Port wine (also known as Vinho do Porto, Porto, and usually simply port) is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine though it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties. The wine produced is then fortified by the addition of a neutral grape spirit known as aguardente in order to stop the fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the wine, and to boost the alcohol content. The fortification spirit is sometimes referred to as brandy but it bears little resemblance to commercial brandies. The wine is then stored and aged, in barrels stored in a cave, before being bottled. Over a hundred varieties of grapes are sanctioned for port production, although only five (Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional) are widely cultivated and used. Touriga Nacional is widely considered the most desirable port grape but the difficulty in growing it and the small yields cause Touriga Francesa to be the most widely planted grape. White ports are produced the same way as red ports, except that they use white grapes—Donzelinho Branco, Esgana-Cão, Folgasão, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Rabigato and Viosinho.
- Item #: i_352187Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS-This starts with a generous feel, offering blueberry and plum reduction notes, but zips up nicely through the back end, picking up graphite and açai berry accents for added range and cut. Shows an alluring mint echo. Best from 2028 through 2040. 2,000 cases made."
WINERY NOTES-"We are delighted with the quality of the 2015 Quinta da Roêda Vintage Port. Our investment in the Roêda vineyards continues to reap benefits in terms of consistently first class wines. Typically of the 2015 wines, the Roêda Vintage Port is immediately appealing and will make fine mature drinking by 2025, yet still be displaying all of its elegance and refinement twenty years later."-Adrian Bridge Winery Director
Croft’s Head of Viticulture, António Magalhães adds: "The health of the crop was exceptional. Warm days and cool nights produced long fermentations and balanced extraction throughout the harvest."
- Item #: i_373826Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96ROBERT PARKER 96 POINTS - "The massive 1994 is unquestionably the finest Dow I have tasted since the 1977. This opaque purple-colored wine is not as developed or flamboyant as Fonseca, but it is super-concentrated and multi-layered, with huge masses of fruit and some tannin in the finish. This is a slightly drier style than Fonseca or Graham's, but it appears to be a classic, majestic, enormously constituted 1994 that should age effortlessly for three decades or more. It is one of the stars of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2030."
As all savvy Port aficionados know, ’94 ranks as one of the very best Port years of the 20th Century. When this Dow was first released in October of 1996 Robert Parker gave it 96 Points.
- Item #: i_325560Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS-The 1985 Dow’s Vintage Port has a gorgeous, very pure bouquet with mulberry, leather, terracotta tiles on a warm day, and hints of clove all beautifully defined. The palate is very well balanced with supple tannin, lightly spiced on the entry, touches of liquorice and black pepper, curry powder and ginger with a very harmonious and long finish. This may well be the pick of the 1985 declarations and appears to have edged past the Taylor Fladgate 1985 in recent years. Tasted at the "Big Fortified Tasting" in London."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - " A fine, classic Dow nose with notes of cloves, raisin and a touch of fig. Not incredibly complex but refined and inviting. The palate is sweet and fleshy, again cloves, red-berried fruit, a touch of spice and dates towards the finish. Moderate weight, certainly not an imposing, alcoholic Dow, but refined with great elegance and refinement. Drink now-2035."
One the great values from this outstanding vintage. Chris Kissack writes - "A great color, and a gentle nose of maturity. An elegantly composed palate although it still shows quite a little extract, tannin and even a little spirit. Nevertheless it has a very admirable structure, and a supple style that makes it easy to drink now if one appreciates impact and substance in Port. But it should be good for a few years yet, and will evolve but not change much in terms of the pleasure it gives I think. 18+/20 Points. -November 2007. Sourced straight from the producer."
- Item #: i_352332Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Wine Spectator: 95WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "Gorgeous vibrant and grapey, with good cut to the luscious dark fruit and cedar flavors that are flanked by zesty acidity and tannins. A touch brooding midpalate, with a minerally rush and a finish of slate and iron. Best from 2016 through 2036."
- Item #: i_327920Bottle Size: 1.5LWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - " Somewhat of a lightweight for Fonseca, but undeniably charming, this dark ruby/purple-colored wine offers a floral, exotic, flamboyant bouquet, a sweet, fleshy style, but not a great deal of weight or massiveness. Heady alcohol, sweet tannin, and a velvety texture make for a gorgeous finish. While I would have preferred to have seen more weight, structure, and intensity, this is an outstanding, albeit lighter than normal Fonseca. Anticipated maturity: now-2020."
STEPHEN TANZER'S INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR 93 POINTS - " Full saturated ruby. Inky, brooding aromas of syrupy black fruits and violet. Dense, thick and tactile, with superb depth of flavor and compelling juicy sweetness. Finishes with powerful tannins and superb grip. Not as flamboyantly aromatic as this wine normally is in its youth, but structured for long, slow development in bottle."
