Liquid dessert – Andresen 40 year old tawny port
After a huge Christmas feast you’d think I’d have no room for dessert and you’d be right. BUT I did have room for liquid dessert, namely a glass or 3 of Andresen 40 year old Tawny port. Andresen is one of the few family owned port houses remaining. Andresen was originally founded in 1845 by the Dutchman JH Andresen and the house was run by his descendents until 1942 when they were forced to sell due to financial constraints. The Portuguese family of Albino Pereira dos Santos, well known port wine traders, took over the business and it’s been run by the same family since than. Currently, Carlos Flores dos Santos runs the company and the wines are made by a brother and sister wine making team. The grapes are harvested by hand, crushed by foot in the stone lagars and aged in the best oak barrels to deliver a premium wine.
Tawny port, unlike LBV or vintage port, is aged from 10 to 40 years in large wooden casks before being bottled and the age represents the average age of the tawny blend. Tawny is composed of a blend of grapes, usually coming from different vintages but if it is designated Colheita Tawny, this signifies that all the grapes used are from a single vintage. After spending all that time in cask, the year that the tawny is bottled must be printed on either the front or back label.
Tawny port gets it’s name from the colour and what a colour! Despite being 40 years old, the Andresen was a beautiful amber colour, reminiscent of light maple syrup. Maple syrup was also what I was getting on the nose, along with notes of marzipan and even clementines. A full, luscious wine with excellent balance between the sweet and the acidity. Again, notes of clementines on the palate, hazelnuts, turning into walnuts seguing into black coffee and a tantalizingly long finish.
Even though I was as stuffed as the turkey had been, I managed a sliver of Stilton cheese. A great companion to the tawny but really, I could just as well enjoy the tawny on it’s own. Time for a nap after all that, in preparation for the evening round of Christmas Day party games and (more) champagne!
The Andresen 40 yr old Tawny port anniversary edition, NV is available from Laithwaites, retail £60.00