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Portugal has ranked high on recent lists of best places to retire. Our wine buyer rates Portugal most highly for authentic old world wines (and, yes, some of the finest of more modern examples, too) that also best most other sources for value. Then there's Porto and Madeira for afters. Hmmm… Retirement? Zzzz…

Quick-links to featured wines:
2015 Douro Dow Vale do Bomfim   2008 Douro Casa Ferreirinha Barca Velha   2008 Douro Casa Ferreirinha Quinta da Leda   2016 Douro Casa Ferreirinha Esteva   Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto   2004 Warre's Late Bottled Vintage Porto   2016 Graham's Vintage Porto   2007 Graham's Vintage Porto   1994 Graham's Vintage Porto   Taylor Fladgate Tawny Porto 10 Year Old   Graham's Tawny Porto Aged 20 Years   Taylor Fladgate Tawny Porto Very Old Single Harvest 1964  
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2015 Douro Dow Vale do Bomfim 2015 Douro Dow Vale do Bomfim

From Douro Valley vineyards of the Symington family in northern Portugal, including the Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira, which have traditionally supplied the famed Porto House of Dow. Vale do Bomfim represents a new style of table wine from the Upper Douro valley, where the region's wealth of grape varieties, mature vineyards and modern winemaking have been successfully combined. Produce of 30% Tinta Barroca, 25% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz, hand-selected and vinified at the Quinta do Sol winery, one of the most modern winemaking facilities in Portugal. While a comparison to Bordeaux may be compelling here, there is something a bit more delightfully old-world about this wine: deep purple red in color; at first, showing a certain Claret-like reserve and restraint, it then steps on out of those shoes to declare itself more surely of Iberian origin with aromas suggestive of fleshy wild berries, let’s say mulberry, ripe plum, blonde tobacco and a woodsy, cinnamon stick-like spice; just plump and rich in texture with balancing structure of nicely resolved chalky tannins that fan out broadly on the tongue, yielding delicious flavors of berries and spice that burst forth quite unreservedly, warm and long on the finish. Absolutely splendid value at its regular price of $11.25 the bottle, on sale now at:

$9.99 the bottle  $114.72 the case

2008 Douro Casa Ferreirinha Barca Velha 2008 Douro Casa Ferreirinha Barca Velha

The 2008 Barca Velha, the latest release of this late-released wine, is a blend of 50% Touriga Franca, 30% Touriga Nacional, 10% Tinta Roriz and 10% Tinto Cão. This is a classic 2008, crisp and elegant, radically different this year than the richer 2007 Reserva Especial (basically the same wine but for designation—that could've been designated as Barca Velha, too). After being opened about 18 hours previously, this showed rather well, but you may not find it quite as approachable if you don't give it some air. When you do approach it, be prepared to take more than a taste. It is easy to underestimate. Graceful in the mid-palate, with lifted fruit on the finish, its most notable feature is its finesse. It is a classic 2008 in that regard—dripping with grace, showing fine structure and impeccable balance. It seems simply effortless. Not particularly expressive or fruity in its youth, this tightens a bit as it airs out. The structure will allow it to age, although the mid-palate concentration is not nearly as impressive. As a typical 2008, that is to be expected to a considerable extent—this vintage never made its bones by mid-palate fleshiness or richness. Call it a Burgundy lover's vintage in Douro. On its own terms, this is pretty fine. Still a touch closed, this understated Barca Velha has considerable potential for improvement in the cellar. I'm still not sure it will have quite the aging curve that these wines ordinarily do, but they all hold rather well. There are about 700 bottles available for the USA out of a total of 18,000 produced. Drink 2017-2042. Rated 95. - Mark Squires, Wine Advocate Issue 228, December 30, 2016

$400.00 the bottle  $1020.00 the case of 3

2011 Douro Casa Ferreirinha Quinta da Leda 2011 Douro Casa Ferreirinha Quinta da Leda

The 2011 Quinta da Leda (Casa Ferreirinha) is another fine Leda – not surprising in a terrific vintage, because they’ve been pretty fine in general for awhile. It is primarily a Touriga Franca/Touriga Nacional blend (45-40), with Tinta Roriz filling out the rest, all aged for 18 months in French oak, only 50% new. If it lacks the flashy notes of the 2009, it seems just as elegant as the 2010, but perhaps even better-balanced and more concentrated. This will one day be more expressive. At the moment, it is tight, a bit tannic and oak-tinged. Its graceful demeanor and tightly wound feel portend a big winner when this begins to open up and develop some complexity. Come back in 3-5 years for better results. It is on the short list for the best of the recent string of winners. There were approximately 33,700 bottles produced. Drink 2016-2033. Rated 95. - Mark Squires, Wine Advocate Issue 228, August, 2014

$62.50 the bottle  $318.78 the case of 6

2016 Douro Casa Ferreirinha Esteva 2016 Douro Casa Ferreirinha Esteva

«Esteva» in Portuguese translates to «rock rose» in English, which some insiders suggest also informs the aroma of fine Douro wine. The vintage of 2015 was dry and sunny in the Douro as in much of Europe and eventually yielded exceptional wines. The 2016 Casa Ferreirinha Esteva Douro is produce of a typical Douro mingling of Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional, hand-harvested and vinified at the winery of Quinta do Seixo. After soft destemming and crushing, the grapes were fermented in stainless steel vats with gentle maceration by means of pumping over at a temperature of 25°C preserving the grapey aromas. The wine spent the cool of winter at Quinta do Seixo in stainless steel and subject to low natural temperatures, which contributed to their natural clarification. Here and now, the wine is a lovely bright ruby in color with glints of a purple; grapey pomacey aromas implore one to dive on in, there's a hint of salinity as well and old-fashioned № 2 pencil shavings insinuate the mineral rich soils in which the wine is grown; at once delightfully full and fruity and light on its feet with a fine edge of chalky tannins that keep things moving along crisp and fresh. And do take note of the delicious value!

