Aged Tawny is such an accessible way to enjoy port, with or without food – with none of the fuss of decanting.
Good, aged Tawnies tend to be made from very fine wines which, in declared years, would most likely have been designated as potential vintage port. They tend to be a blend from different years so the “20” on the label is an approximation, based on the expected style of the wine. During its time in oak, the dark rich colours of the original wine mellow and fade to a deep garnet and with further time in cask would have taken on an amber hue – as can be observed at the rim of the glass. This harmonious, nutty, hedonistic wine is a far cry from inexpensive tawnies which are essentially basic ruby ports either from lesser grapes or have had white port added. It is worth noting that Tawny port is extremely versatile with food, complementing traditional hard and blue cheese, certainly, but also good as an aperitif, with dried ham or with desserts. This is one of a very few wines which works well with chocolate, eggs and dairy.
Location Douro, Portugal
Soils Schist and granite
Grape Variety Field blend (Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francia, Tinta Roriz, Barrocca)
Fermentation Fast extraction of colour and tannins before arresting fermentation by adding grape spirit (brandy)
Maturation in large old oak vats, taking on a tawny colour and a silken texture
The wine is a rather beguiling tawny/ amber in colour, with a complex nose of warming fruit, complemented by hints of orange, nuts and spice, all reflected on the palate. Delightfully fresh, this is particularly versatile with food, particularly served slightly chilled. This tends to be the wine of choice in the heat of the Douro, vintage port being confined to cooler climes