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Northern Portugal

Northern Portugal is the home of Port, most famous of all the world's fortified wines, and it is unsurprising that this marvellous drink steals attention away from the other fine and unusual products of the region. In recent years the wines of the Vinho Verde and Douro districts have emerged from the shadows to become recognised and appreciated on the international market.

Northern Portugal is the home of Port, most famous of all the world's fortified wines, and it is unsurprising that this marvellous drink steals attention away from the other fine and unusual products of the region. In recent years the wines of the Vinho Verde and Douro districts have emerged from the shadows to become recognised... read more.

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Styles of Wine

Port has a plethora of styles and an essay could be written on each and every one of them. It can be ruby, tawny, crusted, white, a late-bottled-vintage or, the ultimate accolade, vintage. All share the fact that fermentation is stopped unnaturally by the addition of brandy (one part to every four-and-a-half of wine) and they therefore retain an element of sweetness.

Time is spent in wooden casks and the nature of this will largely determine the style. The grapes for Port are grown in the Douro, where dry red and white wines are also produced. The reds have achieved the greatest results,often being dark, rich and approachable. The Vinho Verde region also produces red and white wines, but it is the whites from this district that are internationally known. They should be drunk young, when still fresh and retaining the slightest of sparkles.

Key Vines

Something in the order of 80 grape varieties are permitted in Port, and the Douro has around 100 vines that continue to thrive.  Aside from plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, these are almost exclusively indigenous.  Tarrango, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Francesca are all red grapes, whilst Malvasia and Viosinho can be found in white port.  Vinho Verde can also draw on many different vines and, when white, Loureiro, Trajadura and Alvarinho are frequently used.

Climate and Conditions

The Vinho Verde district has a great deal of rainfall and the productive vines are often raised on trellises to combat the dampness. It is this moisture that gives the wines their freshness. The Douro is very different, being hot and dry and apt to produce intensity and the potential for ageing in the grapes that it grows.

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  1. Niepoort Redoma Branco

    Niepoort Redoma Branco, 2014 75cl

    Redoma 2015 shows a very fresh, delicate and mineral character. It has a complex and intense aroma, marked with good citric and floral notes, recalling orange blossom. In the palate, the 2015 Redoma shows an incredible structure, slightly creamy with a very balanced, firm, held by a fantastic and persistent natural acidity. 

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  2. Soalheiro Alvarinho, Vinho Verde

    Soalheiro Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, 2015 75cl

    Often quoted as the standard bearer for this variety in Portugal, Luis Cerdeira is the surest pair of hands south of the Minho with Alvarinho. Fresh, aromatic and delicious.

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  3. Gandarada, Boas Quintas, Dão

    Gandarada, Boas Quintas, Dão, 2013 75cl

    Aromas of wild berry fill the nose, with a touch of spice also detectable. The palate is medium to full-bodied with rich fruit character supported by spicy notes including coffee and some herby hints.

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  4. Niepoort Vertente

    N/A - Niepoort Vertente, 2013 75cl

    With a beautiful violet colour of medium concentration, Vertente 2014 has a delicate profile with mineral and wild black fruit notes. The wood is well integrated, showing some smoked and spice notes. Tense, deep, and with a good structure, it is fine and elegant in the mouth, with a balanced acidity and well integrated tannins.

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  5. Merchant Vintners, Fine Ruby

    Merchant Vintners, Fine Ruby 75cl

    Rich and fruity, a very good ruby port.

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  6. Niepoort Ruby Dum

    Niepoort Ruby Dum 75cl

    Dark red in colour with fresh fruit character, a slight mineral character gives it great drinkability.

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  7. Fonseca Bin No. 27, Vintage Character

    Fonseca Bin No. 27, Vintage Character 75cl

    All the classic Fonseca hallmarks of velvet, jammy blackcurrant fruit and the complexity that comes from a foot-trodden wine.

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  8. Niepoort Crusted

    Niepoort Crusted 75cl

    A nose full of blackberry and plum which sits fantastically alongside silky tannin and a mellow character. The finish long and well suited to the range of flavours you get with a cheeseboard.

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  9. Niepoort, Late Bottled Vintage

    Niepoort, Late Bottled Vintage, 2012 75cl

    Immensely fruited with a balanced concentration of flavours. Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage ports just go from strength to strength.

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  10. Portal, Late Bottled Vintage

    Portal, Late Bottled Vintage, 2011 75cl

    Smooth and full bodied with a fruity bouquet and characterised by it wonderful balance between ripe berry fruit and spice.

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  11. Taylor's, Late Bottled Vintage

    Taylor's, Late Bottled Vintage, 2010 75cl

    Superb rich and mellow fruity port with plum blackberry flavours and a long, smooth finish.

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  12. Niepoort, Late Bottled Vintage

    Niepoort, Late Bottled Vintage, (Half Bottle) 2012 37.5cl

    Immensely fruited with a balanced concentration of flavours. Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage ports just go from strength to strength.

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