A Port in Any Storm – Tuesday January 26, 2016

A Port in Any Storm
Tuesday January 26, 2016

Grant Graves

January 26, 2016 was the night to warm up with a few port samples at our “Port in Any Storm” tasting event, even though the winter evening was very mild.  But this is Alberta and the weather can change anytime so better be prepared by knowing which port you might like to call on.  It was a good group with some thoughtful questions along with some fine cheeses and meats from Peasant Cheese.  I know the audience left with a better understanding of the various types of ports and why this is such a classic drink.

Selections for the evening included the following:

Taylor Fladgate White Port
The team behind the Taylor’s Port house are pioneers of this exciting style, having introduced it in 1934. It is made in exactly the same way as conventional Port, but with white grapes rather than red. As the name suggests, it has a drier, fruity taste, and is best served chilled. $22.49

Bottle Aged

Messias LBV 2009
Founded in 1926 by Messiah Baptist, Caves Messiah have produced and marketed wines from the main regions of Portugal including the Douro. Deep garnet in the glass with a concentration of dried fruit, prunes, figs, vanilla, spice and blackberry jam.  Very nice depth of fruit, fullness and length. $29.99

Quinta Nova Vintage Port 2008
Quinta do Nova Vintage Port is characterised by its purity of fruit and a fine and delicate quality that is typical of the wines of the property. The 2008 exhibits a deep, ink-like colour with an intense bouquet of wild flower and dark fruit. This Vintage port is rich and potent, elegant and suave with multiple layers of concentrated aromas of fruit, firm, succulent tannins and a very long finish. $94.99

Fonseca Quinta do Panascal 2001
91 points from Wine Enthusiast! The review: “A strong candidate for Port of the vintage. Fonseca’s 2001 Quinta do Panascal boasts a nose filled with rich dense, brooding fruit. Blackberries and plums rush the palate; it’s lush and fruity, yet given on the finish.” Purchased by Fonseca in 1978, “Quinta do Panascal is now Fonseca’s flagship estate,” according to the renowned Port house’s website. $78.99

Barrel Aged

Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Tawny Port
93 points from Wine Spectator! The review: “Rich, with a spicy nose, this offers flavors of fig, dried apricot, mango and ginger. Complex and elegant, delivering concentrated crème brûlée and tropical fruit notes that linger on the vibrant and buttery finish. Drink now.” Taylor’s is now over 300 years old. It remains a family firm, 100% independent. $68.99

Caves Messias Colheita 2005
The date of the colheita was the year the tawny port was harvested.  This product was taken from the barrels and bottled in 2014. Blondish red in colour this offers maturing notes of dried red fruit, prunes and spice. Smooth with excellent balance.  On the palate the flavors are confirmed, with tannins and subtle hints of vanilla. $43.99

Caves Messias Colheita 1977
This product was taken from the barrels and bottled in 2014. An attractive nose of toffee apples, vanilla and nuttiness. Dried dates on the palate, with some lovely biting apple juice acidity. Lots of fruit on the palate, which leads beautifully into the finish – which is very long and complex. $116.99