Vintageport.se

Est. 2011

Dow's

Dow's Silva e Cosens Lda

Founded 1798
Owner Symington family
Vineyards Quinta do Bomfim, Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira, Quinta do Sol, Quinta Cerdeira, Quinta Santinho
Vintage Port Brands Dow's, Quinta do Bomfim, Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira
Web-site www.dows-port.com

In 1798 a Portuguese merchant called Bruno da Silva arrived in London to see what business he might be able to open up with his native city of Oporto, and so started the wine-importing concern which fifty years later became Silva & Cosens when Mr Bruno's son John Silva joined partnership with William Cosens, also of London. In the early part of the 19th century when England and France were continually at war, Bruno da Silva applied for ‘letters of Marque’, equipped a privateer carrying nine guns, and carried safely many consignments of wines from Oporto to Bristol and London.

In 1868 George A. Warre, from one of the most established British families in Oporto, became a partner and was subsequently joined by James Ramsay Dow in 1877, when the firm of Dow & Co. was merged with Silva & Cosens (the firm of Messrs. Dow & Co was first known in the early part of the eighteenth century as Samuel Weaver and later Weaver & Dow). The name Dow's came in to existence in 1877 when James Dow became a partner in the company Rodrick Dow became a partner in 1893 by which time Silva & Cosens had become one of the largest Port wine shipping houses in Oporto. Messrs. Dow & Co. had long enjoyed a good reputation for the shipment of quality wines, in particular Vintage Port, and so it was about this time that the decision was taken to make Dow the House Brand of the company.

During this period the company started a rapid expansion programme under the dynamic management of the combined firms. This resulted in the planting of the vineyards and the building of the adega at Quinta do Bomfim situated in the heart of the Upper Douro. A. J. Symington was admitted into the partnership in 1912 and was later followed by his three sons who managed the business through the two world wars. They were then joined by their own sons and today the company is managed by the fourth generation of the Symington family.

During the 1960s and 1970s Silva & Cosens continued to be at the forefront of modern progress by being one of the first shippers to install modern autovinification fermenting tanks in their wine making centre at Quinta do Bomfim.

Today Silva & Cosens forms part of the Symington group. The single biggest part being shipped under the Dow's name In 1998, the Bicentenary of the founding of the company, a new milestone was reached with the re-acquisition of Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira. This outstanding property was originally acquired by Dow's in 1890, but was sold in 1954 when the Port trade was at its lowest point and when many Port companies either closed down or were sold.

Dow's wines are made in a drier style which is not to everyone's taste, but have magnificent ageing potential and they do need to be aged in order to appreciate their real potential.

Quinta de Bomfim
The 'jewel in the crown' is the Quinta do Bomfim vineyard (meaning ‘good end’) was purchased in 1896 by George Warre at a time when he thought that a shipper should take a closer interest in the production of Port, a move that was somewhat unconventional at the time. A single quinta wine was launched in 1988 with the 1978 vintage. Quinta do Bomfim Vintage Port is only produced in ‘un-declared’ years, as in Vintage years the wine from this quinta goes to produce the core of Dow’s vintage port. However, during the 1960s and the 1970s Dow had special delivery to Fredrikbergs Vinimport in Denmark of Quinta do Bomfim and thus in Denmark both Quinta do Bomfim and Dow existed from the same vintage in at least following vintages: 1966, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1977 and 1980.

Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira
This quinta takes its name from the little chapel between the quinta house and the river, and was originally acquired by Dow's in 1890. By the end of the nineteenth century it was one of a trio of top-quality wine Estates. Dow's was a substantial owner of Douro vineyards long before most Port shippers were involved in viticulture or winemaking. The Quinta was sold in 1954, when the Port trade was at its lowest point – a time when many Port companies were either closed down or sold. But the link was not entirely lost because the Ribeira grapes were bought and vinified by Dow's, continuing to play a fundamental part in its Vintage Ports for most of the century. To the family's great delight, the opportunity to buy back Senhora da Ribeira arose in 1998, Dow's Bicentennial year.

Quinta do Sol
This new state of the art winery was officially inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture, Sr. Eng. Fernando Gomes da Silva on 15th September 1997. The design of the winery was conceived by Peter Symington, his son Charles and António Serôdio.

