Port: The Hit List

Since I had port on the brain this evening, I decided to revamp my "hit list" with prices and quotes reminding me why they're on the list. : ) For the curious (or those who land here via Google), these are the ports that I would like to try over the next year or so (note that I skip over lots of popular ports because they were described as either "dry" or particularly "alcoholic", two traits I dislike):


  • 10-y Tawny $30-32 "delectable,fruity,warming and palatable surprise that certainly stands alone in a market burgeoned with a dizzying array of exquisite notables. The Tawny Porto is exceptional in both its aroma and texture", "Unquestionably the finest Tawny I’ve tasted in years. What makes it profound is its complex fragrance of roasted nuts and sweet fruit. There is impeccable definition and richness, a velvety texture and a long lusty finish. It is all a Tawny should be."
Faun (Californian, this could be hard to find, however):
  • Porto $23 "Luscious and delicious with lots of sweetness and intensity of dark fruit and chocolate flavors."
  • Tawny $14 "It explodes with caramel on the nose and has nice concentration of fruit as well. Nice and mellow."
  • Ruby Porto $14 "Fruity, sweet, and smooth."
  • Master of Porto $18 "very easy to drink 'cause it's very sweet and light bodied. Great aroma!"
  • 2003 LBV $14 "deep plum-prune fruit with spicy notes."
  • Ruby Porto $12 "Concentrated flavors of sweet black cherries, vanilla oak and a mellow finish", "Clean, sweet and rich.", "Youthful fruitiness with a surprisingly soft complex style rarely found in younger Portos."
  • 10-y Tawny $15+ "Lively aromas of plum, cherry and vanilla combine with rich, full caramel flavors enhanced by a long, lush – and slightly sweet – buttery finish.", "Lively aroma of Plum, Cherry and Vanilla. Rich, full caramel flavors enhanced by a long, lush buttery finish. Slightly sweet."
  • 20-year Tawny Porto (375ML) "Elegant and complex with intense nutty flavor joining butterscotch and oak. A wine of exceptional character with a deliciously sweet finish.", "Elegant and complex with intense nutty flavor married with butterscotch and oak. A wine of exceptional character with a nicely sweet finish."
Ramos Pinto:
  • 2001 LBV $20 "Intense and elegant, it offers a very fruity nose of grapes and figs. Fresh and velvety form the start, this is very fruity and full-bodied with smooth tannins and a velvety aftertaste with a hint of chocolate."
  • Collector $15-20 "It has full aromas unveiling dry plum, fig and berry scents with a touch of pepper. On the palate, the attack is soft and succulent. This is a rich, subtle wine with a fine, generous structure and remarkable persistence."
Taylor Fladgate:
  • 10-y Tawny $26 "Elegant and smooth, combining delicate wood notes and rich mellow fruit", "My favourite 'everyday port'"
  • 20-y Tawny $40 (When you've got something spectacular to celebrate) "Taylor's tawny ports are the best of their type. When tasted against other tawnys, they all exhibit more aromatic personalities, greater fruit and ripeness, and a wonderful sweetness and length."
  • Tawny $10 "Although on the fruity side for a tawny port, this one offers exceptional depth and character for a $10 bottle. Candied cherry, subdued nut flavors, and not too "hot" despite being an inexpensive fortified wine."
  • Warrior $13 "With dark, intense fruit, a deep red color, with intensely rich aromas of ripe red fruits and spices. On the palate well balanced and full-bodied, with a long and complex finish. A superb Port in the traditional style and one of the finest available for everyday drinking."
Yalumba (Another Aussie):
  • Antique Reserve Tawny Port $15-20 "I have had many ports, and love the stuff. One day following a hike in Yosemite I stopped in at the hotel bar and got the port sampler. This one blew me away! It's rich and has a little tang to it. This stuff is the most incredible port ever.", "Nose of raisins, molasses, allspice. Thick and heavy on the palate with raisin, honey, brown sugar."

For the record, the winners among what I've tried so far are the Taylor Fladgate LBV 2000, and this Australian R.L. Buller & Son Victoria Tawny. If I don't find anything better, those will be the two I keep in the fridge after this year of testing.

No comments: