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Vintage Port as a Gift

February 5, 2013
Question by: Jason, Mobile

Q:

What would be a good vintage Port to buy as a gift in the $125-200 range?  Looking to buy my life long friend a bottle and I know nothing about wine.  He recently purchased a 2000 Graham's Port.

A:

Hi Jason, What a good friend you are!  Your budget allows you to explore several gift options.

If you would like to treat your friend to an older Vintage, bottles of Graham's 1970 and Warre's 1963 were released from the Symington Family's own private cellars here in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal in late 2011.  Your wine merchant may still be able to source one of these bottles for you, which come in a handsome presentation case.  If you are unable to source one of these, or the price does exceed your range (exact pricing depends heavily on local taxation), you might try to find an older vintage of one of our niche brands, such as Gould Campbell, Quarles Harris, or Smith Woodhouse.  As they are less well-known, the price point is generally lower than our flagship Graham's, Dow's, Warre's and Quinta do Vesuvio brands, but the wine making team is the same, and they have consistently been praised over the years as offering excellent value for money. 

It might be fun to choose a vintage from a year significant for your friend or in your long friendship - use our Timeline Search for a quick way to see what wines were made each year.

Alternatively, if your friend is just learning about Port or a bit of a geek, it might be fun to get bottles from the three top brands - Graham's, Dow's and Warre's - and give him the opportunity to taste them "side by side" - if not on the same night, then over time - to learn to appreciate the differences between the Port brand house styles and their terroir:  the sweet richness of Graham's, the drier, more austere Dow's and the elegant Warre's.  The dream gift here is of course a bottle of each from the 2007 Vintage, which together were awarded 291 out of a possible 300 points by the Wine Spectator, but that might exceed your proposed budget.  In that case, look for the Quinta Vintage Ports from each brand:  Graham's Quinta dos Malvedos, Dow's Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira or Quinta do Bomfim, and Warre's Quinta da Cavadinha.  These Ports are blended from wines from the flagship quinta of the brand, and are a wonderful expression of the brand's character.  Quinta Vintage Ports are generally available at around half the price of the declared brand Vintage, so again offer very good value for money.



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