Port is a fortified wine.
What style is it always?:
Port is always sweet
When is Port fortified with neutral grape spirit?
DURING fermentation so that the natural sugar remains.
In what region is Port made?
Douro region, in northwestern Portugal.
What river runs through the Douro region (and the Port wine growing area)?
What is the climate of Port?
- Warm, balmy Maritime in west that’s closer to the Atlantic;
- Hot + dry in the east moving toward Spain
The Port region is:
- very flat
- sort of hilly
- steep and mountainous
Steep and mountainous
What is the main soil type found in Port?
Schist (drains well)
The single most important grape in Port is _____.
In Port, vineyards are planted on the incredibly steep hillsides.
How are the grapes harvested?
No machine can maneuver these terraces
What are ‘quintas’ in Port?
Port is almost always:
- a single grape variety
- a blend of several grape varieties
A blend of several grape varieties
In traditional Port houses, how are the grapes usually crushed?
What are ‘lagares’?
Big, shallow (1m / 3ft) troughs that are filled with grapes, where harvest workers stomp the grapes by foot and macerate the grapes.
Here’s a photo of folks in lagares.
Port’s fermentation is fast or long?
- preserves fruitiness
- maximizes flavor and color extraction
At what point during fermentation is Port fortified to stop the wine from fermenting?
When ~1/3 of the sugar has been fermented (at this point the abv is ~5%).
To what abv is Port fortified?
19% - 22%
What is the name of the neutral grape spirit used to fortify Port?
What are the 2 overarching styles of Port?
What does a Ruby-style Port typically indicate?
That the Port was aged in the bottle
What does a Tawny-style Port typically indicate?
That the Port was aged in cask
Name 4 styles of Ruby Port.
- LBV (Late Bottled Vintage)
- Single Quinta
Name 4 styles of Tawny Port.
- 10-year Tawny
- 20-year Tawny
- 30-year Tawny
- 40-year Tawny
The style of Port indicated on the label is based on how long the wine spent in ____ or in ____.
Cask or bottle
Describe a Ruby Port.
- Blend of vintages and vineyards
Describe an LBV Port.
- Grapes from top quintas blended together
- Ages 4-6 years in cask before it’s bottled
- Still quite fruity
Describe a Vintage Port.
- Made only from best quintas in exceptional vintages (usually ~4 per decade)
- Aged 2 years in cask before being bottled where it can/should spend at least another decade (or three, or five….)
- Most expensive
- Most age worthy
Describe a Single Quinta Port.
Fruit from the top quintas (or vineyards) in non-declared vintages
Describe the general style of Tawny Port.
- Caramel, Toffee notes
- Full bodied
- High alcohol
- Amber in color (not red like Rubys)
Tawny Ports are aged entirely in ____.
What do the age indications mean on a bottle of Tawny Port?
They’re approximations (not averages) of the ages of the all the wines in the blend.
As the age indications increase (10, 20, 30, 40), the wines become progressivley more concentrated and developed.
So if the wine is tasted and tested by the governing body, the wine will “taste” like a 10-year old wine, or a 20-year old wine, etc.
Between 2005 - 2020, what years were declared vintages in Port?
What might be considered the top three?
- 2008 (not widely declared)
- 2009 (not widely declared)