Though Portugal is not a large country, it is home to the most powerful wines in the world, simply termed, Port. Port is a dessert wine that is produced from blends of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Cao among other grapes. Port is usually eighteen to twenty percent alcohol. Port can be red or white, but the vast majority of Port is red. Port comes in a wide range of styles, but these styles can be easily organized into two main types: wood aged Ports and bottle aged Ports. Bottle aged ports are generally only aged for a small amount of time in wood, usually two winters. Producers intend for consumers to age bottle aged ports before consumption. There are two main types of bottle aged Ports: vintage and single Quinta. Vintage ports are only produced in the best years; only about three vintages in every decade are of high enough quality for Port producers to declare a vintage. The other years, Port producers often take the grapes from the best vineyard and make a vintage Port with grapes from that vineyard only; these Ports are called single Quintas.
There are many varieties of wood aged ports, including Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), ruby, tawny, and the rare Colheita (single vintage tawny). All of these wines are ready for consumption at the date of purchase, and the time spent in wood varies depending on the style.
Portugal produces red and white wines besides Port. Portugal produces Vinho Verde, a young underripe wine that comes in red and white varieties. The white is certainly the most popular and has has high acidity and often a touch of ‘spritz,' or bubbles. Additionally, the world outside of Portugal is seeing more wines made from its various red port grapes. Many of these wines and high in acid and flavor and make great accompaniments to food.
"90 Points - Wine Spectator. A full-bodied red, with firm tannins lining the raspberry tart, underbrush and savory spice elements, leading to a juicy core of licorice and orange zest details. Mineral and floral notes mark the finish. Aragonez, Touriga Nacional and Syrah. Drink now through 2025."
"Wine Spectator - 91 points Ruby-colored, with grape, dark chocolate and plum. Full and chewy. Tannins are still there and need to mellow. Medium-sweet and grapey. A little one-dimensional still, but impressive."
"Delicate, earthy, floral aromas of orchid, clementine, cedar, and chocolate nuts with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length beets, chocolate, and earth finish with soft tannins and light oak. A solid dry sipper or table wine."
"89-92 WS Very pretty aromas of blackberry and dark chocolate, with hints of green leaf. Excellent nose. Medium- to full-bodied, with medium chewy tannins and a fresh finish. Medium sweet. Needs a little more grip on the palate and finish."
"96 WE Dense and serious, a powerful vintage, as would be expected from Fonseca. The whole emphasis of the wine pushes the tannins forward, but this structure is based on black plums with dark fruit skins and a solid, chunky character. The finish is juicy and bold."
"The 2007 Fonseca is maturing nicely, with a perfumed, high toned, rich bouquet of macerated black cherries, blueberry, creme de cassis and vanilla. The palate is very harmonious with plush dark cherry fruit, fresh fig, salted licorice and a supple, rounded, spicy finish that delivers wonderful purity and length."
"Very complex, with intense aromas of squeezed tangerine, blackberry and blueberry. Full-bodied, medium sweet and chewy. Extracted yet balanced, with an intense fruity and grapey character. Tight and reserved on the finish. Best after 2015."
"93 pts Wine Advocate The purple/black 2011 Quinta do Roriz Vintage Port displays a pleasing perfume of violets, incense, spice box, and assorted black fruits. On the palate it has excellent volume with plenty of round, layered, succulent fruit and an overall friendly personality. Impeccably balanced, this mid-weight Port will evolve for 10-12 years and drink well through 2027."
"89 Wine Spectator A ripe and sinewy red, with dark plum, dried cherry and black currant flavors, featuring some tarry notes. Mocha and spice details show on the broad finish. Has power in reserve. Drink now through 2016."
"Citrine color with intense aromas of fresh fruit. A creamy mouthfeel and lovely minerality, with a slight hint of oak. On the palate there is fresh acidity and volume, and a balanced and persistent finish."