encouraging balanced ripening of the crop. Picking at Krohn’s Quinta do Retiro Novo, in the Rio Torto valley, began much earlier than usual on 4th September. As was to be expected following the dry ripening season, yields were low and the musts were exceptionally concentrated and deeply coloured.