Many people are looking for a 1976 Port to give as a 40th birthday or 40th anniversary present in 2016. Unfortunately 1976 was not a good vintage in the Douro and very little 1976 Port was produced. The winter of 1975/76 was the driest winter on record for the Douro and the Summer of 1976 suffered drought conditions. The grapes suffered terribly, the vines were stressed, the result was a very small harvest and the year was not declared as a vintage. There are some years where one will simply not be able to find any vintage Port.
There were very small quantities of 1976 Single Quinta Port produced. A single Quinta Port is made in exactly the same way as Vintage Port, normally from a Port House’s top property or best vineyards in a year not declared as a vintage. For example, both Graham Quinta dos Malvedos and Fonseca Guimaraens were produced in 1976, but there is precious little of these 40 year old Single Quinta Ports still available and they are very hard to find.
All is not lost though! If you are frantically looking for a 1976 Port, there are still some 1976 Colheita Ports available. A Colheita Port is a Tawny Port from a single vintage that has to be aged for at least 7 years in barrel. These have quite different characteristics from a vintage Port but are superb wines.
We currently have Krohn 1976 Colheita Port, the current batch was bottled in 2015, which has been quietly aging away in barrel for 40 years. This is a gently oxidative process as the Port interacts with both the air and the barrel. This is what helps to produce the nutty, sweet, caramel and dried fruit characters that tawny Ports are famous for.
Krohn 1976 Colheita Port available here.
Krohn Colheita 1976 Port
Krohn 1976 Colheita Port is an elegant Tawny Port from a very hot, dry and small vintage. It has a good mahogany colour. The nose is complex with aromas of candied fruit peels, cherry, red fruit and orange notes combined with nutty, oaky notes. The palate it soft, smooth and silky. There are more complex, nutty characteristics and caramel / mocha flavours. It has an extremely long, sweet finish, balanced by superb acidity. An excellent example of a mature, tawny, 1976 Port. Presented in a wooden gift box.
As an alternative to 1976 Port, there one will also find 40 year old Tawny Port such as the Grahams 40 Year Old Tawny. Please note a 40 year old Tawny Port is a blend of older and younger Tawny Ports with an average age of 40 years old, not from a single vintage. For a brandy drinker, there is also Baron de Lustrac 1976 Vintage Armagnac and Baron de Sigognac 1976 Vintage Armagnac.