Ports -I started fiddling with port back in '82. Made a couple of barrels of Cabernet Port, mainly for myself. Sampled out of it for a few years. and decided that it would be interesting to start a tawny port solera- for various reasons never got around to expanding it until 1989 when I started getting serious about port in general.
Rainy Day Fine Tawny Port
Rainy Day Fine
Tawny Port- I began adding to the solera with the 1989 vintage, laying
down a total of seven barrels including the original two barrels (or what
was left of them) from '82. The predominant port added that year was Cabernet,
but there was also some Lembereger, Merlot, and some odds and ends of previous
table wines that fit in well. The Solera now has three tiers, with a total
of 15 and 1/2 barrels. Rainy Day is bottled the first week of November
each year. All 7-1/2 barrels from the oldest tier are blended, the equivalent
of two barrels (about 50 cases) are then drawn off and bottled. An equivalent
of two barrels from the second tier are then used to replenish tier 1 and
so on. This solera method of blending and aging gives the wine a consistent
quality each year as no one wine influences the flavors or the final product.
Rainy Day is very smooth and complex with a distinct nutty quality, some
chocolate and cherry overtones and of course a tawny color derived from
long barrel aging- it's a little drier that our other ports and is excellent
just sipping on it's own, maybe with some walnuts and cheese.
Three Muses Ruby Port
Ruby Port- this port is also in a solera, but much younger than the tawny
solera and with only two tiers . Ruby Port is meant to be grapey and heartwarming,
so when we bottle three muses from the solera- usually in the spring- we
add one barrel of port from the most recent vintage to each four barrels
from the solera. The Solera contains ports from Cabernet, Merlot and Lemberger-hence,
3 muses ( how many muses can you name?) The wine gets its complexity
from blending and aging in the solera and its freshness from young port.
Great with cheese and/or not-too-sweet chocolate. I like it with
a medium robusto out on the patio with my dogs almost any evening.
Wallace Vintage Port
Vintage Port is supposed to be the winemaker's idea of perfection. Many vintage ports are capable of , and in fact, demand long bottle aging- 15-25 years is not unusual. I've made vintage ports in '89, '90, and 94 All of these wines are decidedly heavier than the ruby or tawny- but are probably going to be at their best somewhere between 10 and 15 years of age- based on this prediction, I probably should qualify them as "ports of the vintage" rather than "vintage ports"- this may seem like a fine distinction, but it is one them informs you not to try to lay them down for 20 years. All are fairly drinkable now- especially with some good cheeses like Stilton or other blue cheeses, aged extra sharp with Walnut's or some of the chocolate Chukar Cherry products work well too.
The '89 vintage is Cabernet port with some Merlot port and the '90 is
The '94 is all Cabernet and probably will be the longest liver of the three.
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