Simple Sips Episode 7: Understanding Ports

This week, we travel to Portugal and visit with Cristiano Van Zeller and learn about port wines from one of the best!


Wine List for Tasting

1. Late Bottled Vintage Porto, $29.99
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Vineyard. Van Zellers & Co.

Grape Varieties. A blend of more than 25 different traditional Douro grape varieties, predominately Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca,Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Amarela, Sousao and many others, all from old vines.

Vinification. Grapes were crushed by foot, before the fermentation, together with 10% of the total grape brandy which is added to the final Port. This allows us to macerate the grapes at cooler temperatures and for a long period before fermentation. When the must is ready for the addition of the remaining grape brandy, the fortification is made is made in one single moment by adding all brandy to the must and skins in the lagare. The blend of must and brandy stays in the lagares (open air tanks) for two or more days, with very slight treading twice a day for 10 minutes.

Aging. The wines are aged in traditional wood Port Casks that are more than 100 years old and in small stainless steel vats until August 2019.

Tasting Notes. Very deep ruby in color with aromas of dark cherries, cassis, raspberries and cedar spice. This well balanced Late Bottle Vintage Port is very elegant & smooth with a very long fruity finish.


2. 10 Year Old Tawny Porto, $29.99
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Vineyard. Van Zellers & Co.

Grape Varieties. A blend of more than 30 different traditional Douro grapes from very old vines.

Vinification. Grapes are crushed by foot before and during the entire fermentation. When the must is ready for addition of the grape brandy, the fortification is made in one single moment by adding all brandy to the must and skins in the lagare. Then, additional treading ensures good homogenization of the whole wine and the fermentation stops. The blend of brandy and must stays in the lagares (open air tanks) for 1-2 more days with a very slight treading twice a day for 10 minutes at a time. The blend is then racked in the storage vat together with all press wine. The wines are then aged in very ancient (more than 100 years old) wood Port casks.

Aging. A blend of old Portos with an average age of 10 years and aged in old wooden casks. Aged in very old wooden casks, this exquisite Port is bottled on-demand, allowing it to continue to age and become more complex through its natural evolution with time

Tasting Notes. With complex notes of dry fruits and wild berries, this Port offers hints of orange peel and creamy toffee.


3. 30 Year Old Tawny Porto, $89.99
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Vineyard. Van Zellers & Co.

Grape Varieties. A blend of more than 30 different traditional Douro grape varieties from very old vines.

Vinification. Grapes are crushed by foot before and during the entire fermentation. When the must is ready for addition of the grape brandy, the fortification is made in one single moment by adding all brandy to the must and skins in the lagare. Then, additional treading ensures good homogenization of the whole wine and the fermentation stops. The blend of brandy and must stays in the lagares (open air tanks) for 1-2 more days with a very slight treading twice a day for 10 minutes at a time. The blend is then racked in the storage vat together with all press wine. The wines are then aged in very ancient (more than 100 years old) wood Port casks.

Aging. A blend of old Ports with an average age of 30 years. Aged in very old wooden casks, this exquisite Port is bottled on-demand, allowing it to continue to age and become more complex through its natural evolution with time.

Tasting Notes. With exotic layers of honeyed fruit, spices, dry apricots and nuts, this Port is lush, silky and seductive.


Wine descriptions and product sheets taken from MS Walker