Thanks to the Center for Wine Origins, we have a reason to think, drink and celebrate Port today.
The Center, a Washington D.C.-based organization founded in 2005 by the wine growing regions of Porto, Portugal and Champagne, France, has announced that January 27th the first-ever International Port Day. This inaugural event is an effort to remind consumers about the importance of the fortified wine. Everyone, everywhere is encouraged celebrate by blogging and tweeting about Port throughout the day (hashtag #PortDay).
The organization is also hosting a contest that asks consumers to photograph their favorite Port label and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Consumers (or Port lovers) can also post the image on their Facebook profile, tagging themselves and the Center for Wine Origins. The winner, selected at random, will win an iPad 2.
Meanwhile in Oporto, Portugal, home to many notable Port producers, visitors’ centers are offering various gifts and prizes. Taylor Fladgate, for example, is giving away copies of A Celebration of Taylor’s Port by Christopher Foulkes and hosting Port wine tastings at various hotels in the city. Restaurants and retailers, too, are highlighting Ports as part of the meal experiences today.
For those interested in celebrating at home, here are top Port to enjoy now.
94 Fonseca 2004 Quinta do Panascal Vintage Port
In the Fonseca tradition, this is a hugely rich wine, very dense. It is not all weight, with excellently integrated firm tannins and a range of complex flavors, from nuts and berry fruits to full frontal ripeness. There is some dryness to finish. Kobrand. Editors’ Choice.
abv: 20% Price: $49
93 Dow’s 2003 Vintage Port
A powerhouse, but one that shows a certain degree of lushness to its robust blackberry and mint flavors. Finishes long and minerally, bolstered by slightly drying tannins. Should be more approachable by 2015 and last for three decades beyond that. Premium Port Wines Inc.
abv: NA% Price: $80
92 Ramos Pinto NV Porto 30 Years Tawny Port
Aged for around 30 years in wood, this wine has gained the most delicious toffee character to go with the old gold feel and wood acidity. There is a lovely rounded character, so smooth as well as intense. The Port is bottled ready to drink. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA.
abv: 19.5% Price: $110
92 W & J Graham’s 2008 Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Port
Perfumed wine, initially soft, then showing some mineral character to go with the spice and acidity. That puts it on the dry side, with a smoky character coming through the juicy fruit. For aging. Premium Port Wines Inc. Cellar Selection.
abv: NA% Price: $NA
91 Wiese & Krohn NV 20 Anos Tawny Port
With a 20-year-old aged tawny, you find a marvelous balance between fruit and extreme concentration. So burnt wood-aged flavors and acidity play with raisins, black figs to give a sweet wine with a hint of dryness. Ready to drink. Megawine Inc.
abv: 20.5% Price: $60
89 Smith Woodhouse NV Lodge Reserve Port
Structured wine, very perfumed, the aromas reflecting the delicious mix of black cherry, damson and spice flavors. The wine then shows strong tannins and a firm texture. Premium Port Wines Inc.
abv: NA% Price: $21
89 Taylor Fladgate NV First Estate Reserve Port
Dusty, perfumed tannins are suspended in a ripe and fruity wine, its damson skin texture given an extra boost by tannins. Very dark, concentrated wine, full of character. Kobrand.
abv: NA% Price: $NA
89 Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo 2005 Late Bottled Vintage
A linear, dry style of Port, structured and assured. It has richness, of course, with flavors of dried fruits, dark black cherries and acidity. Even though it is an LBV, it could certainly age for a few years. Artisan Vines Distributing.
abv: 20% Price: $26
89 Poças NV 10-years old Tawny Port
This is drier than some 10-year-old Tawnys, showing a taste of wood, with acidity and the fig and raisin flavors behind the mature flavors. This is all suggests that much of the wine in the blend is older than 10 years, giving extra richness and depth of flavor. HGC Imports.
abv: 20% Price: $28
88 Burmester NV Sotto Voce Reserve Port
Very jammy aromas, the wine is full and sweet, its tannins soft, with the acidity giving a tangy edge. Strawberry fruit shows strongly in the very fruity aftertaste. Sogevinus Fine Wines USA.
abv: NA% Price: $NA