Dow's Vintages:1850, 1854, 1865, 1870, 1872, 1873, 1875, 1878, 1881, 1884, 1887, 1890, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1896, 1899, 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1915, 1917, 1919, 1920, 1924, 1927, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938 (?), 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2011
Quinta do Bomfim Vintages:1944, 1948, 1952, 1954, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira Vintages:1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015

Vintage Port tasting notes:

HouseDowVintage1904
ColourMature tawny in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetLovely generous camphor and pharmacy nose.Score range16.90 - 16.90
TasteMedium body. Very tasty but of course old. However, still drinkable and knit together. Dry, complex and never ending finish. Astonishing old port.Average score
Last tasted11th January 1996Point this date16.90
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI
HouseDowVintage1912
ColourMature tawny in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetWonderful chocolate and cacao in the nose.Score range18.75 - 18.75
TasteSurprisingly sweet but with a sign of age and with some alcohol and acidity. Old lovely attractive finish. I just loved that port!Average score
Last tasted27th January 1983Point this date18.75
CommentAt the Danish Port Wine Club est. 1981 tasting in Copenhagen.
This port was bottled in 1915.
TastersSAI
HouseDowVintage1934
ColourMature tawny in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetRich malty and nutty in the nose.Score range17.25 - 17.25
TasteDelicious roasted nuts. Mature. Still some sweetness. Wonderful finish. An attractive old port.Average score
Last tasted11th November 1999Point this date17.25
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI
HouseDowVintage1945
ColourMature yellow in colour.Number of tastings3
BouquetChristmas raisin and liquorice in the nose.Score range16.75 - 18.75
TasteFull-bodied. Liquorice in flavour. Surprisingly sweet for Dow. Complex, balanced with a marvellous finish. A great port.Average score17.83
Last tasted10th July 1998Point this date18.00
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% trip to Douro.
Ander G. Åkesson Collection,
TastersSAI
HouseDowVintage1946
ColourMature tawny in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetAlcoholic and ether in the nose.Score range15.25 - 15.25
TasteMedium body. Very dry. Tasty but a bit alcoholic and unbalanced finish. This vintage has passed its best but exciting to have found and drunk it.Average score
Last tasted23rd December 2007Point this date15.25
CommentAt home with the family.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1947
ColourBeautiful, mature tawny in colour.Number of tastings2
BouquetVery complex and generous bouquet of fudge, toffee, crème caramel and cacao in the nose.Score range17.50 - 17.50
TasteFull-bodied. Delicious, mature and still at its peak. Toffee and fudge in flavours. Very complex balanced and generous port with a heavenly finish which never seems to end. What a lovely and attractive port!Average score17.50
Last tasted18th April 2013Point this date17.50
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
This bottle belongs to Ander G. Åkesson’s Private Collection.

In 2013 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1950
ColourMature tawny in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetGlorious bouquet, mostly pharmacy and liquorice in the nose.Score range15.75 - 15.75
TasteMedium body. Mature and maybe old but a delicious port with dry exciting finish.Average score
Last tasted24th December 2007Point this date15.75
CommentAt home with the family.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1952
ColourMature tawny in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetLovely crème caramel and pharmacy bouquet.Score range15.25 - 15.25
TasteVery light body, but elegant and complex. An old port with quite agreeable finish but this port has past its best.Average score
Last tasted16th January 2003Point this date15.25
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1954
ColourBeautiful mature amber in colour.Number of tastings2
BouquetComplex and lovely bouquet. Toffee, cream candy, crème caramel, coffee and cacao in the nose.Score range15.50 - 17.00
TasteMedium body. Mature and at its peak. Complex and balanced port but astonishing sweet. Very tasty with crème caramel, cacao and much more in the mouth with a delicious and very attractive finish. Lovely port indeed!Average score16.25
Last tasted23rd July 2016Point this date17.00
CommentAt home with the family
TastersSAI, JB
HouseDowVintage1955
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings2
BouquetRich complex vanilla and liquorice in the nose.Score range18.00 - 18.50
TasteFull-bodied, complex, dry and delicious. Mature but still some tannin. Wonderful finish. Will even be better? What a port!Average score18.25
Last tasted24th March 2005Point this date18.00
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1958
ColourMature yellow, quite beautiful in colour.Number of tastings2
BouquetToffee, crème caramel,, honey, mint and some herbs.Score range16.25 - 16.25
TasteMedium and even light in the body. Mature and peaking. Quite dry and maybe a little “tired” but easy to drink and enjoy. Elegant and quite complex with maybe a little short but nice finish.Average score
Last tasted17th November 2016Point this date16.25
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% Semi-Great Tasting in Malmö.
1 bottle has been defect.

