Port is a fortified wine, as defined in EU legislation. It is produced in the Douro Demarcated Region under very specific conditions resulting from natural and human factors. The winemaking procedures, based on traditional methods, include stopping the fermentation of the must by adding grape brandy (benefício), blending and ageing the wine.
Port stands out from other wines due to its unique characteristics: an enormous variety of types that surprise us with the wealth and intensity of their incomparable aromas, a highly persistent bouquet and flavour, a high alcohol content (usually between 19 and 22% vol.), a vast range of degrees of sweetness and an assortment of colours. There is a set of categories that identify the different types of Port.
The different types of red Port vary in colour from deep purple to light gold, with a range of intermediary hues (tawny, golden tawny, golden and light gold). White Port comes in various shades (pale yellow, straw and golden white), all closely related to the winemaking technique used. When aged in cask for many years, White Ports acquire, through natural oxidation, a golden hue that is very similar to that of a very old Tawny.
In terms of sweetness, Port can be very sweet, sweet, semi-dry or extra dry. Just how sweet a wine will be is a choice made during production, and depends on when the brandy is added to stop the fermentation of the wine.
Port can be divided into two major categories according to the manner by which they are aged.
Wines in which the winemaker looks to slow down the evolution of their deep red colour and maintain the fruit and strength of a young wine. In this category of wine you will find the following categories, in ascending order of quality: Ruby, Reserve, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) and Vintage. The finest category wines, especially Vintage, followed by LBV, are good for storing as they age well in bottle. We particularly recommend LBV and Vintage.
Obtained from blends of different wines that have aged for different lengths of time in either casks or vats. With age, the colour of the wines slowly develops into tawny, medium tawny or light tawny, with a bouquet of dried fruits and wood; the older the wine, the stronger these aromas. The present categories in this style are: Tawny, Tawny Reserve, Tawny with an Indication of Age (10, 20, 30 and 40 years old) and Colheita. These are blends of wines from several years, except for Colheitas, wines of a single year that are similar to an aged Tawny of the same age. These wines are ready to drink when they are bottled. We particularly recommend a Tawny with an Indication of Age and Colheita.
It varies in style according to whether it has aged for a shorter or longer period of time, and in different degrees of sweetness according to the manner by which it is made. In addition to the traditional White Ports, there are now other wines with a floral and complex aroma and a minimum alcohol content of 16.5% (Light Dry White Port) capable of meeting the demand for less alcoholic (? – lighter?) Ports.
Rosé is a pink-coloured wine obtained by the light maceration of red grapes, with no oxidation during storage. These are wines to be drunk young and are highly aromatic with notes of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. They are soft and pleasant on the palate. Best drunk chilled or with ice, it can also be served in several cocktails.