Vintage Port (or VP for short) is considered the crème de la crème or King of Ports. On average, VPs are only produced 3 times per decade, in the very best of years. A Port declaration only occurs when a shipper believes they have enough quantity of very high caliber grapes to bottle from a single harvest. VP’s typically are a blend of grapes from several Quinta’s that a producer owns or buys from. However, some grapes are also purchased from other contracted Quinta’s. After the initial vinification, VP’s are stored in used (and neutral) oak barrels for at least two years. By law, VP’s must then be bottled between the 2nd and 3rd year after harvest. They are bottled unfined and unfiltered and will form a rather large amount of sediment over time and must be decanted prior to drinking. VP’s are typically designed to need many years of cellaring before they fully mature. The top VP’s from a declared vintage will easily last 30+ years.
To learn more about Vintage Port, you may be interested to read Roy's Top Twelve Vintage Ports.