In 2016 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1960
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings7
BouquetCoffee, chocolate and old grocery shop in the nose. Superb bouquet.Score range15.50 - 17.00
TasteQuite full-bodied. Mature and at its peak. Superb balance. Dry with a long silky finish. Wonderful port.Average score15.99
Last tasted8th November 2009Point this date17.00
CommentAt home with the family.
*This bottle defect. Notes from tasting November 2007.

In 2007 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1962
ColourMature tawny in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetAlcoholic and ether in the nose. Is not harmonious at all.Score range15.40 - 15.40
TasteMedium body. Mature. Alcoholic and dry. The finish is quite good but this is a too old but rather nice port.Average score
Last tasted15th September 2005Point this date15.40
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1963
ColourYellow mature almost tawny in colour.Number of tastings23
BouquetComplex nose of roses, candy and ginger and spiciness in the nose.Score range16.25 - 17.90
TasteFull-bodied with almond paste and ginger in flavour. Mature and peaking. Elegant and balanced with a long and attractive finish.Average score17.06
Last tasted23rd November 2013Point this date17.75
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% Great Tasting in Malmö.
This bottle belongs to Gerda and Ole Vesterdals Private Collection.

In 2005 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
In 2013 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1964
ColourYellow almost tawny in colour.Number of tastings3
BouquetChristmas raisin and black cherry in the nose.Score range16.25 - 16.90
TasteMedium body. Mature and at its peak. Very tasty with a lovely and astonishing finish. Surprising port for the vintage.Average score16.63
Last tasted11th January 2011Point this date16.25
CommentAt home with my Wine Club.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1966
ColourMature yellow in colour.Number of tastings8
BouquetToffee, fudge, candy and old grocery shop in the nose.Score range17.25 - 18.00
TasteFull-bodied. Mature and will not be better. Burned sugar and toffee in flavour. Dry. Complex and generous with a wonderful finish. Lovely port.Average score17.74
Last tasted28th April 2013Point this date17.25
CommentAt home with the family.
1 bottle has been defect.

In 2006 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1970
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings26
BouquetLovely complex nose of mature figs, prune, dried fruit and boysenberry.Score range16.00 - 17.25
TasteFull-bodied. Mature and on top. Elegant. Quite dry. Boysenberry in taste. Balanced and quite complex with lovely dry and long finish.Average score16.65
Last tasted5th August 2013Point this date16.75
CommentAt home with the family.

In 2008 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1972
ColourBeautiful mature yellow in colour.Number of tastings12
BouquetOld grocery shop, toffee, ginger-bread, menthol, nuts, liquorice, red whortleberry, fudge and cacao in the nose. Quite generous.Score range16.00 - 16.90
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking but still some very soft tannin. Quite surprising!! Very dry but elegance and an attractive flavour of fudge and toffee. Lovely and long finish. Very enjoyable port. Astonishing for the vintage!Average score16.42
Last tasted18th April 2015Point this date16.25
CommentTasted in a private party
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1975
ColourMature tawny in colour.Number of tastings10
BouquetBoysenberry and old grocery shop on the nose.Score range15.00 - 16.00
TasteNo heavy weightier but enjoyable and easy to drink. Complex and elegant with an attractive finish.Average score15.73
Last tasted5th January 2011Point this date16.00
CommentAt home with the family.
1 bottle has been defect.

In 2006 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1977
ColourMature, yellow in colour.Number of tastings22
BouquetCacao, coffee beans, dried fruit and some toffee in the noseScore range15.00 - 17.50
TasteFull-bodied. Mature and peaking Will probably not be better but will keep for ages. Toffee, some spiciness and cacao in flavour. Quite dry but complex and balanced port. Exciting finish which is long and lovely. Very enjoyable now!Average score16.44
Last tasted26th October 2017Point this date17.50
CommentAt the Danish Port Wine Club est. 1981 tasting in Copenhagen.
This bottle was a Magnum 1 bottle has been defect.

