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Tag Archives: Douro

Porto.Punto.

Editor’s Note: Although our fly by night contributing writer, Adrienne Smith, has been busy doing what she does best, changing hats, we’ve managed to get her fleeting and rather romantic impressions of her recent visit to Porto. Porto, located just across the Douro River from Vila Nova de Gaia, is […]

Wanted: Tawny Port

Background
Tawny port wine is made from red grapes aged in wood, exposing them to gradual oxidation and evaporation, for longer than a ruby port wine. As a result, the wine loses its brilliant ruby color, becoming a dark amber or a tawny hue with a characteristic “nutty” flavor imparted by the wood. Finally, through a system of fractional blending with various older port wines to match the house style, the resulting tawny wine is elegant and soft, showing delicate wood notes and rich mellow fruit.

Although there are several various kinds of tawny port wine, the two main types are: a young tawny that lacks any indication of age, and an older tawny labeled with a specific age.

Basic NV Tawny Port

Although the term “tawny’ refers to a wine that has been aged in wood for longer than ruby port wine, the majority of young tawnies are made from a blend of both red and white grapes, aged for approximately the same time as a ruby port wine. Come summer, several bulk tawnies are shipped up river to the Douro valley in cement baloes where they literally stew from the ambient heat, referred to as the Douro Bake. The Douro Bake is a traditional expression used to explain a particular characteristic imparted to Port when aged in a hot, arid climate, as opposed to the milder, cooler temperatures in Vila Nova de Gaia. Consequently, the resulting wines mature rapidly, losing their bright red color, and display a slightly brown tinge around the rim. On the palate, although lacking in the powerful fruit characteristics normally associated with a young ruby port wine, tawnies tend to be softer, more subtle, and many times, slightly more approachable.

Wanted: Ruby Port Wine

As we have done with both Sherry and Portuguese table wine, our goal is to provide you with a solid understanding as to what Port wine is throughout the month of November. Over the next two weeks, we will be providing you port wine profiles of each style with the […]

November is Dedicated to Port Wine

Yesterday, Ryan and I took a leisurely walk through our little town of Terrassa. As the light casted a golden tone across the plaza, children rambunctiously played while donned in bulky sweaters to keep the chill far from their little bodies. Billowy steam wafted from hot coffees and teas scattered […]

Mushrooms = Rainy day sunshine.

Editors note: As always, we at Catavino love new contributers to our humble Iberian wine blog. The more unique the perspective, the better. It offers you, and us, the opportunity to hear about Spanish and Portuguese wine from someone other than ourselves. And as many of you are intimately aware, […]

Iberian Harvest Report

Last week, we sent out an email to both Portuguese and Spanish wineries asking for a brief quote in English about their region. Interestingly, we’ve received several quotes from Quintas around Portugal, but very few from Bodegas in Spain. However, considering the harvest has commenced as early as August in […]