- Item #: i_331470Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 96WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS- "Still very dark and chewy with interesting notes of violets now showing in its deep bouquet. Plenty of development certainly lies ahead. Here is Robert Parker's take on this Titian from 1996: In a Port tasting, tasting Graham's is almost like tasting a big, rich, succulent Merlot after a group of blockbuster, tannic Cabernets. Sweeter and more obvious than many Ports, the opaque purple-colored 1994 is fruity, powerful, and rich, with an addictive hedonistic quality. It will be ready to drink in 8-10 years and keep for up to 30. As always, this is a showy, flamboyant Port that has the advantage of being slightly sweeter than other 1994s. A great Graham's."
- Item #: i_376625Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95-97Wine Spectator: 96WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS - "Offers a decadently fruity aroma, with peppery accents to the cherry, raspberry and dark currant flavors that are lithe and juicy. Grippy tannins grace the mocha- and chocolate-infused finish. Best from 2025 through 2055. From Portugal."
WINE ADVOCATE 95-97 POINTS - "The 2011 Graham’s comes from the five quintas that have been the source for many years (Malvedos, Tua, Vila Velha, das Lages and Vale de Malhadas). It represents a selection of the 131 pipes from a total production of 1,454 and is a blend of 40% Touriga Naçional, 31% Touriga Franca, 6% Sousão and 23% mixture of very old vines. It has a more “serious” bouquet compared to the Dow, with beguiling scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow, tobacco and cloves. Straight-laced, very well-defined and compelling, the palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and supremely well-judged acidity. It is utterly harmonious, with a pure core of ripe black cherries, damson, marmalade, clove and spices, and the finish lingers long in the mouth. The separation of “The Stone Terraces” vines certainly does not appear to have detracted from a great Graham’s. 5,000 cases declared. Tasted May 2013."
- Item #: i_331240Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Wine Spectator: 91WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Graham is another great port house, producing one of the deepest-colored and sweetest styles of vintage port. Along with Taylor and Fonseca, Graham has probably been the most consistent producer of great port in the post- World War II era. Their tawnys are quite good rather than exceptional, but their vintage ports are truly sublime and sumptuous."
WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - " Medium ruby-red. Aromas of milk chocolate, plum, mint and violet. Full-bodied, with medium sweetness and lots of berry and cherry fruit. Very fruity and fresh. Long and lively. Delicious now, but will improve. '77/'85/'97 blind Port retrospective. Drink now through 2018."
- Item #: i_331310Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Wine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - " A superb achievement from a very underrated year. Deep dark ruby-purple, with rich floral and violet aromas, full-bodied, with masses of strawberry flavors, full tannins and a long finish."
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Graham is another great port house, producing one of the deepest-colored and sweetest styles of vintage port. Along with Taylor and Fonseca, Graham has probably been the most consistent producer of great port in the post- World War II era. Their tawnys are quite good rather than exceptional, but their vintage ports are truly sublime and sumptuous. The 1983, like most vintage ports, seems more forward than normal but has a great depth of very ripe, viscous, unctuous, plummy, tarry fruit and significant tannin in its long finish. It is black-purple in color. I doubt that it will be either as profound or as long-lived as the great 1977, but is is certainly one of the top two or three ports of this vintage, and better than the excellent 1980."
- Item #: i_374521Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94-96JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "This is one of the few vintage Ports declared in 2012 and it's wonderfully structured with finesse. It's black-colored and shows intense aromas of crushed grapes, granite stones, flowers, light raisins, tar and licorice. Full body, lightly sweet and incredible integrity plus firm and ultra-refined tannins. Beautiful grip and length. Reminds me of the 1964, which is a classic now. Try in 2028."
- Item #: i_377444Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS-"An under-rated producer, Smith-Woodhouse has turned out a port with an impressively saturated dark ruby/purple color. This powerful port is moderately sweet, forward, rich, and full-bodied, with nicely integrated alcohol and tannin. While it is not one of the vintage's blockbusters, it should be ready to drink in 3-5 years and keep for 15-20.(10/96)"
- Item #: i_364800Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS-"The NV 10 Year Old Tawny Port was bottled in 2014 with 105.23 grams per liter of residual sugar. Easily the 10 with the most weight in the Fladgate group's lineup this issue, it is a rather powerful 10 year old Tawny with plenty of pop, the biggest and baddest of the trio (Fonseca, Croft and this). There is very fine concentration of flavor for a 10 year old Tawny. If I had a quibble, the alcohol shows at times, especially early on and rather notably when drunk a little too warm. (Around 60 degrees Fahrenheit is a lot better than room temperature most of the time, to be sure, not just here.) Overall, the weight, complexity, mouth feel and grip on the finish still make this my favorite of the group of 10s submitted by Taylor Fladgate this issue, although it's close and there are some pros and cons.(12/15)."