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November 18, 2016

Find your Passion for Port

Taylors Port

Credit: Winerist.com

Port is one of the most iconic fortified wines in the world. From the Douro Valley in Portugal (where it takes its name) there are a whole variety of different Ports to be discovered. Whilst there are over 100 grape varieties that are authorised to make Port, the top 5 that are most widely used are: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, and Tinto Cão. Like many wines, the grapes for making Port are picked by hand, a slight difference however is that they are crushed by foot. Despite being very labour intensive, this treading method is the best way to achieve gentle yet complete extraction. The wine is then fortified and made into Port, through the addition of a neutral grape spirit known as ‘aguardente’; utilised in order to stop fermentation and retaine the  residual sugar in the wine, and increase the alcoholic content.

 

The Douro Valley

The Douro Valley

 

Ruby Port
Ruby Port, named after its bright ruby colour, is fruity and youthful with only 2-3 years ageing in barrel before bottling. After bottling, this wine can be enjoyed straight away with no further ageing required. Ruby Ports are relatively inexpensive, easy drinking with ripe berry flavours and pair well with a variety of different foods. Serve slightly chilled on its own or pair with berry desserts, chocolate or blue cheese.

 

Tawny Port
Tawny Port is more complex and richer in style than Ruby Port. It requires a minimum of 7 years barrel ageing in order to be named Tawny Port. As its name suggests it is tawny coloured, much darker, browner, a sort of rich amber colour. It is the oak ageing and oxidation that promotes the change in colour. The barrel ageing changes the flavour profile of the Port too, the flavours are richer and nuttier with more dried fruit characters. Tawny Port is great paired with dark chocolate, dried fruit puddings such as Christmas pudding or cake and richer, mature cheeses such as cheddar and caramelised desserts such as crème brûlée.

Grahams Fine Tawny Port N/V

Quinta do Noval 10 year Tawny Port N/V

 

Port barrels at Croft Winery

Port barrels at Croft Winery

 

Late Bottled Vintage
Late Bottled Vintage Port (LBV for short) starts its life as Ruby Port from which all of its grapes have been picked in the same year, which then spends longer ageing in the barrel, between 4-6 years before release. They are deep purple/ruby in colour, sweet in style with dark cherry, blackcurrant and chocolate flavours with lots of dried fruit. LBVs are ready to drink when sold, however they will continue to improve in the bottle for a further five or so years depending on the blend. Try pairing with anything chocolatey, or a cheese board.

Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage 2009

Quinta do Noval Late Bottled Vintage 2009

 

 

Taylors Vintage Port 1985

 

Vintage Port
Vintage Port is only made in good to exceptional vintages. In years where all the Port houses declare it is known as a General Declaration. These vintages are 1963, 1966, 1970, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2011. There are some good vintages other years and often the Port houses release ‘Single Quinta’ (vineyard wines). These are often half the price of those in General Declaration and offer good value.

Taylors Vintage Port 1985

Dows Vintage Port 1983

 

Credit: winerist.com

Credit: winerist.com

 

Port is a great drink for winter and over the festive period is certainly quite the winter warmer. Whether you enjoy with sweet or savoury tastes, be sure to enjoy the experience. Mine’s a generous glass of LBV and a mince pie please…

 

Port also makes a great gift, why not treat your loved ones to a bottle or two this Christmas. Give drinking Port as a gift to enjoy now, or give some younger Vintage Port as a gift that can be enjoyed in the years to come. A gesture that will almost certainly be appreciated!

 

Whatever style of Port you are looking for, we have a great selection of them on our website and in our wine showroom Cellar 21. Please call me in the office on 01325 776446 or email me on amy@bcfw.co.uk if you would like to discuss Port further or would like some recommendations.

 

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May 21, 2013

2011 Vintage Port – Declaring a Legacy for Generations to Enjoy

Fonseca Port from The Fladgate Partnership

Fonseca Port from The Fladgate Partnership

The top Port Houses have all declared the 2011 Vintage Port, resulting in the first generalized declaration for Vintage Port since the classic 2007 vintage.

Headed up by Adrian Bridge, The Fladgate Partnership has declared for their Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft – “The 2011s stand out for the purity of the fruit and the quality of the tannins, which are silky and well-integrated, but provide plenty of structure,” said David Guimaraens, Fladgate’s chief winemaker. With yields down between 14-38% on the 2007, Adrian Bridge, CEO, cautioned that “this is an exceptional vintage, and relatively small, so we expect an increase of worldwide demand.”

The Symington Family Estates have also released 2011 Vintage Port including, Grahams, Dows, Warres, Cockburn, Quinta do Vesúvio and Smith Woodhouse, as well as limited editions of Capela da Quinta do Vesúvio and, for the first time, Graham’s The Stone Terraces, made from two tiny fractions of the 18th century terraced vineyards of Quinta dos Malvedos. There will be just 250 cases of The Stone Terraces.

Winemaker Charles Symington described the 2011 Vintage Ports as “characterized by an unusual combination of elegance with power and structure.” Paul Symington, CEO, emphasized their “marked minerality” with “schist-edged tannins,”.

Critics have been tasting and raving about the 2011 Vintage Port.
“Could 2011 be the vintage to put vintage port back on the wine map?  I do hope so.  I have never been as excited by the launch of a clutch of vintage ports.  The quality of the best examples, of which there are many, is truly outstanding.  There is a real sense of wine producers’ having risen to the occasion of a growing season that could have been pretty ordinary but was decidedly extraordinary in the end, and the competition between them to produce the finest examples has never been keener.  The good thing is that port in general is better made than ever before, which means that many of these fine, baby 2011 Vintage Ports are delicious enough to drink young”.  Jancis Robinson, 4th May 2013

“The young wines have the feel of greatness it could turn out to be another 1963 perhaps a 1945 or 1908”  Derek Smedley MW, 2nd May 2013

Tweet from Richard Hemming who writes for Jancis Robinson @RichardHemming “In case you havent heard yet, anything with ‘Port’ and ‘2011’ on the bottle is vv delicious and ever wine fan is dutybound to buy some”

For full details of the Ports in our offering go to our 2011 Vintage Port Review page on our website.

Connect with our You Tube Channel and hear James Goodharts thoughts on the vintage.  2011 Vintage Port Review by James Goodhart of Bon Coeur Fine Wines

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July 27, 2011

2009 Port Delcarations

My Personal thoughts on the 2009 Port Vintage

Samantha and I tasted all the 2009 Ports at the London International Wine Trade Fair (LIWTF) in May at Excel. We tasted some single Quinta (Vineyard) wines from Warres (only about 200 cases produced) and Quinta do Vesuvio. Incredibly small volumes, hugely concentrated with slightly raisons / dates characters. We went on to taste the Fladgate Partnership ports which consists of Taylors, Fonseca, Croft and Skeffington.

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