Vintage Port is a great indulgence. Rich, relatively rare, impressively powerful and necessarily expensive, it is neither universally appreciated nor within financial range of every pocket. Its reputation as an old-fashioned relic of gentlemens' clubs - the preserve of Rumpolian, gouty lawyers and crusty, retired brigadiers - together with the need to decant it, scares some people off. However, to those who are positively addicted to the stuff it remains timeless, classless and essential for the occasional fix!
We keep our eyes open for modest parcels of vintage port, occasionally from private sale by people who wish to cash in a small collection, but we never buy until we have inspected the wine in situ and checked it out thoroughly. In this way we have amassed a reasonable selection including some of the grandest vintages and names on the market and can assure you of its good condition. We also like to look beyond the best known vintage port at some of those wines which the hyper-critical (not us in this case), regard as less good. Smith Woodhouse and Gould Campbell for example frequently box above their weight and are usually more reasonably priced. We have options for immediate drinking as well as more recent vintages to tuck away for anything from 2 to 20+ years.
We also frequently carry stocks of "Colheita" ports. These are single vintage tawny ports, aged in cask rather than bottle but still made from the harvest of a single year. These dont really need to be decanted like vintage ports since they tend to be fairly recently bottled which means that any sediment will have been left behind in the cask. Colheita ports are ideal for someone who only wants to nibble away at their port since they react less slowly to air once opened (and therefore keep better) than vintage ports which may well have been stuck in bottle for 30 years or more.
Although not regarded as vintage port proper, we make sure that we provide a number of less expensive options from the ranks of the single quinta wines as well as a decent crusted and a traditional, unfiltered late bottled vintage, or two. Single Quinta Vintage Ports are produced by the top houses in generally undeclared years from their top vineyard sites (which would form the backbone of their vintage ports in declared vintages) and can come close to giving you a similar experience but without such a frightening financial outlay. They're all in the list - call us if we can help.
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