For our December Wine of the Month we are featuring our 2017 “1795” Port-style Chambourcin. Named (1795) for the year the Mount Ida manor home was built, our Port-style wine is the perfect companion to your holiday desserts and also makes a wonderful gift to bring along to your holiday parties!
Port wines are iconic, with a rich history originating in the Duoro Valley in Portugal. Like champagnes from Champagne, a wine may only be officially called a “Port” if it is from the Duoro Valley; the official appellation was established in 1756, making it the third oldest appellation after Chianti and Tokaj. Original wines from the region were not the fortified wine that we know today; as the demand for these fine wines grew in further regions like England, winemakers began fortifying the wines with brandy in order to protect them from the long sea journey to their ultimate destinations.
There are four traditional varieties of port: ruby, vintage, and tawny. Ruby port is the youngest; fruity and typically bright burnt red in color; with higher residual sugars and shorter aging these wines maintain a rich and fruity flavor. Late-bottled vintage ports (LBV) are ruby ports that have been made from single-harvest wines and allowed to age longer and are bottled later. They are sweet and boozy, with mellow tannin and flavors of dark dried fruits like raisins, cherry, and plum. Tawny port is aged for longer stretches of time, in barrels for at least six years (and commonly up to 10, 20, 30, or even 40 years), giving them a dark toffee color, and complex nutty flavors. Vintage port is the oldest and only made with wine from the highest quality vineyards from their best harvests. They are bottled after spending time in large oak barrels; producing rich, fruity flavors balanced by bold tannin and vegetal notes.
Our 2017 Port-style Chambourcin is closest in style to a late bottled vintage port (LBJ). Made from 88% Chambourcin and other mixed varietals and fortified with neutral brandy this wine was aged in neutral French oak with the addition of extra toasted wood chips to enhance its smoky flavor. This beauty is mellow in its sweetness with notes of dark berries and tobacco and balanced nuances of dried fruit. You will want to be sure to take advantage of our Wine of the Month case discount to enjoy this gorgeous wine for seasons to come!