Port in Any Storm – February 7, 2017

On a snowy cold winters night (and it was brutal) what better to do than sit by the fire and have a glass of Port. Okay, so we didn’t have the fire or a fire sale in the store last night but we did have an evening with some fine Ports.

The class was sold out and all in attendance were certainly ready for the warmth and concentrated flavours provided by these wines.  Varied as these Ports were, the group voted four of the seven as their favorites.  It just goes to show that the many styles of Port are still appreciated.

The lineup was as follows:

Fonseca Late Bottle Vintage 2011, $29.99
Established in 1822, The Fonseca Guimaraens house style is one of richness and warmth, with a lush fruit intensity and a structure of both dimension and finesse. Late Bottled Vintage wines are aged in cask for between four to six years before bottling and are made every year. One of the top picks for the night.

Fonseca 2007 Vintage Port, $138.99
Dark black colour with purple highlights. The nose is dominated by dark fruits of blackcurrant and blackberry aromas. Subtle hints of coffee, wood and herbs with a soft velvety texture and jammy fruit. Average rating of 94 points.

KWM 25th Anniversary 1992 Vintage Port, $84.99
This 1992, 25th Anniversary vintage was produced by the house of Delaforce to celebrate KWM’s 25th.  The Fladgate Partnership acquired Delaforce approximately 10 years ago, mainly for their aged tawny stock.  Along with the purchase of this inventory came some very fine classic vintage ports, such as this 1992. The 1992 shows very dark opaque purple color, with a typically spicy nose and intense underlying aromas of blackberries and blackcurrants. On the palate enormous weight and structure with a marvelous balance of dense black fruit flavors and firm tannins. Another top pick by the group.

Warres 1985 Vintage Port, $135.99
Talk about finding an old friend that was a charmer and presented very well in spite of having some difficulty removing the cork.  A fine Port for aficionados and serious collectors — and 90 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate! The review: “The 1985 is the sweetest and richest of the recent Warre vintages. Extremely concentrated, rich, even luscious, this full-bodied, intense, opulent wine has layers of fruit, a full-blown bouquet, and impeccable balance. The soft tannins and precocious appeal of the 1985 suggest rapid maturation.”

Our evening also included some very interesting and different Tawnies as well.

KWM 25th Anniversary 20 Year Tawny Port, $69.99
This 20 Year Tawny 25th Anniversary celebration Port comes from Taylor Fladgate’s cellars in Vila Nova di Gaia.  The blend was created especially for KWM and the average age of the tawny in the blend is 20 years.  The color is bright and lively amber showing characteristic brown caramel tones on the rim. The nose offers dry white raisins and stewed prunes with brandied cherries and dark chocolate. The taste is lovely and subtle, good acidity, some nice walnut hues, and picks up on the Christmas cake spice theme.

Messias 1995 Colheita, $57.99
The company was founded in 1926 by Mr. Messias Baptista, and is now held by the descendants of the same family.  This Port wine is a vintage-dated tawny with specific bottling rules and regulations. Dark brick in color. The aroma is complex, showing up slightly spicy notes with a smooth, elegant blend of dried apricot and honey. The palate has soft tannins with pleasant and long lasting flavours. Another star attraction of the evening.

Messias 1965 Colheita, $218.99
I don’t reveal the product’s price prior to people indicating their favorites and this Port charmed the group’s hearts and was one of the top three for the evening. A few ooos and ahhhs before and after the announcement of the price. I think they all appreciated how an old tawny can captivate you.  A pale tawny wine, with a good and complex evolution. There are hints of wood and an assortment of spices. The taste is full-bodied but delicate confirming all the good sensations emerging in the nose, matching a powerful inner-nose and a long delicious after taste.

So when thinking of what to do on a cold winter’s night to take away the chills one option is to consider is a glass of Port.


-    Grant

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