At this time, I am limiting my Wine Reviews to the sweeter wines which I refer to as Dessert Wines.
Port is a fortified wine which is properly produced in the Douro Valley of Portugal. Although this style of fortified wine is also produced outside of Portugal, in many jurisdictions, only the wine from Portugal is labelled as Port or Porto. (In the United States (and Canada) however the rules are less stringent and wines labelled “port” may come from anywhere in the world.)
Late Bottled Vintage Port
- Cálem Late Bottle Vintage 2006 Port Wine (88)
- Dow’s Late Bottle Vintage 2006 Port Wine (92.5)
- Fonseca Porto Late Bottled Vintage 2003 “Unfiltered” (87.5)
- Quinta De La Rosa 2007 Late Bottle Vintage Port Wine (79)
- Sandeman Late bottled Vintage Port Wine 2007 (87.5)
- Taylor’s (Fladgate) Porto Late Bottled Vintage 2007 (82.5)
- Croft Pink (82.5)
The grapes selected to produce this style of wine are not picked when they have ripened; rather they are left to “rot” or “Botrytise” on the vine and picked by hand as late as possible in the growing season. The agent at work is a specific fungus called “Botrytis cinerea“ which affects grapes by absorbing their moisture making them dry. As the fruit loses moisture, its sugar content increases dramatically. Other factors may be at work as well with the final result being that the “botrytised” or rotten grapes are able to produce an intensely sweet and flavourful wine. The appearance of the “noble rot” depends not only upon the location (or terroir) of the vineyard, but upon the irascible weather. It is not uncommon for no suitable botrytised grapes to appear for several years at a time.
- Chateau de Targe (Chenin Blanc) 2009 (85)
- Concha y Toro Late Harvest Private Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (2008) 87.5
- De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon (90)
- Hetszolo Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos (2001) (91.5)
Other Dessert Wines
Note: My Wine Scores are computed in the same manner as my scores for distilled spirits. This means that total score out of 100 is generally lower than what you would see in popular wine rating magazines. Those magazines appear to have a system which scores almost all wines at 85 points or more. My system which is described below and you may (loosely) interpret my scores as follows:
0-25 A wine with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 A mediocre wine which will excite no one.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, still rather unexciting.
80-84 Enjoyment begins here.
85-89 Very good to excellent!
90-94 You may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this one yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)