How fast are you willing to go for a glass of Port wine? 40km an hour for 20 year Tawny? 50km an hour for a 2011 Vintage? What about 100km an hour down the incredibly steep and windy streets of Vila Nova de Gaia on a longboard?!! Sure you’ve got […]
BUY CATAVINO’S PORT LODGE MAP! Over a decade ago, Ryan and I travelled to Portugal with a passionate desire to explore its culture and its wines. Having started in Lisbon, lapping up an “exotic” new perspective, we headed north to one of the most picturesque cities in the the world, Porto. With its multifaceted […]
When travelling to new lands, there is always something enticing about “discovering” a place you think no one else knows about. As if you’re a rugged explorer who has stumbled upon that one diamond, that one unique place that is privy to you alone. That, my friends, is a fantastic […]
One look at the stunning decanter-shaped swimming pool (named one of the “12 Head-Turning Infinity Pools” by Condé Nast Traveler), is the first clue that the Yeatman hotel in Oporto, Portugal, is quite partial to wine! The Yeatman, a Relais & Chateaux member, is the country’s first luxury Wine & […]
Editor’s Note: Fortified guru Roy Hersh has been a dear friend of ours for many years. “For the Love of Port” grown tremendously since day one, attracting loyal readers spanning the globe as result of his passion, expertise and desire to share his newfound treasures. Hence, whenever a question about […]
Editor’s Note: In our two-part series, Sonia travels through the seaside town of Setubal for sumptuous red snapper and then head to the historic hilltop village of Monsanto to chomp on succulent veal. In Part II, we take it to the capital of “saudade,” Lisbon. In late May, I left for Portugal […]
What follows is part two in my telling of the story of Villar d’Allen. If you have not read part 1, please do so now. This story was originally published in 1981 by my Grandfather, retelling his experience opening a Quinta do Noval 1827. I have included footnotes to clarify some points, […]
Two weeks ago, after a very relaxing holiday in Galicia, we chose to make our way home to Jerez via Portugal, stopping off for two nights in Oporto on the way. I’ve been to where they make Madeira, I live where they make sherry but I had never been to […]
I did it! I finished the second edition of Richard Mayson’s book, “Port and the Douro”, which has proven to be a comprehensive, clearly written reference book on one of my favorite fortified wines: port! When I originally proposed this book, I heard several readers share their interest in reading […]
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.