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.
"93 Points- Wine Advocate. Simply filling the mouth on first taste, this shows fine complexity for its age and it does everything else rather brilliantly. Succulent and inviting, it finishes with waves of concentrated flavors. The fruit remains lifted and and it has a bright, transparent feel. It is hard to resist, often seeming like a bit of an overachiever."
"94 Points- Robert Parker. It is my opinion that Taylor's tawny ports are the best of their type. When tasted against other tawnys, they all exhibit more aromatic personalities, greater fruit and ripeness, and a wonderful sweetness and length. The Ten Year Old Tawny is a personal favorite, as well as the best bargain among these ports"
"90pts-WE A hugely rich, sweet wine, full of concentration and very ripe fruit flavors. This is the classic Fonseca style, all richness and depth of flavor. There's power here, but it is all clothed in acidity and great fruits."
"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."
"Taylor Fladgate Tawny Porto is mellow, with gentle berry and nut flavors converging on the palate. It is fresh, clean and straightforward, with a silky texture on the palate."
"Intense and deep ruby color. On the nose, rich perfumed, packed with red and black fruits. Sweet and bursting of flavors of black berries and black currants balanced by firm tannins. Long and lingering velvety smooth finish."
"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."
"92-95 WA Blackberry, Seville orange marmelade, blueberries, and dried fig - complex and quite compelling. There is a real minerality within this bouquet that, returning after 30 minutes, offers alluring ocean spray scents rolling in off the sea. The palate is medium bodied with a velvety smooth opening that belies the fine, structured tannins underneath."
"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."