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01 July 2005

Portugal: Porto Solene, Douro valley

Porto Solene

These two new ports from Quinta de São Cristóvão look the part with stylish elegant picture label, flat-shouldered 50cl bottle in clear glass and little black coffin box. Unfortunately I couldn't find a picture to copy on the internet! Bottled in 2004, the Ruby is aged for around 6-7 years and the Tawny 8-9 years, and both offer pretty good quality and classic styles with lovely youthful fruit (perhaps too so, it needs a couple of years further ageing to integrate the alcohol) in the case of the former and more mature rich nuttiness from the latter. Tasted July 2005:
Ruby Special Reserve NV, Douro valley (20%) - A little fiery and youthful, but this has plenty of lively and quite concentrated plum and blackberry fruit underneath to please, rounded off with light touches of earthy leather and some dry tannin to offset the sweetness. Try with mature hard cheeses (not Stilton or similar blue). 87
Tawny Special Reserve NV, Douro valley (20%) - Serve chilled: seductive roasted pecan nut fruit adds tanginess to the aged molasses sweetness, with 20% alcohol also lending some balance; keep chilled as it gets a bit sickly once warm. 87

Lots more Port & Douro here.

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