Port

The original roots of Port wine date back to 1678 when two English merchants stumbled across this slightly sweet wine at the monastery of Lamego, just north of the Douro Valley in Portugal. It was almost 80 years later before it was established as the first protected wine region, or appellation, in the world according to our Port Wine Guide. Stated simply, Port is the classic example of a fortified wine produced by adding alcohol (brandy) to stop the fermentation process before it finalizes. The end result is a wine that retains a good amount of residual sugar giving it different levels of sweetness based on when the process is halted, among other factors. Our Port wine reviews note that Port is exclusively produced in the Douro Valley of Portugal. While there are hundreds of grapes that are sanctioned for the production of port, the five varietals that are utilized almost exclusively are Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional. There are around 12 different key port styles ranging from those that are matured in bottles and age at a relatively slow rate (Ruby, Reserve Ruby, Rose, LBV, etc) to those that are barrel-aged (Tawny, Reserve Tawny, Colheita, Garrafeira, etc.). Our Port wine ratings provide more detail on all the different styles and how they fare according to our tasting and review staff.

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100
points

Taylor Fladgate 2000 Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port (Port)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $270
The hue of this wine takes dark and inky to a new level—and this wine’s intensity isn’t confined to its color. This is simply huge in every way, yet because every component is in proportion, the balance is impeccable. Incredibly rich, dense fruit picks up hints of tar and chocolate, while the finish lasts for what must be minutes. Hold.  — J.C.  (2/1/2007)
100
points

Quinta do Noval 2011 Nacional Vintage Port (Port)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $650
A powerful and ripe wine, strongly influenced by its tannins, super ripe black fruit and great structure. It has all the hallmarks of a long-lived vintage Port—very rich, while densely textured and firm. This is an amazing, impressive, concentrated wine, with huge potential. From a parcel of ungrafted vines at Noval.  — R.V.  (11/1/2013)
99
points

Taylor Fladgate 2011 Vargellas Vinhas Velhas Vintage Port (Port)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $268
The sweetness of the wine vies with the acidity to bring out a dense structure, black currant flavors and firm tannins that are strongly integrated into the ripe texture. This is a gorgeous, dense, concentrated wine, coming into balance while showing great structure and potential.  — R.V.  (11/1/2013)
99
points

Taylor Fladgate 1994 Vintage Port (Port)

  1. $290
This is very much in the mold of the 1992—maybe slightly less rich but just by a whisker. It’s dense without being heavy, with a beautifully spice-filled and long finish. Flavors of chocolate, mint and plum pudding linger elegantly for a few seconds longer than the ’92. Hold.  — J.C.  (2/1/2007)
99
points

Taylor Fladgate 1970 Vintage Port (Port)

  1. $255
This wine’s dark garnet color with minimal bricking suggests a relatively youthful wine and this certainly could age longer, although it’s also delicious now. Wonderfully complex floral and herbal scents easily move into deep, rich flavors of chocolate and cherries, sprinkled with a healthy dose of Douro minerality and spice. Drink or hold.  — J.C.  (2/1/2007)
98
points

Quinta do Vesuvio 2011 Capela Vintage Port (Port)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $127
This is beautifully ripe and perfumed, packed with richness in the form of sweet berries and touches of spice. It’s already a gorgeous wine, its ripeness lifted by the acidity and given shape by the tannic structure. This powerful wine shows great aging potential.  — R.V.  (11/1/2013)
98
points

Taylor Fladgate 1948 Vintage Port (Port)

Most houses declared 1947 instead, but this ’48 is beautiful to taste now. Starts off almost meaty or coffee-like, then shows more plum and prune notes, while delicate herb and floral notes emerge only after prolonged aeration. It’s richly textured in the mouth, with a seamless mouthfeel and no alcohol evident amid the dense, chocolaty flavors. Drink or hold.  — J.C.  (2/1/2007)
97
points

Ferreira 2011 Vintage Port (Port)

  1. $90
This hugely rich yet approachable wine shows power and boldness. All the elements are there, linked by firm tannins and freshness from berry acidity.  — R.V.  (11/1/2013)
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