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This was the highlight of the fortified wines I tasted in my 2021 wine searches. Kopke can trace its wine roots back to 1638 so it knows what it is doing and for such an old company it is adopting a very modern and sustainable approach to wine-making. Like most ports this is a field blend of many indigenous black grapes including Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca and wines from a number of different years are blended together - with an average age of 10 years.
As a wood port, i.e. matured in barrel or cask for several years, this tawny port benefits from some exposure to oxygen which contributes to the amazing array of aromas and flavours. This still displays fresh fruits like brambles and red fruits with some floral notes and it is beginning to develop raisin, nut and cream flavours as it ages in bottle. The fresh fruit flavours dominate and combine beautifully with mouth-wateringly refreshing acidity, prevent the port from being very rich. The highlight for me is the silky smooth texture.
You can read more about how tawny port is produced and what you can expect to taste in my tawny port blogpost.
The port should be stored in an upright position in a cool and dry place away from light and temperature fluctuations. Sediment will form over time and so the wine may benefit from decanting. Once opened, it should be consumed within 4 to 6 months.
Recommended on its own chilled before dinner, with rich nutty desserts including Christmas pudding or with Stilton and hard cheeses. The producer says "Irresistible with a starter of foie gras with aubergine and walnuts. A great choice for an endless array of desserts, such as toffee brownies, chocolate and pistachio pavé, or crostini of walnuts with chèvre."
"A wine of high quality, made by blending wines of different harvests to achieve the array of sensory qualities that are typical of these aged tawny Port wines. These wines have each matured in oak casks for varied periods of time, with the average age of all the wines in the blend defining the age on the label. The resulting blend expresses the characteristics given by the ageing in wood.
An appealing golden colour, with an amber rim. Elegant and complex, it shows aromas of spice, with prevailing notes of dried fruit and elegant hints of wood and honey. Smooth and round on the palate, it shows complexity amidst intense flavours of dried fruit. An excellent finish"
This tawny port is not as rich as you might expect: it's actually mouth-wateringly refreshing with an astounding array of flavours and a texture that's beautifully soft & silky