Exclusively made in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, Port is one of the best known wines in the world. Often said to have been the first `appellation controlée' (1756), this honour in fact belongs to Hungarian Tokay (1700). Making a great Port wine relies on compliance with two essential rules. First comes the mutage stage, a technique discovered by English merchants in the 17th century, which involves stopping the natural fermentation process of the must by adding a few doses of eau de vie. This is how Port wine developed its syrupy texture, with its fruity notes exaggerated and its alcohol content rising to 20°. The second stage that is crucial to making Port wine is assemblage. Fifteen very different crus are mixed together. Next, the blend is aged in oak barrels, allowing the wine to round and reach perfect maturity. There are lots of different types of Port wine. Tawny wines are aged in barrels for a period ranging from three to five years. Some Tawny wines clearly display their age (10 years, 20 years, etc.). They are the result of assemblages of wines from different harvests, with the average age provided on the label. LBV Port (Late Bottled Vintage) is made from a single vintage and spends 6 years in barrels before being bottled. Finally, Vintage Port is the designation's highest category, and is made from a single, exceptional vintage. This great wine does not undergo assemblage and is aged for 2 years in barrels before continuing to develop in bottles. A deep, dark shade, this sumptuous wine features an extraordinarily fruity and concentrated bouquet and taste, with exceptional ageing potential.
The best vintages for Porto :
1995, 1994, 1992, 1991, 1985, 1983, 1980, 1977, 1970, 1966, 1963, 1962, 1942, 1934, 1924, 1920, 1916
The information published presents current information on the wine concerned and is not specific to a certain vintage. This text is protected by copyright and it is forbidden to copy without prior written consent from the author.
General : The «bio» designation covers certified wines produced by biodynamic or organic methods, sustainably produced wines, and «environmentally friendly» wines that are not officially certified. These designations apply to recent vintages (the date of certification, if known, is specified in the estate description). See the blog article for more information on this designation.
Biodynamic : The «biodynamic» designation is used for all estates certified as using biodynamic methods, as verified by one of the two official bodies, Demeter or Biodyvin. All wines produced by biodynamic methods are also certified as organic. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Organic : The «organic» designation covers all estates certified as using organic methods, as verified by one of the bodies approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, such as Ecocert. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Sustainable : The «sustainable» designation covers all estates certified as using integrated or High Environmental Value (level 3 Environmental Certification) techniques. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Evironmentally friendly : The «environmentally friendly» designation refers to estates practising environmentally friendly wine-growing techniques, but that have not opted for certification or who are still in the process of converting to organic agriculture or biodynamics. These estates may have adopted biodynamic principles (non-certified) or simply no longer use chemical products. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Natural : Wines which are produced without any added sulfur (or almost any) and with no other inputs. However, given that there is no official body to issue the natural wine label, it is based on winemakers’ statements. This designation applies to recent vintages.