SAN FRANCISCO – Cockburn’s Port, one of the world’s premier Port producers, has unveiled the previously undeclared 1977 Vintage Port.
Following the acquisition of Cockburn’s in 2006, the Symington family found 116 cases of the 1977 Vintage Port in the company’s cellars. Cockburn’s famously did not ‘declare’ a 1977 Vintage at the time, although virtually every other Port house did so.
“My family takes immense pride in helping revitalize the historic producer that Cockburn’s is,” says Rupert Symington, managing director of the Symington Familes Estates. “For 200 years, Cockburn’s has been on the cutting edge of the Port world, from their stunning vintages of the early 1900s to their invention of the reserve Ruby category, now the largest premium Port category, with the launch of Cockburn’s Special Reserve in 1969. What those Portuguse winemakers did stowing away this incredible 1977 Vintage is a continuation of that revolutionary spirit, and we honor them with this release.”
In the 1970s, Cockburn’s was under multinational ownership, and its management declined the request of the company’s winemakers in Portugal to declare a 1977 Vintage Port, as a vintage offering did not fit into their corporate plan, despite excellent weather conditions and the obvious quality of the wine.
Fighting to keep the independent spirit of Cockburn’s alive, the winemakers in Portugal quietly ignored the command and discretely bottled two barrels of this exceptional Vintage Port. The bottles were then hidden in the vast Cockburn’s cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, where they remained undisturbed for 36 years.
To celebrate the Cockburn’s bicentenary this year, the Symingtons saw no better way to honor this historic 200th Anniversary, and the many people that helped this preeminent producer along the way, than by finally releasing this rare Vintage Port.
Founded in 1815, each bottle of Cockburn’s 1977 Vintage Port reflects the independent and sometimes idiosyncratic spirit of this great Port house. The wine’s suggested retail price is $150. The remaining 1,400 bottles of Cockburn’s 1977 Vintage Port will be available at fine wine merchants worldwide, including just 360 bottles for the domestic market. In the United States, Cockburn’s is imported by Premium Port Wines, Inc. and is available in restaurants and retailers nationwide.
About Cockburn’s Port — Founded in 1815, Cockburn’s is one of the world’s most popular Port producers, with a rich history and deep roots in Portugal. After nearly half a century of international ownership, the brand was acquired by the Symington Family Estates in 2010, returning to a family owned Portuguese company. For more information on Cockburn’s Port, visit www.cockburns.com.
About Symington Family Estates — Since 1882, five generations of the Symington family have been producing Port,with their involvement in Port dating back fourteen generations to 1652 through their great-grandmother Beatrice Leitão de Carvalhosa Atkinson. The family company is the leading quality Port producer in the world with brands such as Graham’s, Dow’s, Cockburn’s, Warre’s, Vesuvio and Smith Woodhouse and is the leading vineyard owner in the Douro Valley. For more information on Symington Family Estates, visit www.symington.com.