Wine Talk

Snooth User: rolifingers


Posted by rolifingers, Jul 9, 2012.

Can't wait for the Port Virtual Tasting. I love Port. I once had a FONSECA LBV 2000 at  a restaurant and was surprised at how good it was.

Tawny's are really good with cheese' Guava, and fig paste'.


Reply by jamessulis, Jul 10, 2012.

I'm a Port lover also. Although I haven't tried that many. I seem to overlook it for an unknown reason and gravitate to the Cabernet's. I will promise myself to cash in on a bottle of Port. If you know, is it safer to purchase one from Spain or any other recommendations?


Lefty - The Great Pacific Northwest

Reply by GregT, Jul 10, 2012.

Lefty - Port isn't from Spain so no, it's not safer to purchase one from Spain.  It's from Portugal! And they're all from Portugal if they're "Port". It seems to be a name that's now used to describe a technique, rather than a wine, so you can buy "port" from CA or elsewhere, but it's just wine that's made in the same style. Doesn't use the same grapes, etc.

And truth be told, some of the "port" with a small "P" from CA isn't really all that bad. They do it with Petite Sirah for example, which is an excellent idea because the grape has massive tannins and can take years to come into focus. 

But the Port from Portugal is it's own thing and deservedly so. Basically what they do is take the grape juice that hasn't quite fermented into wine and they dump brandy into it, killing the yeast. Then you let that sit for years and years and years and years. Eventually the juice drops the sediment and takes on its own life. It's cool stuff.  Problem is it's really high in alcohol, since it's fortified, and if you're just one or two people, it's a lot of alcohol to consume in a night.

The tawnys are aged in barrels, so they get some oxygen.  The vintage ports aren't so they're still purple after 20 years. But the crazy thing about Port is that you can get bottles that are 20 or 30 years old for not much more than the current release.  Last week I saw some 1980 Port on sale for $19.99. That's insane. Try to find a still wine from that vintage at that price.  And the Port is entering its very long drinking window, rather than starting to fade. 

If you like it, it's one of the better values in the wine world today. Fonseca is usually a little bit more than the others, and it's really worth it - in a line up of Ports, they always stand out, but there's a lot of good stuff out there.


Reply by JonDerry, Jul 11, 2012.

The next enjoyable Port I have will be the first for me, and I've tried tens' of them.

Reply by jamessulis, Jul 11, 2012.


Thanks for all the info on Port. I plan to look for the Fonseca at my next available opportunity.


Reply by steve16046, Jul 11, 2012.

I really enjoy Port and Madeira wines.  Although they ones that I truly enjoy are usually quite expensive.  Having tried numerous Port houses and styles, the ones I truly enjoy are Vintage Ports, 30 & 40 Year Old Tawnies and Single Quinta Vintage Ports.  The price tags are quite hefty, for me at least.  I have found that I enjoy Sandemans Founders Reserve, which is quite affordable.  I find it takes the edge off my Port cravings and it is a Port that truly does not get in its own way when you drink it. 

Reply by rolifingers, Jul 11, 2012.

FONSECA is really worth the money jamessulis. If you can find a LBV 2000 give it a go. I love when a Port has wet foliage notes. I am totally inraptured by this!

Reply by jamessulis, Jul 11, 2012.

Absolutely rolifingers, looking forward for a great experience with the Fonseca, especially if I can find the LBV 2000. I've had Port about 3 or 4 times in my life, loved it than haven't had any for 15 years.  When I did have some Port about a year ago, I didn't even know what kind to buy so I believe I purchased a Sandemans (don't think it was the Founders Reserve Steve) in a black bottle and I did enjoy it. Looking forward to this new adventure.

You guys are extremely informative

Thanks and........... cheers!


Reply by Bordoo, Jul 11, 2012.

Hello.  If I have posted here before, it's been rarely and maybe quite a while.

I'm a big fan of Port wines.  There seems to be some misinformation and misunderstandings here, so I have included a briefer on Port wines below.  First let me address a couple of things:

jamessulis says he tends to 'overlook Port and "gravitate to the Cabernets".  To me, that's kind of like overlooking the cheesecake and gravitating to the roast.  Port (excepting white port) is a generally sweet-finished dessert wine while CS is a dry table wine.  Neither one is a good substitute for the other. james - next time, you have to buy both.

Greg T. - it is Port with a capital P from US, Oz, South Africa and elsewhere.  If you want to distinguish by single name, call it Porto from Portugal.  Most port is not aged for "years and years and years and years".  the finest Portos, vintage wines are aged - yes, by the way, in oak barrels - for only 2 or 2 1/2 years then bottle.  I do not know that Port wine is thought of "one of the better values" in the wine world today.  As noted by another poster, vintage and extra aged tawnies are "quite hefty"  While 1980 is an undervalued vintage, the wine you saw for $20 would be a rarity in terms of price.  The 1980 Graham's is on sale today for $100 more.

Here is the general info I posted at a cigar site recently:

My favorite Port style is of course vintage port. Nothing like a wine that one has personally aged for 20 or more years. However, like most others, I cannot afford to indulge my taste for vintage Port as often as I would like. That's why it's great that Port wine offers so many options.

Among the first of those options is Port-style wine. Port comes from Port-ugal, in days past exclusively shipped from Opporto. Nowadays, we see Port-style wines, called Port, shipped from several American states, South African and Australia. Australia produces several very highly thought of Port-style wines in the tawny style including Clocktower and Galway Pipe. The Clocktower is a very sweet, dark brown wine with a cordial like body. I can highly recommend either of these brands and in general I can recommend Oz ports.

Back to the genuine article. It is not uncommon today to find Late Bottled Vintage or LBV Port. This and another style, Colheita, are made from a single harvest of grapes as is vintage Port. The big difference is time. Vintage Port is bottled after 2 years in wooden barrels, LBV after 4-6 years, and Colheita after a minimum of 7 years. Some commenters believe LBV is as close to a vintage Port as one can come. LBV is generally the least expensive of these 3 types, usually under $30 a bottle.

Tawnies and Rubies are blends of different vintages (harvests). Ruby is likely the most popular style worldwide. Long aged tawny ports, 20 and 30 year aged, can be as expensive as a bottle of vintage, the big difference being you can take a 20 year old tawny home, pull the cork and drink it.

Don't throw the ruby Port out with the bathwater. Many Port "houses" offer their ruby Ports under the house proprietary label such as Fonseca Bin 27, Warre's Warrior, Sandeman's Founder's reserve and Graham's Six Grapes. These wines have very wide distribution. The Port houses want to sell their highly coveted vintage wines; these proprietary wines are the public face (maybe I should say Public taste) of the wineries in the 6 out of 10 years that they are not producing vintage wines.

Reply by ps, Jul 11, 2012.

I was in Portugal last year and went to a place called Solar do Vinho do Porto in Lisbon to taste different Ports.  We tried a 20 year tawny Port and a 1975 harvest Port.  We ended up buying a  bottle of a 10 year tawny Port which we really enjoyed.  It wasn't very expensive but seemed to be perfect to sip with friends after a meal.  

I'm looking forward to the Port virtual tasting.

Reply by rolifingers, Jul 12, 2012.

You are right steve16046 a great Porto can be pricey but you only live once. I would love to try a 30-40 y/o Porto a least once.

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