$7.99 the bottle  $81.48 the case

Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto

In the Graham's cellars the depiction of bunches of grapes on the cask ends has been used to signify a wine of Vintage Porto quality. Amongst these, six bunches denote the darkest and most full-bodied of such wines. One of Graham’s original Porto blends, Six Grapes is a true expression of the Graham’s house style with great richness and complexity — Graham's themselves refer to it as «everyday Porto for the lover of full-on Vintage Porto». Midnight ruby red in color with very primary aromas of ripe plum, prune, cherry, grape pomace, dried fig, tea leaf, bergamot, anise, cracked pepper, whoo, we could go on; rich, voluptuous even, on the tongue, then shows its warming grip with structure from velvety tannins; invigorating, fortifying, flavorful to the finish. And, a steal at the price!

$19.99 the bottle  $203.88 the case

2004 Warre's Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2004 Warre's Late Bottled Vintage Porto

Warre's Late Bottled Vintage Porto, a.k.a. «LBV» for short, remains among the very best of its type. Unfiltered and bottle-matured (to be sure, it's bottled four years after the vintage, two years later than vintage Porto, and then held in bottle until fit and ready for consumption. So much of what is so wonderful about mature vintage Porto, but, sans the wait and at about one-third or less the price, Warre's '04 LBV is just on the scene, just in time for the autumnal nip. Deep, deep purple in color with aromas of dried stone fruits, say dark cherry and black plum, and just a wisp of grape spirit; on aeration, there's nuance of dark chocolate and baking spices, too; composed and complete on the tongue, medium-full in body with easy, broad chalky tannins; an engaging, fortifying wine, warm, potent and flavorful to the finish.

$22.50 the bottle  $229.56 the case

2016 Graham's Vintage Porto 2016 Graham's Vintage Porto

Super-ripe with an expressive plum and dark chocolate aroma. Rich opulence backed by dark chocolate intensity and spicy tannic grip – big and bold on the finish. Voluptuous with fabulous richness, big and bold on the finish. This is one for the long haul but it’s already very impressive. Production of 6,325 cases. Drink: 2030-2055. Rated 98. - Richard Mayson December, 2018

$112.50 the bottle  $573.78 the case of six

2007 Graham's Vintage Porto 2007 Graham's Vintage Porto

A candidate for wine of the vintage, the 2007 Graham’s Vintage Port is complete in every way. Opaque purple-colored, it offers up an ethereal perfume of smoke, mineral, Asian spices, incense, an amalgam of ripe black fruits, and a hint of chocolate in the background. This leads to a dense, super-rich, plush, opulent wine that hides its structure under all the fruit. Vibrant, impeccably balanced, and exceptionally lengthy, it will easily age for another 25-30 years in the cellar and drink well through 2050, probably longer. It is a tour de force. Drink: 2010-2050. Rated 97. - Jay Miller, Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate Issue 187, February, 2010

$100.00 the bottle  $510.00 the case of six

1994 Graham's Vintage Porto 1994 Graham's Vintage Porto

In a port tasting, tasting Graham's is almost like tasting a big, rich, succulent Merlot after a group of blockbuster, tannic Cabernets. Sweeter and more obvious than many ports, the opaque purple-colored 1994 is fruity, powerful, and rich, with an addictive hedonistic quality. It will be ready to drink in 8-10 years and keep for up to 30. As always, this is a showy, flamboyant port that has the advantage of being slightly sweeter than other 1994s. A great Graham's. Drink: 2002-2035. Rated 96. - Robert Parker, Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate Issue 107, October, 1996

$112.50 the 750ml bottle  $573.78 the case of 6/750ml bottles

Graham's Tawny Porto Aged 20 Years Graham's Tawny Porto Aged 20 Years

While vintage Porto is bottled some 18 months following the vintage, Tawny Porto is aged almost entirely in cask, during this process throwing off its dark purple color in favor of a more "tawny" hue, leaving its sediments in cask rather than in the bottle, it’s once grapey, plummy fruit transformed into something far more complex and, frankly, sublime — a veritable cornucopia of aromatic richness: bitter almond, caramel, walnut, citrus peel, raisin, prune, dried berry and cherry and perhaps a hint of brandy by campfire; oh so silken-textured, at once voluptuous and fiery, challenging and satisfying, with deliciously complex flavors that somehow so discreetly reprise those first highly suggestive aromas. Absolutely superb!

$50.00 the bottle

Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Porto Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Porto

This is a lovely, if seemingly youthful, 10 year tawny, just sunset brickish orange-red at the edges in color with complex aromas suggestive of crystallized red and blue fruits, rhubarb, walnut, almond, all underpinned with a most welcome hint of the spirit that captured the fermentation in the first place; the texture is a very satisfying rich and silky with long, long flavors that conjure caramel, nuts and crisp dried red fruits with vivid nerve of ultra-fine tannins and the spirit itself serving as foundation. A much to be savored tender sweet kiss of a bevy goodnight...

$29.99 the bottle

Taylor Fladgate Tawny Porto Very Old Single Harvest 1964 Taylor Fladgate Tawny Porto Very Old Single Harvest 1964

Traditionally the preserve of Portuguese-owned houses, colheita has been colonised by Taylor's after its takeover of Krohn in 2013; just 2,000 bottles of this were made. Lifted caramel aromas with a hint of butterscotch. Suave, rich, spicy flavours - quite sweet but stops just short of cloying on the finish. Supremely fresh, delicate length. Remarkable wine at 50 years old. Rated 95. - Richard Mayson,

$287.50 the bottle

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