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 […]
I woke up this morning with a very odd thought clanking in my brain, “If the Fantastic Five port varietals are so famous, why don’t I have a clue as to how they each contribute to the pot?” I’ll readily admit that I rarely wake up…scratch that, I NEVER have […]
How many times have you heard yourself, or someone you know, say “Jeez, I’ve tried a couple of ports, but I’ve just never enjoyed them. They’re always so sweet and syrupy and just too much to enjoy”? If you were at dinner with us last night, you would have heard […]
Flavor Profile Unlike entry-level port wines, vintage port wines cannot be summed up in a few adjectives. These are wines that can drank anywhere from a few months to over a century in bottle. Over a century! What else can you possibly consume that has not been sealed in an […]
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.
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 […]
Early this year, while teaching children full time, I made a brazen attempt at committing to reading a half-dozen Iberian wine books by the end of the summer. And as much as my heart was in the right place, I was hardly successful. In hind site, our recent Sherry adventure […]
We know it’s Friday and that you’re currently daydreaming of grilling, movies, dinner with friends, or just about anything that doesn’t involve active thought. “Hmmmm donuts..” So rather than post something that is either obnoxiously heady or bores you to death with meaningless facts, we’ve declared Friday as a non-thinking […]
A few days ago, we shared a fabulous wine and gourmet food shop for you to visit in Lisbon; however, what I failed to include in our article were the wines we tasted during our visit. Drat! I could fluff it up and tell you that the exclusion was intentional, […]
For years, we have debated back and forth as to whether or not we should use cork to seal wine. We at Catavino have passionately debated this subject alongside you, typically falling to one side of the argument over the other. However, after visiting the largest cork factory in the […]