Sandeman 20 Year Old Tawny Port

IMG_5646.jpgA fancy bottle, looking very much like something that would normally contain whisky, a glass stopper, a little gold badge on the bottle and the iconic cloaked man on on the label. A lot of marketing money has gone into the Sandeman’s brand which, apart from the bulk made port you’d normally find in supermarkets, has been suspiciously absent in a lot of wine merchants in the UK.

Now that Liberty Wines has got the job of distributing it, Offley and a range of Sogrape’s wines, expect that to change, but is this highly stylised wine worth the £35 – £40 you’d expect to pay?

Dear God yes! It is a lovely wine with a multitude of dried fruit – raisins, prunes, candied peel, apricots – leaping out of the glass with a note of marzipan as well. A deliciously smooth palate, again those fruits, but with very well integrated alcohol, a noticeable sweetness, but with some cigar smoke on the finish and the tiniest bit of stewed rhubarb. This is a super 20 year old tawny and I’m sure I’ll revisit it again very soon. 92pts

Niepoort The Senior Tawny Port

Strawberry red core with a brick colour around the rim, and the wine has an orange marmalade aroma up front, polished wood with some cinnamon pastry. The palate has more dried fruit up front, then a lovely brandy flavour coming out. Very soft, with little prickles of alcohol coming through, it is a super wine that offers great value for money. 90pts (February 2017)

Niepoort Tawny Dee Port

A cherry red coloured tawny port, with some slight orange hints on the rim. The nose has a cranberry, cherry menthol aroma with some slight spice hints. The palate is nicely balanced, with dried berries, dried leaves and the brandy note coming out quite a bit. Very little alcohol burn though. A really nice port. 89pts (February 2017)

Taylor’s 40 Year Old Tawny Port

A lot of dark, liquorice aromas with some caramel and raisin. Cocoa and toffee and some lovely sweet tobacco.  The palate is fat, globular and spicy.  Very little balance and a lot of alcohol heat. There is a spice flavour there and the finish is sweet and clean but it is just lacking in any grace and is, really, a ‘bang for your bucks’ wine, and at a hundred pounds a bottle, that is a lot of bucks. 85pts (Dec 2011)

Niepoort Tawny Dee Port

It looked more like a lighter ruby as there was still a lot of red in the colour, but it was quite transparent and looked more like an older vintage.  The nose too had a lot of sweeter, juicier red berries, but there was a definite Tawny element.  Some raisin elements, a lot of brown sugar and prunes came through.  The palate was quite sweet, with a combination of brambles and prunes, blueberries and leather and then with a dried fruit soaked in rum flavour on the finish.  It was very well balanced, with a lovely, long lasting finish.  87pts (May 2011)