Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz! This week… well, hell, I’m not gonna sugar-coat it, this week you’ve got your work cut out for you.
Standard disclaimer: I supply a quiz question each week, but I do *not* supply the quiz answer right away. It’s YOU who supply your *most awesome guess* as to that answer in the comments, and then tune back in later today in the comments section for the official answer.
This Is ImPORTant: Apart from its location, which of the following is the most important factor in the classification of Port vineyards in Portugal?
- A. Vine training
- B. Soil type
- C. Slope
- D. Yield
- E. Altitude
Cheers, and best of luck!
In this episode of 1WineDude TV, I attempt to simplify one of the greatest of cool-weather beverages, Port – and I try to tell you most of what you will ever need to know about Port in under five minutes. I fail, primarily because I go way over five minutes, but along the way I reveal a simple fact about Port that just might blow your mind, and taste a great (and relatively inexpensive!) introduction to the Ruby Port style. Enjoy!
Tasted in this episode:
Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port (Porto)
Apparently this long-standing Reserve Ruby Port (Cockburn’s invented the Reserve category in the late 1960s) from this long-standing producer (they’ve been in the Port biz for about 200 years) was revamped recently when Symington Family Estates gobbled up Cockburn’s last year – the grapes are primarily from the Quinta do Canais vineyard in the upper Douro, and the style has been tweaked along with the packaging. The result is a higher-quality Reserve Port that’s quite true to its Ruby colors: semi-dried fruits like fig and date can be found, along with dark cherries, plums and the “signature” peppery spice that marks a good Ruby. Chocolate notes send the whole thing down the hatch in a fairly well-balanced, elegant, and downright genteel package. A solid buy for cooler evening, post-dinner, fireside-chat action.
First things first, we need to make it clear that I am not an authority on Port, fortified wines, or spirits.
This has everything to do with lack of tasting experience and nothing whatsoever to do with a lack of affection for those general libation categories. In fact, I have a sweet-tooth and I never, ever turn away the opportunity to try fortified wines, especially when they have the potential of residual-sugariness.
Which is why I was more than happy to visit the tables pouring such libations at the recent Wine Enthusiast Toast of the Town event in D.C. (that’s the event I covered via video in a recent post that you probably didn’t watch, based on the comments and traffic numbers).
Which is where I went ga-ga over a 2007 Port. Which wasn’t the first 2007 vintage Port that I’ve tasted, but it was the best 2007 vintage Port that I’ve tasted. I went so ga-ga over it, that I bought a 6-bottle case of it, and it’s the first wine ever to garner an “A+” rating in my “mini-reviews” – meaning that I felt it was damn-near as perfect as perfect gets.
Based on my (admittedly limited) exposure to 2007 Ports, I’m growing increasingly more convinced that Roy Hersh over at For The Love of Port nailed it when he wrote (back in November):
“From all accounts 2007 was something very special. As I mentioned, when visiting the Douro during the harvest in 2007, the energy was palpable and virtually everyone we came in contact with, was glowing and chatting us up about the quality of the grapes. Admittedly, there is always some hype surrounding the vintage time, but in 2007, it just “felt” different… I am still somewhat divided in my opinion of this vintage overall. There is no denying that there were many fantastic, well made vintage Ports in 2007. The upshot is that I found myself writing, “the greatest young ______ Port I have ever tasted” from a number of houses. With 2007, they seemed to raise the bar to a distinctly higher level than ever before. On the other hand, I believe that the percentage of truly great Vintage Ports is less than I would have expected from such an exalted vintage.”
In other words, while there may not be as many stellar VPs from 2007 as you’d expect from a hyped vintage, the ones that are stellar are really stellar – like, mind-bogglingly stellar…
Read the rest of this stuff »