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Consisting of 4 x 37.5cl of Vista Alegre tawny ports bottled in opaque glass that really looks the part. One each of the 10, 20, 30 and 40 year old wines packaged in a distinctive and substantial hinged wooden box. This is a very special present for those who like to enjoy the good things that life offers. This provides an ideal opportunity to contrast the effects of the differences in the ages of the ports.
Producer note: Vallegre
Vallegre is a Portuguese company whose shareholders represent the fifth generation of a family deeply rooted in the Douro region. They are a small producer of quality Port wines and Douro DOC table wines.
The main property of 55 hectares is Quinta da Vista Alegre, which is situated on the north bank of the Douro a short distance from Pinhão. Being South facing at an altitude of about 250 metres it has a climate which is favourable for the perfect maturation of the grapes. The terroir consists of steeply inclined schist. Some of the vines are more that 80 years old while others are younger due to a restructuring plan that commenced some 25 years ago. The vines, all of which are classified as category A, include predominantly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Sousão and Tinta Cão. The quinta location is stunningly beautiful; “Vista Alegre” means delightful view.
The wines are produced using traditional methods. Crushing and fermentation of the grapes takes place in lagares under careful temperature control. After about three days the fermentation is stopped by adding 76% alcohol content grape spirit and running the wine off into vats for maturation. Thus the sweetness of port wine originates from the unfermented sugars in the fruit and the level of sweetness is controlled by stopping the fermentation at the desired point.
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Brut Reserve, , Charles Heidsieck, £45.00 France, White
Triple gold-medal winner 2012: Gold IWC, Trophy DWWA, Gold IWSC
Class and sophistication are what Heidsieck embodies. Complex pastry aromas, with an opulent combination of ripe apricot, mango and greengages, dried fruits, pistachio and almond. The palate begins with a silky smooth sensation, developing into ripe fleshy apricot, melon and enticing plum pastry notes and delicate spice. A perfect balance of freshness and generosity.
Brut Vintage, 2009, Henners, £30.50 England, White
Biscuity, brioche aromas, with delicate white flower and full fruit. Flavours are fresh with nicely delicate citrus and apple with a 'lees' character adding complexity.
- Decanter Silver Medal 2012 - huge potential
- International Wine Challenge Silver Medal 2012
Fine Ruby, , Vallegre, £11.50 Portugal, Red
Beneventano Aglianico, 2010, Vesevo, £12.00 Italy, Red
Vintage, 1997, Vallegre, £37.75 Portugal, Red
Calusari Pinot Grigio, 2012, Umbrele, £6.75 Romania, White
Independent Wine Retailer of the Year 2007
Member of the Top Merchants Programme
Merchant of the Year
Regional Merchant of the Year
South East England
Ian Jarman is an Associate of the Institute of Wines & Spirits