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Unfiltered Port Styles

September 18, 2012
Question by: Linda, Texas, USA

Q:

Which Ports are unfiltered? Does Warre's have an unfiltered port?  I live in a small town in East Texas, USA. My liquor store has Warre's Warrior but I think it is filtered.  I understand that unfiltered port is better medicinally.

A:

Hi Linda, As a rule, basic and reserve styles of Port (white, tawny or ruby) and Late Bottled Vintage are filtered.  Warre's Warrior, as a Reserve Ruby style, will have been filtered before bottling.  Symington Family Estates however, make some wonderful exceptions to these rules.

Warre's make a special style of Bottle Aged Late Bottled Vintage Port which is bottled without fining or filtration, and then aged a further four years in bottle before being released to the market.  This gives the wine a maturity and complexity which is comparable to a young Vintage Port, and Bottle Aged LBV is an excellent value alternative to Vintage Port.  Make sure the label says "Bottle Aged" as Warre's do also make a classic LBV which has been lightly filtered.

Dow's Trademark is a Reserve Ruby which has been lightly fined but not filtered.  Dow's will have a slightly spicier note and drier finish than the Warre's - both hallmarks of Dow's style across all its Ports.

Other unfiltered styles of Port include Vintage Port (whether classic or quinta bottlings), and Crusted Port.  Crusted is a blend of Ports from two or three vintages, which have been matured in cask  2 or 3 years, bottled without filtration, then aged in bottle a further three years before release to market.  Graham's Crusted Port and Dow's Crusted Port are both excellent, with Graham's having a richer, more intense and sweet house style than Warre's. 

Don't forget any unfiltered Port will need to be decanted - take a look at our tips about Decanting and Serving Vintage Port - the same guidelines will apply to any of these Port styles - treat Crusted and Bottle Aged LBV as young vintages.



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