Sandeman Vintage Port 2018
Deep color, almost opaque. Aroma of excellent complexity, with spicy notes, together with curry, pepper, ginger, red berries and black fruits. The wine has a light cacao touch with a slightly stony finish, the result of good maturation. On the palate it is intense and complex with lively acidity, firm and well present tannins with an extremely long finish and great concentration.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2018 Vintage Porto is mostly a 50/40 blend of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional with Tinto Cao and Sousao filling out the rest of the blend. It comes in with 106 grams of residual sugar. When last seen, this seemed pretty fine, but it was not yet bottled and there were some questions to answer. Let's check in. With some bottle time, this has fleshed out and shows off its concentration to balance superb structure. The structure may be the best feature. That is part of the identity of most great Ports, and this easily meets any such challenge. There is a serious backbone supporting the fruit and a big finish with appropriate grip and length. A day or two after it was opened, it was more vigorous and powerful than ever. Best After 2027. Rating: 94+
This is toasty and earthy with notes of ripe plums and blueberry marmalade. Hints of crushed walnut and decomposed forest floor, too. Creamy and polished on the palate with a full body and mellow sweetness. Layers of attractive dark fruit flavors sitting on a bed of soft, velvety tannins. Lingering finish.
The House of Sandeman was founded in London in 1790 by George Sandeman, a young Scotsman from Perth who borrowed £300 to invest in a wine trading business with products from Porto and Jerez. More than 230 years later, an average of 21 bottles of Sandeman are bought every minute in more than 75 countries. The Sandeman portfolio includes Ports, Sherries and Madeira's and has been recognized as the world's most awarded portfolio of Aged Tawnies for the past six years by Decanter, IWC and IWSC.
As for the infamous Sandeman Don, a Scottish artist named George Massiot Brown approached Sandeman in 1928 to design a poster to advertise the brand. Incorporating the company's Ports of Portugal and their Spanish Sherries, The Don is wearing a wide-brimmed Spanish had like the caballeros of Jerez and a Portuguese student's cape. The Don became famous and was one of the very first design icons for wine. Today the Don has become part of the very essence of the Sandeman brand and can be found on every bottle sold.
The home of Port—perhaps the most internationally acclaimed beverage—the Douro region of Portugal is one of the world’s oldest delimited wine regions, established in 1756. The vineyards of the Douro, set on the slopes surrounding the Douro River (known as the Duero in Spain), are incredibly steep, necessitating the use of terracing and thus, manual vineyard management as well as harvesting. The Douro's best sites, rare outcroppings of Cambrian schist, are reserved for vineyards that yield high quality Port.
While more than 100 indigenous varieties are approved for wine production in the Douro, there are five primary grapes that make up most Port and the region's excellent, though less known, red table wines. Touriga Nacional is the finest of these, prized for its deep color, tannins and floral aromatics. Tinta Roriz (Spain's Tempranillo) adds bright acidity and red fruit flavors. Touriga Franca shows great persistence of fruit and Tinta Barroca helps round out the blend with its supple texture. Tinta Cão, a fine but low-yielding variety, is now rarely planted but still highly valued for its ability to produce excellent, complex wines.
White wines, generally crisp, mineral-driven blends of Arinto, Viosinho, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina and an assortment of other rare but local varieties, are produced in small quantities but worth noting.
With hot summers and cool, wet winters, the Duoro has a maritime climate.
Port is a sweet, fortified wine with numerous styles: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), White, Colheita, and a few unusual others. It is blended from from the most important red grapes of the Douro Valley, based primarily on Touriga Nacional with over 80 other varieties approved for use. Most Ports are best served slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.