Dow 2014 “Vale do Bomfim” Douro

Vale do Bomfim

Made from traditional Port grapes, Tinta Barroca (30%), Touriga Nacional (25%), Touriga Franca (25%), Tinta Roriz (15%), and Tinto Cão (5%), this wine from the Symington family’s historic Dow Port house is dark garnet in color almost all the way to the edge. It seems closed at first, showing simple black fruit, but opens up a bit with time in the glass to reveal notes of something like cranberries and a whiff of licorice. Black fruit and licorice show on the palate in a ripe flavor built on a sturdy structure of tart acidity and firm, astringent tannins. Although 14.5% alcohol is claimed, I don’t detect the bite of heat that sometimes comes with higher-alcohol wines. U.S. importer: Premium Port Wines Inc., San Francisco. (Sept. 28, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: Red meat would serve it fine; we enjoyed it with fennel-scented Italian sausages sauteed with green peppers and onions, and later with rich, buttery cheese.

WHEN TO DRINK: It’s okay now, best with a little breathing time in the glass; but the sharp acidity and strong tannins suggest that it would benefit from a few years in a temperature-contolled cellar.

VALUE:’s $12 average retail beats my local price by $3. I’ll take it anywhere below the upper teens, but again, with scattered vendors offering it for less than $10, it’s worth checking Wine-Searcher and shopping around.

There’s plenty of info about Dow’s Ports online, but it’s harder to track down fact sheets on the Douro Reds. Here’s an overview from Vins Philippe Dandurand, a Canadian distributor.

Check prices and locate vendors for Dow’s “Vale Do Bomfim” Douro on

Want to find more Douro reds under $10? Check this link on

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