Tasting Notes for the Evening's Wines
At this tasting event we showcased five pleasurably palatable Ports (and one Portuguese fizz!), to usher in the festive season with a Christmas classic! Here’s a handy reminder of the wines we all enjoyed; you can purchase them by following the links in the headings.
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Your new favourite fizz! This super sparkling wine from exciting Dão producer Quinta de Cabriz is made with the Champagne method, but with indigenous Portuguese grape varieties. It's full of fleshy white fruit, citrus, biscuit and warm toasted cereals. Fruity, fresh, balanced and crystalline, with a crunchy finish and a captivating mousse. Served in this instance as a cocktail with...
Our first foray into the Douro this evening is an ideal apéritif. Rosé Port is a relatively recent variation to hit the market, first released in 2008 by Poças and by Croft. We love Barão de Vilar's version though, as strawberry and ripe cherry fill the senses alongside smooth texture and a pleasant finish. It goes fabulously well with sparkling wine; perfect for those fizzy Christmas cocktails!
Royal Oporto Ruby Port
The Royal Oporto Ruby from Real Companhia Velha is composed of a blend from various vintages, which are rigorously selected and aged in oak vats, resulting in an average of 2 years. It's a classic ruby, with beautiful ripe red fruit and violet aromas, indicating its youth and freshness. On the palate it shows a notable smoothness and harmony with a rich, decadently fruity character.
We dive into the more aged end of the spectrum now with a beautiful LBV (Late Bottled Vintage). We're also back to Barão de Vilar with this gem; intense, with great depth and a powerful, attractive bouquet. It's bottled unfiltered to retain as much character and depth as possible. Rich black cherries, berries and plums abound. Fabulous!
Back to the Royal Oporto side for a bit of oxidative ageing! This fantastic wine of tawny colour with shades of gold shows off a magnificent bouquet of mature fruit, gentle nuttiness and spice with a harmoniously mellow structure. A very ripe and complex tawny with beautifully balanced sweetness.
Vintage Ports are made entirely from a single vintage, and only in the best years do producers 'declare' a vintage. These are the wines that can mature in the bottle for decade upon decade! 2004 was a very successful year of, and this well-balanced wine is deep purple, with a concentrated aroma showing notes of black plum, heather and rosemary. Exceptional. Drink now or cellar for a century!