• Lea Gatinois

SIMPLE MEMO ON TYPES OF PORT

Port is a fortified wine from the Douro region in northern Portugal (we will focus here on the major colour produced: red Port).

Black grapes are harvested in September in the Douro Valley, 1-hour drive inland from the city of Porto (second picture below). Fermentation starts just after harvest. Grape spirit (of 77% ABV) is added to the wine during fermentation, killing yeasts and stopping the process of fermentation, so that sugar remains in the wine. It results in a sweet wine with high alcohol (about 20% ABV). After that stage, the wine will often be sent to Vila Nova de Gaia, just next to Porto, where it will enter the maturation stage (third picture below). This stage will be crucial in defining the final style of Port.



Here is a summary of the different styles and some of their characteristics:


Ruby

  • Fruity style

  • Matured for max 3 years in big barrels

  • Blend of wines from several vintages

  • Not suitable for ageing

  • Drink it in a few days after the bottle is opened


Vintage

  • Highest quality of Port

  • Fruity style

  • Matured for max 3 years in big barrels

  • Wine only from one vintage

  • Suitable for long ageing

  • Drink it in a few days after the bottle is opened


Maturation Cellar, Quinta da Corte

LBV filtered

  • "Late Bottled Vintage", and filtered before bottling, so that it doesn't have deposits

  • High quality of Port

  • Fruity style

  • Matured for 4-6 years in big barrels

  • Wine only from one vintage

  • Not suitable for bottle ageing

  • Drink it in a few days after the bottle is opened


LBV unfiltered

  • Unfiltered, to increase texture, complexity and ageing ability

  • High quality of Port

  • Fruity style

  • Matured for 4-6 years in big barrels

  • Wine only from one vintage

  • Suitable for bottle ageing

  • Drink it in a few days after the bottle is opened


Tawny

  • Caramel and nutty style

  • Matured few years in small barrels

  • Blend of wines from several vintages

  • Not suitable for bottle ageing

  • Drink it in a few months after the bottle is opened


Tawny of 10, 20, 30, 40 years old

  • High quality of Port

  • Caramel and nutty style

  • Ageing in small barrels for a long time

  • Blend of wines from several vintages giving an average age

  • Not suitable for bottle ageing

  • Drink it in a few months after the bottle is opened


Colheita

  • High quality of Port

  • Caramel and nutty style

  • Matured for 7 years in small barrels

  • Wine only from one vintage

  • Not suitable for bottle ageing

  • Drink it in a few months after the bottle is opened


I hope it's helpful!

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