We are lucky to have acquired a small handful of Vintage Port wines. These rarities make wonderful gifts, especially if they happen to match a birth year or special anniversary.
Port grapes come from the Upper Douro Valley in Portugal. There are 30 recommended and 82 permitted grape varieties used in Port and these are usually grown in field blends. The grapes are crushed (traditionally by foot in lagares) and fermented until the alcohol is 6-8%. At this point the wine is fortified with a brandy called aguardente, to stop the fermentation. The wines are then blended, matured and bottled, usually by their shipper (eg. Grahams.) The final wine is approximately 19-20% alcohol.
Vintage port requires time to mature in the bottle and here we have some excellent examples; some ready to drink now and others good for laying down for that special occasion in the future.
Krohn Vintage Port 2003, £50. An impressive vintage due to a wet Winter and Spring followed by a very hot August. There was a high concentration and sweetness and low acidity, resulting in a rich and powerful port.
The Messias Vintage Port 2005, £59.50was matured in oak barrels, in the warehouses of Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto and then bottled between the second and third year. Deep red colour, with aromas of ripe red fruits, nuances of blackberries and tobacco leaves. A port with intense flavor and soft tannins with a long aftertaste.
Messias Vintage Port 2003, £59.50comes from an excellent Port vintage. There is an excellent intensity of powerful berry fruit with high levels of sugar and acidity and firm tannins which will ensure excellent aging.
Grahams Vintage Port 1991, £55. 1991 is a very underrated vintage and doesn't get into the conversation of great vintages as much as it should. Grahams, is for some, the pick of the vintage too, while keeping in mind that Graham’s aims for a sweeter-styled port. With ripe blackcurrant and liquorice this is full on port.
Fonseca Guimareans Vintage Port 1998, £39.95. Fonseca Guimaraens Vintage Ports are made in years when the wines are more supple and early maturing. They are more approachable and ready to drink earlier. Ripe raspberry and cherry jam aromas, with lovely aromatic dimension. Vibrant berry fruit flavours, plump with round tannins. The 1998 is well into its drinking window and will happily age for another 10 years.
Fonseca Guimareans Vintage Port 2008, £59.50. 2008 was a very low yielding vintage and only a handful of producers declared. Fonseca’s Guimareans release is a commendable one, bottled up in 2010, it boasts plenty of rich, berry character. Deep and dark with fine tannins and a long luscious finish.
Morgadio da Calcada Vintage Port 2011, £59.99. This fabulous port wine is made by our friend Dirk Niepoort in collaboration with Casa de Calcada. 2011 was an exceptional vintage, declared by practically all of the port houses. Dark purple colour. Nose of black fruits and spices with a beautiful velvety texture.
***We also have a range of more 'every day' ports which can be found on our website.