Kopke, the oldest Port shipper in continuous trading, celebrates its 375th anniversary this year. At a time when colheitas are in fashion (even among the British houses who used to quietly eschew the style), Kopke has no need to scour the Douro in search of old wine. Kopke has long been sitting on some fabulous stocks of old colheitas and tawnies in their cool lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia and it seems that they have been well cared for under a number of different owners.
This wine, launched with the 375th anniversary in mind, comes from barrel no. 10053, a lodge pipe of 580 litres, from which 375 bottles have been released. According to Kopke, 1940 was a year of high rainfall through to June with heavy attacks of mildew causing a loss of production. The summer months were dry and very hot, with forest fires a problem (rather like 2013).
Kopke 375 1940 Colheita Special Edition *****
Beautiful iridescent colour: brick red – tawny centre to orange and olive green on the rim; very fine, clear suave on the nose, a mélange of dried fruit with a touch of toffee and milk-chocolate depth, no awkward Douro bake or vinagrinho here at all; super-smooth initially on the palate, beautifully fresh creamy fruit with just a dusty vestige of tannin keeping it all together, seamless, all the way to the sweet ,succulent finish with a touch of butterscotch. Immaculately crafted and well kept (bottled 2013). 19
Location: The Barn at the Rookery
19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)
17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)
15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)
13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)
10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)
8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)
Below 8 Faulty