|Grape||Tinta Amarela, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cão, Touriga Franca, Red Blend,|
|Style||Fortified, Port, Sweet, Tawny, Full Bodied, Rich, Spicy, Oaked, Fresh, Balanced|
Sandeman Fine Tawny Port has an appealing pale amber hue with a bouquet of vanilla and raisin. On the palate, it is harmoniously balanced between fresh fruit and oak-aged spice notes. Complex, yet light, the enduring finish is truly deliucious and moreish.
About the Producer
There are few more iconic images in the world of wine than the ‘Don’, the logo created for the Sandeman family in 1928 by George Massiot Brown. The cape was modelled on the attire worn by university students in Porto, while the wide-brimmed hat was a nod to the family’s presence in Jerez. Today, the wines are good enough to be every bit as famous as the image of the Don. Since Sogrape bought Sandeman in 2002, the major improvements and investment that have taken place in the vineyards and the winemaking has seen the wines rise to the top of the tree in Port.
Vineyard and Winery
The Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão grapes that make up the Tawny blend are sourced from prime vineyard sites in the Douro. The soil in the Douro Valley is schist - a slate-like metamorphic rock that fractures vertically, allowing the vine roots to dig deep to access water and nutrients to sustain them through the hot Douro summers. The vines are planted on terraces supported by dry stone walls on the steep hillsides sloping down to the Douro river. Given the steep gradients and the inaccessibility for machinery, most vineyard operations and harvesting are carried out by hand.
The hand-picked grapes are destemmed and crushed before fermentation at controlled temperatures, with skin maceration to extract flavour components from the skins. The addition of grape spirit at the ideal moment sets the balance between the wine's sweetness and bouquet. The moment of fortification, is chosen by the winemaker following strict control of fermentation temperatures and densities according to the vine variety, maturation stage and the final sweetness required. After the harvest, the wines remain in the Douro until the following spring, when they are taken to Vila Nova de Gaia and enter Sandeman's centuries-old lodges for ageing in oak casks. The final blend is composed with lighter tawny wines of different ages and origins to achieve a consistent style and quality.
I have to be honest until I bought this I had never tried Tawny Port before- for some reason I had ignorantly dismissed it as not being a real full-bodied port like vintage or LBV Port.
Well, it has been my loss. There is plenty of body and flavour here to satisfy and the price is very competitive- and beats hands down many of the supermarket ports which claim to be vintage.
Just goes to show that every day is a new learning day, or as Frank Zappa is reputed to have said " the mind is like a parachute- it won't work unless it's open"
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