In 2010 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1980
ColourStill very dark blue but with a yellow edge. Astonishing colour.Number of tastings21
BouquetSeductive bouquet of cream candy, mulberry, ginger, cinnamon, toffee, fudge and spiciness.Score range15.50 - 17.00
TasteFull-bodied. Complex but still some soft tannin. Dry. Spiciness and toffee in flavour. Balanced but elegant and powerful. Long way left to go. A keeper and will be better but easy to drink and enjoy today. Lovely finish and future. Astonishing port!Average score16.23
Last tasted23rd October 2015Point this date17.00
CommentIn the Private Wine Club

In 2014 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1983
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings12
BouquetElegant bouquet of red berries, toffee and crème caramel.Score range14.75 - 16.40
TasteFull-bodied. Mature and peaking. Quite dry, elegant and a complex nice balanced finish.Average score15.65
Last tasted18th March 2017Point this date16.00
CommentAt the Danish Port Wine Club est. 1981 tasting in Copenhagen.
*This bottle and 5 more bottles have been defect (Sic). Tasting notes from 3 March 2016

In 2017 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1985
ColourStill rather dark but mature yellow in colour.Number of tastings14
BouquetNuts, burned candy, mulberry, old grocery shop but also cinnamon, ginger and toffee in the nose.Score range15.50 - 16.40
TasteFull-bodied. Butterscotch and nuts in flavour. Complex and elegant. Almost mature and peaking but still some very soft tannin. Very dry. Balance and elegant port with a very good and quite long and attractive finish.Average score16.00
Last tasted12th December 2016Point this date16.25
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
1 bottle has been defect.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1991
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings10
BouquetBurned candy, toffee and almond in the nose.Score range14.90 - 16.25
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Perfect balance. Burned candy in flavour. Nice finish. Easy port to like and drink but this bottle is not at all what we usually have tasted and expected of Dow 1991.Average score15.52
Last tasted5th May 2014Point this date14.90
CommentAt the Port Wine Club est. 1981 tasting in Copenhagen.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1994
ColourStill very dark in colour but with a yellow rim.Number of tastings5
BouquetDark berry, mulberry, black cherry, cacao, liquorice and ginger in the nose.Score range16.00 - 16.75
TasteFull-bodied. Rather mature but still with soft tannins. Will develop more. Liquorice and toffee in flavour. Not so dry as usual. Complex and balanced with a nice and quite impressive finish.Average score16.31
Last tasted27th November 2014Point this date16.75
CommentAt the Danish Port Wine Club est. 1981 tasting in Copenhagen.
This bottle was a Magnum.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage1997
ColourDark blue in colour.Number of tastings5
BouquetMulberry aromas, ginger and spiciness in the nose.Score range15.75 - 16.50
TasteFull-bodied. Still tannic and immature. Spiciness in flavour. Dry. Complex and balanced. A long, attractive and lovely finish.Average score16.08
Last tasted7th November 2012Point this date16.00
CommentA Magnum bottle tasted at the Port Wine Club est. 1981 tasting in Copenhagen.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage2000
ColourDark blue in colour but with a mature yellow edge.Number of tastings4
BouquetCinnamon, ginger, spiciness and some butterscotch in the nose.Score range16.50 - 16.50
TasteFull-bodied. Rather mature but still with some very soft tannin and will probably be better. Dry but balanced and complex. Ginger, liquorice and spiciness in flavour. A long, attractive and very promising finish.Average score16.50
Last tasted4th March 2017Point this date16.50
CommentAt the Port Wine Festival in Roskilde, Denmark.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage2003
ColourDark blue in colour with a thin red rim.Number of tastings3
BouquetLoaded with mulberry, blackberry, liquorice and nice fruit in the bouquet.Score range16.25 - 16.25
TasteFull-bodied. Still immature with tough tannins and a good backbone. Quite dry but with some nice acidity and a long very balanced finish. Wonderful and will improve even more.Average score16.25
Last tasted5th March 2016Point this date16.25
CommentAt the Port Wine Fair in Roskilde, Denmark.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseDowVintage2007
ColourBlack in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetLoaded with fruit and very juicy.
TasteEnormous fruitiness. Loaded with tannins. Immature and hard to swallow and appreciate. Berry in flavour. Dry. Impressive and full-bodied. Long and tannic finish.
Last tasted27th June 2009Rating this dateImpressive
CommentOn The Danish Port Wine Club est. 1981 trip to Douro.

Port so young we evaluate only as : Good – Very good- Impressive – Very Impressive
TastersSAI
HouseDowVintage2011
ColourBlack in colour with a purple rim.Number of tastings1
BouquetDark berries, fruit and juice in the nose.
TasteNice fruity taste with liquorice and long finish.
Last tasted4th November 2013Rating this dateVery Impressive
CommentAt the Port Wine Festival in Copenhagen.

Port so young we evaluate only as : Good – Very good- Impressive – Very Impressive
TastersJB

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