We had a Port-athon! Four unique Warre’s ports graced our tasting table: Fine White, Warrier Finest Reserve, Otima 10 Tawny and Heritage Ruby. Founded in 1670, Warre’s Port, from Symington Family Estates, is the first and oldest British port company established in Portugal. First, Warre’s signature style is floral, fresh and elegant, reflecting the characteristics of its higher-altitude vineyards. Next, enthusiasts know them for structure, elegance and a softly perfumed nose.
Symington Family Estates
Symington Family Estates is one of the world’s leading producers of premium port, the leading vineyard owner in the Douro Valley, and one of the top Portuguese wine producers. Likewise, the family owns and manages four of the best port houses, Warre’s, Dow’s, Graham’s and Cockburn’s, as well as a portfolio of Douro wines.
The family, of British and Portuguese origin, has lived and worked in Portugal since the 19th century. Consequently, today’s 5th generation of Symingtons trace their lineage through 14 generations to 1652, the earliest days of port’s long history. Meanwhile, six members of the Symington family currently manage Warre’s business, which goes back to 1670.
Warre’s Ports: Otima 10 Tawny Port
Otima 10 Tawny Port features fresh fruit favors and elegance from 10 years in seasoned wood. As a result, it offers a balance of fruit and wood-aging flavors. This tawny port is rich, smooth and layered, with notes of caramel and toffee, dried fruits, plums, spices and honey. Yet it’s a lighter style of port. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. It is superb with cheese, nuts or dried fruit after a meal or on its own.
Warre’s Warrior Finest Reserve
Warrior is the oldest brand of port in the world, shipped continuously since the 1750’s. And today, it is a classic, traditional, full-bodied port with wonderful richness and balance. Aromatics of red fruits and spices lead into flavors of more fruit such as plum, raspberries and cherries, along with dark and white chocolate notes, licorice, and a bit of minerality on the finish. Warre’s Warrior is delicious at the end of a meal, with chocolate, strong cheeses or nuts.
Warre’s Fine White Port
White Port is produced from traditional white grape varieties from the Douro Demarcated Region. Fermentation takes place off the skins to produce a more delicate style of wine. Further, aging occurs in a combination of oak casks and stainless steel tanks. Consequently, this white port is refreshingly light, yet at the same time, lush and creamy. It displays flowery aromas, with baked apples, vanilla, honey, pears and almonds on the palate. So, you can enjoy it as an apéritif, a digestif or with a meal. For example, serve it chilled with soda and a slice of lemon. Or, for instance, pair it with Chicken Alfredo. As a digestif pairing, consider crème brûlée.
Warre’s Ports: Heritage Ruby
Warre’s produces its Heritage Ruby Port from wines of different vintages, grown on its finest estate properties in Portugal’s Douro Valley. What a pretty port! Robust flavors of rich red fruit and chocolate follow aromas of smoke, coffee, licorice and maple syrup. The finish is creamy and smooth. Warre’s Heritage Ruby pairs beautifully with cheese, rich chocolate desserts, or simply a piece of dark chocolate.
Warre’s Port Cocktails
Whether you like sweet or strong drinks, think about Warre’s Port cocktails this winter. Lucky for us, Vineyard Brands lists numerous cocktail recipes for each of the ports noted above. For example, The Robert Frost, White Negroni and White Port Cobbler cocktails contain Warre’s Fine White Port. And Devil’s Cocktail and Winter Warmer showcase Warre’s Heritage Ruby Port. In addition, Tawny Manhattan and Big Spender use Otima 10 Tawny Port. As well, Chocolate Cocktail and Autumnal Equinox contain Warrier Finest Reserve. Moreover, you can find many more cocktails with all four of these ports here. Certainly, we’re going to mix some of them!
Summary: Warre’s Ports
In conclusion, these four ports will please many palates. They will enhance any meal, as an apéritif or a digestif, with cheese, nuts or chocolate. Some of them taste best at room temperature, while others shine when served with a slight chill as they do in Portugal. They do not need decanting.
Thanks for the samples, Vineyard Brands. These four ports are excellent.
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Margot and Dave