Month: November 2015

Fonseca Bin 27 Finest Reserve

Bin 27 comes in a lovely gift box , and what a gift it is! Founded in 1815 by Manuel Pedro Guimaraens, who kept (reserved) a special Port in bin 27 in his family cellar, this wine is a true Port, designated by the “Porto” in its name. Five generations later, Bin 27 boasts legs so thick, they appear reluctant to form; indeed they defy gravity several seconds before giving way. Tannins spread across the tongue and mouth, really luscious tannins, reminiscent of some Cabs I’ve hailed in previous years. Bin 27 is a “bipolar” treat; its mild, nearly flat aroma vascillates neutrally between must and oak, then “Pow!” Flavor assails the tongue and mouth with vibrant fruits and gritty tannins! Bin 27 behaves like a sneaker wave, i.e. after the shock and crash of impact, it rolls gently away…no lingering warmth or residual flavors. With an ABV of 20%, be mindful of its potential to sneak up on you. Also, it is priced at $18.59 (SRP is $21.59) for a 750 ml bottle…very reasonable. …

Graham’s Six Grapes

It only makes sense that Graham’s Six Grapes be the sixth Port I sample for my review. It’s also named after my favorite grandfather, William (not Billy) Graham! Add that it’s a self-proclaimed “perfect accompaniment to dark chocolate,” and I’m cashing my bottle deposits to purchase this cool bottle for under $20, for the 750 ml size. Note: The price has since increased to $30.49 (on sale for $23.99) at my local Fred Meyer (Think they’ve noticed there’s a Port fiend frequenting their aisles?!). Anyway, I found a lot of nifty details about Graham’s, for example, it’s owned by the Symington family, in Portugal’s Douro Valley, where real Port hails. The vineyard/estate was established in 1820 by William & John Graham, then bought and run, hands-on, by the Symington family, in 1970. “Six Grapes” dates back to the 1800’s when the grapes were classified on a scale from 1-6, denoting the quality of grapes. Only the very best grapes received the “six grapes” classification, which might later qualify as “Reserve.” The bottle I sampled is a …

Yalumba Antique Tawny

 Yalumba Antique Tawny Museum Reserve Dessert Wine…Phew! Retails for $22.39, but I picked up the small (375 ml) bottle for $20.99 at my local Fred Meyer. Yalumba hails from Australia’s oldest family-owned winery and, to qualify as an “antique” wine, it must be at least ten years old, but less than 21. The “reserve” stamp merely means the vineyard folks used select grapes from exceptional batches. “Dessert” labeling signifies that Yalumba is honoring the traditional method of calling a wine “Port” only if it grows in Portugal. Yes, Yalumba gets favoritism points for following the rules! This dessert wine has a 19% ABV. We learn some great trivia on Yalumba’s back label;  it is comprised of the “angel’s share” of wine.  Throughout the maturation process, between 2% and 5% of the product is lost through evaporation. The remaining wine is called the “angel’s share,” and that’s the recipe for  Yalumba Antique Tawny. Yalumba Antique Tawny is rich and concentrated, with a caramel color, gorgeously thick legs, and smoky aroma. Taste is bold and full, almost …