Port Wine

Port Wine

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Port wine is a classic dessert wine, created by necessity in the 17th century to enable the export of wine from Portugal to England without spoiling (by adding grape neutral spirits (i.e. brandy) to wine). The resulting product is the richly-flavored, intense, often sweet after-dinner drink that we've come to love over the years.

Almost all Port wines can be divided into one of two major categories: tawny or ruby. Tawny Ports are aged in barrels, permitting some oxidation, and tend to have a nutty flavor. These can range from basic Tawny, aged Tawny (designated by number of years in the barrel, not by vintage), or Colheita (vintage Tawny). Ruby Ports are aged in the bottle, with no oxidation, and have predominantly berry flavors. Ruby Ports include basic Ruby, Special Reserve Ports (often labeled with a proprietary name), Late-Bottled Vintage and Vintage Port.

Port wine ratings are a good way to determine a brand preference for basic (non-vintage) Tawnies and Rubies, because these wines are very consistent for every production batch a winery releases. Vintage, Colheitas and Late-Bottle Vintage Port wine can vary from year to year, but are generally exceptional and have the ability to age long-term.

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  1. $13.99

    Only $12.59 each when you buy a solid or mixed case

  2. $24.99

    Only $22.49 each when you buy a solid or mixed case

  3. Croft Distinction Porto

    Special Reserve
    NV / 750 ml. | Item#26795

    SP8989 pts. - Wine Spectator - Jun 30, 2017
    A light singed alder accent frames a fleshy core of blackberry and blueberry reduction flavors, followed by baker’s chocolate and black licorice notes on the finish. Drink now. 1,400 cases made.
    WE8888 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 3/1/2005
    Now under the same ownership as Taylor and Ferreira, Croft Ports have a new lease on life. This is a classic Port from a classic name, with its ripe fruit and structure. It has flavors of dried raisins, figs and dark chocolate, along with tannins and firm, dusty tannins and a dry aftertaste.
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    $18.99

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  4. $14.99

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  5. $12.99

    Only $11.69 each when you buy a solid or mixed case

  6. Sandeman Old Tawny Porto Aged 40 Years

    NV / 750 ml. | Item#86503

    WE9393 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 12/31/2008
    Dark raisin and dried apricot flavors manifest on this immensely dark, old goldhued wine. Enormous concentration, as with the initially, almost painful acidity that comes through the spirit. This is an old wine, no question, but not too old, one to be savored in sips with all the flavors working at high intensity.
    Wine Grapes

    Primary Grape: Touriga Franca | All Grapes: Touriga Franca

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  7. $15.99

    Only $14.39 each when you buy a solid or mixed case

  8. $14.99

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  9. Quinta Vale D. Maria Vintage Porto

    2009 / 750 ml. | Item#69324

    SP9393 pts. - Wine Spectator - Apr 30, 2012
    Filled to the brim with sweet fruit flavors of blackberry, mineral and fig that tap into a deep well of molten chocolate notes. Finishes very spicy, showing forthright grip. Textbook power and brawn. Best from 2020 through 2040. 691 cases made.
    WS9292 pts. - Wine & Spirits - December 1, 2018
    This is a big, saturated Port from a hot season, a widely declared vintage noted for concentrated wines. Vale D. Maria, southeast of Pinhão, above the Rio Torto, produced a meaty 2009, its deep purple color revealing black depths of fruit and tannins that combine in umami sweetness. Savory notes of mushrooms, walnut skins and floral spice show a wine at the cusp of drinkability, needing a few years in the cellar to open past its blackout power.
    ST8888 pts. - Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar - Nov/Dec 2012
    Saturated ruby. Sappy aromas of kirsch and licorice. Very sweet and concentrated, with a slightly high-toned quality but also solid framing acidity to the primary dark fruit flavors. Very rich and muscular but still youthfully monolithic. The long finish features fine tannins and well-integrated alcohol (the label says 21.5%!).
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  10. Sandeman Old Tawny Porto Aged 30 Years

    NV / 750 ml. | Item#81422

    WE9494 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 1/1/2020
    This is a beautifully concentrated wine. Rich and dense, it offers dried fruits, spice and intensity. The wine’s spirit edge acts as a lift, bringing out acidity, honey, walnuts and a complex perfumed aftertaste. Drink now.
    SP9393 pts. - Wine Spectator - Jun 30, 2018
    Pretty, with bergamot, date, fig and caramelized peach flavors gliding through, framed by a caramel note that lingers on the polished finish. This gains intensity as it opens in the glass. Lovely. Drink now. 780 cases made, 300 cases imported.
    Wine Grapes

