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Which Port for a Gift?

October 5, 2012
Question by: Emma, Southampton, GB

Q:

My dad is a lover of Port and so I want to buy him a very nice bottle for his 60th birthday but I have no idea what I'm looking for (not being a Port lover myself - sorry!) - so I'm looking for some expert guidance please!  Any pointers you can give would be much appreciated, thank you.

A:

Hi Emma, The ideal gift for a 60th celebration has to be Graham's 1952 Diamond Jubiliee Port.  This is a Tawny Port made in 1952 which has been ageing ever since then in wooden casks in our Lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia.  The long ageing in wooden cask (which defines the Tawny style of Port) results in a concentration of flavours and aromas very different from what you get from a bottle-aged classic Vintage Port.  The Diamond Jubilee Port is characterised by Simon Field, Port Buyer for Berry Bros & Rudd in London (who are the exlusive distributors of this wine in the UK) as having notes of molasses, orange zest and dried fruits as well as spice notes.

1952 was not a generally declared year, and Vintage Ports from either 1950 or 1955 will be difficult to source.  If your father enjoys mature Vintage Ports, limited quantities of both the Warre's 1963 and the Graham's 1970 were released from our own cellars last year, so you know they have aged in perfect conditions - and both of these wines are legends for their flavours and quality. 

If he prefers the rich ripe full fruit flavours of younger Vintages you have a range of choices, Graham's 2007 is lusciously complex with rich fruit and floral notes, Dow's 2007 shows the classic Dow's slightly dry spiciness with plum and cassis, and Warre's 2007 delivers vibrant fruit with elegance and freshness.  Warre's declared a limited bottling of Vintage Port in 2009, follow the link to read the mouth-watering tasting note in full! 

For all of these wines, we suggest you contact Berry Bros & Rudd in London, as they have a wide selection in their own cellars and can readily obtain other bottles from reliable sources, which is very important when purchasing older wines.  They have a website for on-line ordering and delivery services, and their staff are always ready to answer questions and help you find alternatives within your price range. 

Best wishes to your father on his birthday!



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