An outstanding Vintage Port year producing well structured and balanced Vintage Ports, marked by strong tannins, great elegance and staying power. The best wines have the tannin and structure to age for decades.. Michael Symington of the Symington Port Group, "in the Douro we have been fortunate and certainly good average wines have been made, and it is thought a few outstanding lotes (batches) will emerge."
Christopher Smith, Member of The British Parliament and Lord Mayor of London, founded a small company to ship Port from the Douro in 1784. The Woodhouse brothers joined in the early 19th century and the name Smith Woodhouse was established. By the end of the 19th century their Ports enjoyed a strong reputation. Like so many shippers, Smith Woodhouse fell on hard times in the aftermath of the Second World War, and the shipper was sold to a London based wine importer, whilst the wines were supplied by W & J Graham’s. In 1970, when the Symington family bought Graham’s, they acquired Smith Woodhouse as well.
As a niche name with limited production, Smith Woodhouse is not as well-known as most of its peers, but among Port connoisseurs it is eagerly sought. In major blind tastings of all the Ports declared in Vintage years, critics consistently pick out the Smith Woodhouse as extraordinarily good and extraordinarily good value.
Smith Woodhouse has a long association with one of the Douro Valley’s finest areas, the Rio Torto Valley. As a specialist producer, Smith Woodhouse possesses an in-depth knowledge of this area’s terroirs, and the core of its wines come from its own Madalena vineyard, set in the very heart of this sheltered valley, formed by a Douro tributary for which it is named. A little over half of Madalena is covered with a field blend of old, very low-yielding vines that bestow remarkable depth and complexity on the wine.