    Primary Grape: Touriga Franca | All Grapes: Touriga Franca

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  11. $24.99

    Only $22.49 each when you buy a solid or mixed case

  12. Taylor Fladgate Vintage Porto

    2017 / 375 ml. | Item#91221

    RP98+98–100 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 11th Jul 2019
    The 2017 Vintage Port, not quite bottled when seen but the final blend, is a field blend aged for approximately 20 months in wood. It comes in with 100 grams of residual sugar. A step up (or two) on the 2016, this shows fine depth, more focus, vivid fruit and serious power. It’s not particularly thick, austere or astringent, but this is built for the long haul. It is potentially a great Taylor’s, effortlessly combining brilliant fruit and structure. It tastes great now (today, it is far more vivid than its Vinha Velha sibling), but the power makes this hard to drink today. So, have some patience. It will need some time, probably a lot more than indicated, and will likely last longer than indicated as well. As noted in the accompanying article, I don’t see much point to impossibly long drinking windows. At some point, reevaluation is required.
    SP9797 pts. - Wine Spectator - Dec 31, 2019
    This offers up a dense rumble of dark currant, fig and blackberry paste flavors, laced with hints of buckwheat, baker’s chocolate and warm tar. The muscular finish is thickly layered, with threads of alder and espresso cream adding definition along the way. Should be among the more long-lived wines of the vintage. Best from 2035 through 2060. 1,250 cases imported.
    WE9797 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 12/31/2019
    The structure is currently very dominant in this wine. Its dark tannins are concentrated, waiting for the masked black fruits to come through. Everything is there, it just needs an immense amount of time. Drink from 2030.
    WS9696 pts. - Wine & Spirits - October 1, 2019
    This 2017 has all the markers of a legendary Taylor Port — scents of green fig, the complex tannic impact of schist, the consternating sense of elegance in the face of massive structural power. David Guimaraens bases this wine on fruit from the Quinta de Vargellas, an estate on the south bank of the river in the arid Douro Superior. In our tastings, it came after several 2017s that were sourced from vineyards on the north bank, closer to Pinhão, and, while it would be simplistic to consider this a definitive difference (there are many exposures in each quinta, and other quinta parcels in the blends), there was a stark shift from the blackness of those wines to the sour-cherry impression of this wine, and its floral fraise des bois notes. Those flavors keep pushing up against the dark shadows of the wine’s schist tannins, an undulating wake of red fruit and minerals that carries the wine’s muscular power into memory.
    Wine Grapes

    Primary Grape: Touriga Nacional | All Grapes: Touriga Nacional

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  13. $21.99

    Only $19.79 each when you buy a solid or mixed case

  14. Fonseca Vintage Porto

    2016 / 375 ml. | Item#88787

    JS9898 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Tuesday, May 29, 2018
    Lots of ripe fruit here with raisins and wet earth that turn to violets and hot stones. Full-bodied, tannic and powerful with fantastic grip and intensity. Grabs you. Impressive. Drink in 2025.
    SP9797 pts. - Wine Spectator - Dec 31, 2018
    This leads in with bramble, spearmint and blueberry notes, with the energy extending through the core of dark plum, blackberry and fig fruit. The finish features a strong graphite spine, allowing this to draw deep water, but this remains stylish in feel overall. The definition of suave. Best from 2030 through 2055. 4,900 cases made.
    WE9797 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 12/1/2018
    This bottling brings together a fine structure with great fruit to give a luscious wine that is also destined for long-term aging. With its ripe berry flavors sustained by some acidity, this is already balanced. Drink from 2028.
    RP96+96–98 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 19th Jul 2018
    The 2016 Vintage Port is a field blend that was not quite bottled when seen (set for a week later), but it was the final blend. It was aged for 20 months in wood and comes in with 99 grams of residual sugar. This Fonseca is remarkably expressive, lifted and gloriously fresh. It has good concentration but some years have had more and seemed sexier. However, the most notable feature is the structure. It is very impressive in structure, that classic Port power and firmness coming to the fore and overshadowing the rest at the moment. This is very tight and very unevolved. Don’t even think of buying it if you aren’t prepared to cellar it. The 2030 start date that I have will not be even close to late enough if you want harmony and complexity. To me, this is the best of the three 2016s from the Fladgate Group this issue (Croft and Taylor being the other two), thanks to its pure intensity, but time will tell if it becomes as sexy as I’m sure Taylor’s will be. In the meanwhile, Fonseca looks like one of the greats of this vintage.
    VN9696 pts. - Vinous - Jun 2018
    The 2016 Fonseca Vintage Port began to be picked on 21 September at their Panascal vineyard, their Quinta do Cruzeira vineyard not picked until 6 October. It is deep, almost inky in colour. The bouquet is very intense with luscious black fruit laced with embers, clove and hints of bay leaf. There is wonderful purity here and a broodiness that suggests you’d better be patient. The palate is sweet and lively on the entry with some gorgeous ginger and curry leaf notes littered over the compact black fruit. There is wonderful density to this Fonseca. It is like a coiled spring with so much energy towards the finish that you just know this will be a long-term prospect. Superb. Production is 4,900 cases.
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  15. $18.99

    Only $17.09 each when you buy a solid or mixed case

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