Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

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Port Wines for the Holidays

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Fonseca Bin 27 Porto (2013)
Comments: Very floral and decidedly spicy with hints of juniper, coriander and balsam as well as a touch of pencil eraser framing the black raspberry and fig fruit aromas. Very smooth on entry, silky even and a touch lighter in weight than many Ports. The palate shows a fine base of tannins with unusually clear plum and cherry fruit. This is fairly structured in the mouth with good freshness to the flavors that turn spicy on the moderately long finish. Exemplary, this has it all. Balance, complexity and a wonderful texture. 90pts
Average price: $16.99 from 347 stores
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2 Sandeman Founders Reserve Port Sandeman Foundrs Reserve (NV)
Comments: Lightly aromatic on the nose with hints of evolution that make the nose reminiscent of a tawny Port. Light touches of caramel and sweet root vegetables mingle with tight candied blackberry aromas. A bit sweet on entry, this uses its sweetness well, balancing it with flavors that mimic the edge of evolution shown on the nose. The fruit here is pretty red for Port, featuring cut plums, raspberries and a really fine edge of dried orange peel. Complexity replaces power, with lovely chocolate and liquorice tones popping on the long, very focused finish. 89pts
Average price: $17.99 from 169 stores
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3 Graham's "Six Grapes" Oporto (NV)
Comments: Floral and almost herbal on the nose with layers of tea like aromas adding really intriguing complexity to the base of cocoa-dusted, dried cherry fruit. Soft and easy going in the mouth, this doesn’t come off as particularly sweet but might benefit from a little more acidity adding some liveliness to the palate. The flavor profile is lovely and full of black cherry. Faint medicinal tones, hints of pollen, raspberry, black currant and caramel are all melded together into one subtle and smooth package. The finish is kind of structured with dusty tannins and more than enough acidity to refresh the palate. 88pts
Average price: $18.99 from 153 stores
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4 Valley of the Moon Lbv (2007)
Comments: With a dusty, slightly vegetal and yet sweet nose, this is very much in the classic Port model, featuring an underlay of earthy black currant and tobacco aromas. One is immediately struck by how smooth this is. The tannins slowly work their way out, but this is one velvety wine right off the bat. The fruit is a bit candied with mint, chamomile and peppermint patty nuances on the palate. The finish is a bit short with a nice if subtle return of peppery blackberry and plum skin flavors. 87pts
Previously available for $30.00
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