Fortified wine is where
a distilled beverage (usually brandy ) has been added. When added
to wine before the fermentation process is complete, the alcohol
in the distilled beverage kills the yeast and leaves residual sugar
behind. The end result is a wine that is both sweeter and stronger,
normally containing about 20% alcohol by volume.The original reason
for fortifying wine was to preserve it, since ethanol is a natural
antiseptic . Even though other preservation methods exist, fortification
continues to be used because the fortification process can add distinct
flavors to the finished project.
Fortified wine is distinguished from spirits made from
wine in that spirits are produced by means of distillation, while
fortified wine is simply wine that has had a spirit added to it.
Many different styles of fortified wine have been developed, including
port , sherry , madeira , marsala , and vermouth .
Vinho do Porto, Porto
wine most commonly associated with Portugal. The name comes from
the harbour Porto. This harbour is located
in the City of Oporto. Some say Port was named after the city.
The Original wine region from which port first came is called Douro.
Today port wine is made in numerous countries including the USA
Port is a sweet red wine with about 20% alcohol (as opposed to table wine which is usually about 13%) and rather low acidity and tannin. Ideally a good Port should have a rich spicy flavor and in spite of its 20% alcohol, taste very smooth. Port is created in a unique way that captures the fruit and flavor of the ripe grapes in wines that possess extraordinary longevity. During fermentation, prior to reaching the point where all of the natural grape sugars have been converted into alcohol, high-proof brandy is added to the vats to stop the fermentation. This leaves a wine with great depth of color and a high natural sweetness.
Port is usually divided into two categories casked aged and bottled aged. Port came also be classified by other factors such as weather
red or white grapes are used.
Tawny Ports are wines made from red grapes that are aged in wooden barrels, exposing them to gradual oxidation and evaporation. As a result, they gradually mellow to a golden-brown colour. The exposure to wood imparts "nutty" flavours to the wine, which is blended to match the house style. Tawny Ports are sweet or medium dry and typically drunk as a dessert wine. A Tawny Port from a single vintage is called Colheitas. Instead of an indication of age (10, 20...) the actual vintage year is mentioned.
Bottle-aged Ports receive limited maturation in cask, cement, or stainless steel before bottling. They are intended to mature in the bottle, usually after you buy them. The less expensive bottle-aged Ports—Ruby, Reserve, and Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) are intended for consumption soon after purchase. True quality Vintage Port, on the other hand, is bottled without fining or filtration and will need decades to properly mature. These are among the world's longest-lived wines and will always require decanting.
Ruby Port is the cheapest and most
extensively produced type of port. After fermentation it is stored
in tanks made of concrete or stainless
steel to prevent oxidative aging, and preserve its rich claret
color. The wine is usually blended to match the style of the brand
to which it is to be sold. The wine is fined and cold
filtered before bottling, and does not generally improve with
Vintage Ports are wines which age briefly in wood and then spend years maturing patiently in the bottle. Vintage port is made entirely from the grapes of a declared vintage year. The grapes may come from different vinyards. Single Quinta Vintage Ports are wines that originate from a single estate
There are more than 80 different grapes allowed to be used in the production of Port
Officially, real port wine comes only from Portugal,
very much the same way that true Champagne comes
from the Champagne region of France. Wine growing regions
outside of Douro cannot name their fortified wines Port. That
is why Sumac Ridge is called Pipe and Stoney Ridge is called Forte
Fortified Wine Recommendations
Windy Point Winery -
Wapota, WA -
Ruby Left-Side - A syrah port, that is lighter and less
thick than most ports, with more berry flavor. Pairs wells with cheesecake,
chocolate and vanilla ice cream.
Terra Blanca - Red Mountain
AVA, WA 2005 Forte Cabernet Sauvignon Port -
Terra Blanca's 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Port "Forte" is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
made in the tradition of wines that originate in the Douro Valley
Eaton Hill Winery-Granger, WA - Lot 99 Port Style wine
made from Cabernet grapes and aged 17 months in oak barrels. This wine was awarded a silver medal at the 2003 San Diego National Wine Competition
Whidbey Island Winery-Whidbey Island, WA
- Whidbey Port a
very popular port style wine
Van Duzer Vineyard-Dallas, OR Windfall
Port fortified Pinot Noir-based Oregon Port rolls out
concentrated mulberry and black cherry aromas. The “Windfall” in
this port wine is the spice-cabinet accents of nutmeg, star anise,
white pepper and a hint of eucalyptus. Notable with dry cheese, nutmeats
and bittersweet chocolate
Van Duzer Vineyard-Dallas,
OR Perplexity -
Rarely cultivated in the U.S., the grape varietals create in the
bottle a sweet fullness of honeyed mulled fruits accented by anise,
bitter chocolate and tobacco. Sublime with dry cheese and walnuts.
August Cellars - Newberg, OR - 2006 Portus Augustus made using Maréchal Foch as base wine and barrel age it for almost two years in new oak before bottle and released
Abacela Winery - Roseburg, OR -2006 Port an
award winning port style wine. crafted from five of the traditional Douro wine
grapes. This opaque wine has aromas of raspberries, dried cherries, plums, cocoa,
and exotic spice
Willamette Valley Vineyards -Turner,
OR- The Quinta Reserva Port
Style Pinot Noir is a very limited production wine, only 117
cases made, that is available directly through the wineryThe vision
of this wine is pure Pinot Noir fruit with a soft, juicy mouth
feel, integrated aromas of barrel, aged brandy and sweet, ripe
tannins. The wine is fortified with brandy and spirits made from
grapes. You will find bold aromas of nutmeg, caramel, eucalyptus,
cinnamon and clove. Opens with spicy cinnamon resolving into a
beautifully rich sweetness. The round, viscous mouth feel is surprisingly
light on the palate and leads to a silky, rich finish with flavors
of roasted almonds and brandy soaked cherries.
Thurston Wolf - Prosser,
WA - 2007 JTW PORT is a blend of Touriga (39%) and Souzao
(10%) from the Lonesome Springs Vineyard, Petite Sirah(20%) from
the Zephyr Ridge Vineyard and Cabernet Sauvignon 25%) from the Crawford
Vineyard. 2005 JTW RESERVE PORT is a selection of our best
lots of 2005 port held back for additional barrel and bottle ageing
Thurston Wolf - Prosser, WA - Zinfandel
Port produce only on on rare occasions ,when the fruit is of exceptional
quality. The 2007 vintage of is 90% Zinfandel from the Stone Tree
Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope blended with smaller amounts of Touriga,
Souzao, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirahfrom the Yakima Valley
and Horse Heaven Hills.
Wind River - Husum, WA -2003
Port of Celilo Made in the traditional Portuguese method, this
dessert wine has created a buzz in the Northwest wine industry.
Distilled grape brandy infused into fermenting red wine produces
a thick, flavorful port with loads of marionberry, blackberry and
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