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Portuguese Wine

The production of Portuguese wines has a very long history, the trade with its biggest export market, England, having begun in the 12th. century. The development of the fortified wine known as Port began in the early18th century and although only accounting for 6% of total wine production in Portugal it has undoubtedly become its most well-known export. The name comes from Oporto (literal translation “the port”) the shipping centre located at the mouth of the River Douro along which the barrels of wine were transported from the terraced vineyards high above the Douro Valley prior to undergoing maturation and export. The Touriga Nacional grape variety is pre-eminent but many other, perhaps less highly-regarded, grape varieties add to the complexity of fine Port. The Douro became the world's first demarcated wine region in 1756*, complete with precisely defined borders, legislation and control, and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. But this is not the only fortified wine for which Portugal is famous, its island in the Atlantic, Madeira, also produces highly-prized wines of great quality.

traditional hand harvesting grapes in the DouroPortugal is a country that is ideal for making a wide range of wine styles – red, white, sparkling as well as the formerly ubiquitous and rather bland commercial rosé wines of the past. Wine regions such as Vinho Verde, Alentejo, Dão and Bairrada may not be household names but are nevertheless producing very good quality wines in a modern style with an individual character which are increasingly finding appreciative export markets. Portugal has a long Atlantic coastline, high mountain ranges and steep valleys as well as a diverse geology providing a range of soil types from granite, schist and slate, which is predominant in the northern part of the country and the interior as well as outcrops in the south, to a mix of limestone, sand and clays nearer the coastal regions. A good climate with sufficient rainfall allied to a large number of native grape varieties provided the raw materials for the new breed of winemakers to exploit following Portugal's democratisation and accession to the European Union.

The Cardinal's Cellar currently offers a range of fine vintage Port from the most prestigious houses and estates with some exceptionally good vintages including the sensational 1963 vintage.

* The wine producing regions of Chianti (1716) and Tokay (1737) were defined earlier, however, neither fulfilled the criteria of geographically prescribed limits nor the apparatus of legislative enforcement.

  1. Burmester, Vintage Porto, 1963

    Burmester, Vintage Porto, 1963

    Burmester produced a great Port from a truly fantastic vintage throughout the Douro. Traditionally made by treading the grapes.

    Details
    Colour Port
    Grape Variety Port Blend
    Country Portugal

    Regular Price: £229.99

    Special Price:

    £179.99

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  2. Dow's Vintage Port, 1991

    Dow's Vintage Port, 1991

    Dow & Co. had a very successful vintage which was particularly firm when young, even for this company, with firm structure, moderately tough tannins and a wonderfully concentrated colour although it has matured wonderfully during its life..

    Details
    Colour Port
    Grape Variety Port Blend
    Country Portugal

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  3. Ferreira, Vintage Port, 1963

    Ferreira, Vintage Port, 1963

    A superb, fully mature vintage Port, now tawny in colour, which is still drinking exceedingly well indeed.

    Details
    Colour Port
    Grape Variety Port Blend
    Country Portugal

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  4. Fonseca-Guimaraens, Vintage Port, 2007

    Fonseca-Guimaraens, Vintage Port, 2007

    This is an excellent vintage Port with a long life ahead of it. Good one to lay down for the future.

    Details
    Colour Port
    Grape Variety Port Blend
    Country Portugal

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  5. Graham's Vintage Port, 1980 (Half Bottle)

    Graham's Vintage Port, 1980 (Half Bottle)

    Underrated in its somewhat callow youth this Port is now showing off its qualities in all their resplendence.

    Details
    Colour Port
    Grape Variety Port Blend
    Country Portugal

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  6. Graham's, Vintage Port, 1980

    Graham's, Vintage Port, 1980

    A classic rich Graham's vintage Port which is still quite opaque with some yellow on the rim. and displaying some mellowed tannins. Complex, mature palate.

    Details
    Colour Port
    Grape Variety Port Blend
    Country Portugal

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  7. Niepoort, Vintage Port, 1970

    Niepoort, Vintage Port, 1970

    Niepoort Vintage Port 1970 is the sort of bottle that really makes an evening complete. It is an incredibly dark and dense vintage port with complexity and real elegance. Still dense in colour although showing yellow at the rim it is a very well-balanced vintage port with fat fruit and great concentration on the palate accompanying rich and sweet cherries, dried fruits, figs and raisins which dominate the nose along with hints of coffee and black tea.

    Details
    Colour Port
    Grape Variety Port Blend
    Country Portugal

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  8. Niepoort, Vintage Port, 1983

    Niepoort, Vintage Port, 1983

    The Niepoort 1983 vintage port is still quite fresh and full of life. Very soft and elegant, the tannins have melted and left behind a port of wonderful complexity. The nose is just as lovely as the palate offering cherries, dark fruits, raspberries, chocolate and caramel.

    Details
    Colour Port
    Grape Variety Port Blend
    Country Portugal

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  9. Niepoort, Vintage Port, 2005

    Niepoort, Vintage Port, 2005

    2005 was declared a vintage by Niepoort although many of the bigger port producers decided to release single quinta ports instead that year. A vintage port that merits an 18.5 score with Jancis Robinson, who confesses to rarely giving more than 18 points, is a very good port indeed. As it is very young, we would recommend giving it another 10 years or so before popping the cork.

    Details
    Colour Port
    Grape Variety Port Blend
    Country Portugal

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  10. Quinta do Noval Vintage Port, 2003

    Quinta do Noval Vintage Port, 2003

    A wet winter followed by a perfect, hot summer in the Douro created ideal conditions to produce Port with near perfect balance.

    Details
    Colour Port
    Grape Variety Port Blend
    Country Portugal

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