Taste the Terroir – Dow’s port

Taste the Terroir – Dow’s port.

Recently we got invited by Delta Wine (DGS Wijn) and Dow’s port to ‘Taste the Terroir’. This event was hosted at Restaurant de Kas which gave us the chance to combine the Portuguese Douro terroir from the port wines from Dow’s, with the Dutch terroir through the food presented by de Kas. 

After a nice welcome drink, Dow’s white port with Tonic and a pansy flower from de Kas, we were invited inside to taste a wide range of Dow’s port wines and a delicious lunch. 

About Dow’s port

Dow’s port is one of the most well-known and highly regarded port producers in the world, who have been at the forefront of the industry for over 200 years. Dow’s own 5 Quinta’s in the upper Douro are particularly renowned for their vintage ports, which are only produced in the very best years and are aged for many years in oak barrels before being bottled. In addition to its vintage ports, Dow’s also produces a range of other port styles, including tawny, ruby and white ports, which are all highly regarded for their quality and character. Dow’s ports are usually recognized by a higher level of tannins, making them slightly drier than its competitors. 

About de Kas

De Kas in Amsterdam is known for its unique concept: Harvested in the morning, on your plate in the afternoon. There is a greenhouse on the restaurant location, in which they already can harvest most of their herbs and some vegetables. However, their even larger greenhouse in the Beemster provides them with the biggest chunk of their ingredients. This means that de Kas will always present seasonal and local food, presented beautifully.

In 2022 they have been awarded with 1 Michelin star and a Green Michelin star. 

Tasting the Terroir

Time to start tasting. A nice line-up of ports was awaiting us, paired with some beautiful creations by de Kas. Excellence in the glass and on the plate. Below an impression, including our ratings, of the menu.

Dow’s 10-year-old Tawny port

Aged for 10 years. Lost about 25% of the original volume (the ‘Angels share’) in the aging process. They have blended portions of different barrel sizes, to balance the wood character with the original red and dark fruity flavors in this beautifully tawny colored port.  

DWA Score: 93/100

Dow’s 20-year-old Tawny Port

Aged for 20 years. Lost about 35% of the original volume in the aging process. Flavours are a bit more concentrated, elegantly balanced fruity flavors with more complex characteristics of wood-aging. Compared to the 10-year old, you see that the color is getting lighter

DWA Score: 93/100

Dow’s 30-year-old Tawny port

Aged for 30 years. Lost about 45% of the original volume, and you see it is losing its color as well. This port has a beautiful orange-brown brick-like color. More concentrated and a complex taste with spicy, nutty and marmalade-like tones. Feels like velvet in your mouth. 

DWA Score: 94/100

Vintage 2017 – Late Bottled

LBV’s, (Late Bottled Vintages), age on oak for some years before they are bottled and use grapes from one single harvest year. This Dow’s 2017 LBV, is bottled after 2 years in 90.000-liter oak barrels. Resulting in a very soft, dark colored port wine. Looks very concentrated and thick, with nutty almond aromas.  

DWA score: 94/100

This port was combined with a beautiful dish: 

Beetroot | Grapefruit | Labneh | Burrata | Purslane

Crusted Port – Bottled 2013

Crusted Ports are not made a lot anymore, however Dow’s decided to create this beautiful wine. A blend of young ports from 2 or 3 harvests, not filtered when bottled. Make sure to decant, as the deposit, or the ‘Crust’, remains in the bottle. Bottled in 2013, but aged for another 8 years before it’s brought to market. Aromas of dark fruits such as cherries and cassis, but also some spicy notes and soft tannins. 

DWA Score: 93/100 

Colheita port – 2007

‘Colheita’, Portugese for ‘Harvest’. It’s made from the best wines of one single harvest. 2007 in this case. Compared to other ports, the Colheita is not blended with ports from other harvest years. Ideal conditions throughout the harvest year made 2007 ideal for a Colheita port. It has aged for another 10 years on the barrels. These factors result in a smooth velvety port, with aromas of ripe red fruit and spices. 

DWA score: 94/100

This port was combined with a beautiful dish: 

Cod | Pistachio | Saffron | Chard

Dow’s 40-year-old Tawny port

Aged for 40 years. Lost about 50% of its original volume, and an even lighter amber-golden color. Very fresh, with more texture and volume. A dry, full-bodied port, with spicy and caramel-like aromas.  

DWA Score:  95/100

This port was combined with a beautiful dish: 

Blood orange | Kumquat | Lemon | Pistachio 

Quinta do Bomfim vintages 2010 en 2013

Next in line are two Quinta vintages. Meaning the grapes come from one single vintage, from one single Quinta. When the conditions in the vineyard are ideal, a winemaker can decide to create a vintage of just that single Quinta. Quinta do Bomfim in this case. This Quinta is very important to Dow’s as the winemakers have developed a style that suits this vineyard well. It produces a slightly drier profile, that has become Dow’s signature over the past years. 

Both the 2010 and the 2013 have characteristics of dark fruits like plums and cherries and spices. The 2013 is slightly dryer with more tannins.  

  • DWA score 2010: 94/100
  • DWA score 2013: 93/100

Vintage ports

We ended the tasting comparing two top-vintages by Dow’s. Combined with cheese, the classic port combination, this was a great way to end this tasting. 

Vintage 2000

A very concentrated dark colored wine, as dark as the fruits you can recognize here. Ripe plums and cassis. Spicy but very soft in the mouth, with a nice dry edge to it. 

DWA Score: 95/100

Vintage 1994 

Just as the 2000 vintage, this one also has a nice dark purple color, with ditto dark fruity aromas. Ripe plums, blueberry, blackberry, but also spicy cinnamon flavours to recognize. The port is slightly dry with soft tannins and great to enjoy with old hard cheeses! 

DWA Score: 96/100

Dow’s + de Kas = A whole new Terroir

This event was organized by Alice BownDGS Wines and Dow’s Port to introduce us to the different terroirs of the upper Douro where the grapes grow, and the Dutch terroir where de Kas grows their ingredients. It turns out that these terroirs actually go very well together! 

So next time you are looking for a wine to pair with your food, do not stick with regular wines! Port has so much more to offer than just to be combined with cheese and chocolate. 

Dow’s and De Kas, thanks for showing us how it’s done. Alice Bown and DGS Wines thanks for having us! This event was covered for us by our own Michelle van de Vosse. Picture credits: Alice Bown PR.