There are few more iconic images in the world of wine than the...
‘Don’, the logo created for the Sandeman family in 1928 by George Massiot Brown. The cape was modelled on the attire worn by university students in Porto, while the wide-brimmed hat was a nod to the family’s presence in Jerez. Today, the wines are good enough to be every bit as famous as the image of the Don. This hasn’t always been the case, but since Sogrape bought Sandeman from Seagram in 2002, the major investment that has taken place in the vineyards and the winemaking has seen them rise to the top of the tree in Port. The production of Port – especially Tawny – requires patience and a long-term vision, something which explains why families like the Guedes and the Symingtons are the major players in the Port business today.
The soil in the Douro Valley is made up of schist and the vines are grown on terraces cut into the steep hillsides of the Douro Valley. Each terrace can hold up to three rows of vines.
2011 was noteable for its relatively rainy winter, which helped to replenish groundwater. During the spring, rainfall was slightly below average. There were two spikes of hot weather, one in April and the other, seriously hotter, in May. During June and July, temperatures were slightly below average, but in August the temperatures oscillated between very high and abnormally low, with rain throughout the whole region on 21st August and 1st September. These factors, combined with a hot, dry September, made for a very balanced and long ripening period. The season finished with grapes of very high quality.
Gentle crushing and partial de-stemming was followed by intense maceration alongside alcoholic fermentation to extract colour, tannin and flavour from the skins. The grapes were pressed in granite 'lagares' at a controlled temperature of 28ºC, while the temperature, fermentation and density of each grape variety were carefully monitored to determine the optimum time for fortification. The wine remained at Quinta do Seixo until the following spring when it was transported to Sandeman's cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia for maturation in large oak 'balseiros'. The final blend was assembled after rigorous and lengthy qualitative testing. The Sandeman Vintage Port 2011 was bottled in April 2013 without fining or filtration and therefore is likely to throw a deposit in the bottle.
Deep crimson right up to the rim. On the nose it entices with aromas of blueberry, cassis, cedar and cigar box as well as hints of nutmeg, saffron and black pepper. On the palate, the powerful tannins and elegant acidity support ripe red and black berry flavours and cedar notes from time in oak. The finish is persistent and memorable.
|Grape varieties||40% Touriga Franca
40% Touriga Nacional
10% Tinta Roriz
5% Tinto Cão
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.