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...

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All I want for Christmas is a magnum of Ch. Grand Puy Lacoste 1986 (done!)

This has been a week of good wine drinking. First a visit to The Sampler with Sarah and now Christmas Day and a magnum of Ch. Grand Puy Lacoste 1986. My friend James had been dying to open this one up ever since he bought it and what better time than Christmas Day! Bordeaux is one of my favourites but I don’t get many chances to drink aged Bordeaux. One of the better estates in Paulliac, Ch. Grand Puy Lacoste was classified as a fifth growth back in 1855 but it’s such a consistent and well made wine, that many consider it to be as good as if not better than many a second growth in Bordeaux. 1986 was a hot summer producing thick skinned grapes yielding wines with plenty of firm tannic structure. On the 23rd of September there was a thunderstorm in the Medoc which missed the northern part.  The result being that Paulliac and St. Julien were spared, enabling them to produce dry and compact wines. Wines with great minerality and aromatics. A blend of 75% Cab, 25% merlot and aged in  30% new oak, it’s best served at 19 degrees, the perfect temperature for such a wine with quite a tannic structure. We could smell the cassis even before pouring the wine into the glass. Notes of cedar, graphite, coffee cream (James said. I got more of a fresh coffee bean aroma) and sweet licorice. On the palate an intense fruit core, rich, ripe blackcurrant predominately, excellent tannic backbone  to hang the fruit on along with plenty of acidity to balance it out. Drinking perfectly at the moment and the quintessential food wine for the holidays, marrying fabulously with the turkey and all the trimmings, except for the braised red cabbage, but what goes with that, anyway? Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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