Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Historic, Aged White & Tawny Ports from Kopke

I love Port, and of course, vintage Port. But there are so many other styles of Port that can be overlooked, at least until you receive a bunch of fascinating wines from Kopke.

Kopke does things a bit differently, with a unique focus on aged white Ports (10, 20, 30 and 40-year), as well as Colheita wines (vintage-dated Tawny Ports) dating back decades. Established in 1638, Kopke is obviously an ancient house with a long history, but most recently, in 2006, it was purchased by the Sogevinus Group, which owns several other Port brands.

All the wines I received were bottled in 2017, as noted on the back label. These wines spend as much time in the barrel as possible, and Kopke actually bottles their wines to order.

In short, Kopke boasts some fascinating stuff worth seeking out for the Port nerds out there. Skeptics of white Port, beware, these are wonderful wines. 

They were received as trade samples and tasted sighted from 375ml bottles.

N.V. Kopke Porto 10 Years Old White - Portugal, Douro, Porto
SRP: $40/375ml
Medium orange color. Aromas of orange peel, apricot jam, ginger, white flowers, honeysuckle. Plump texture on the palate but fresh acid, this is full of almond cake and graham cracker flavors on top of bruised apple and apricot jam. The depth is really impressive considering this is the youngest of the group. (90 points)

N.V. Kopke Porto 20 Year Old White - Portugal, Douro, Porto
SRP: $60/375ml
Rich orange color. Lovely aromatics of spiced white tea, candied orange peel, ginger snaps, toasted almond, honey – complex and evolving on the nose. Rich textural depth on the palate, a honeyed, oily mouthfeel but refreshing acidity keeps it in balance. The apricot and orange marmalade flavors play well with candied ginger, honeyed tea, graham cracker, toasted almond, spiced herbal liqueur. The complexity is wonderful, and yet it is fresh and easy to drink. (92 points)

N.V. Kopke Porto 30 Year Old White - Portugal, Douro, Porto
SRP: $90/375ml
Orange/amber color. Smells lovely: orange marmalade, apricot jam, green tea, ginger, almond, honey. Rich but so fresh on the palate with moderating acidity and plenty of orange, candied pineapple and mango flavors. Notes of graham cracker, cinnamon, candied ginger, along with complex elements of sea salt, spiced white tea, clover, floral perfume, honeycomb. Wow, this is complex, deep, delicious, gorgeous stuff! (94 points)

N.V. Kopke Porto 40 Year Old White - Portugal, Douro, Porto
SRP: $150/375ml
Rich amber color. Intoxicating aromas of lemon oil, almond, orange marmalade, caramelized sugar, candied apple peel, roasted pecans and honey – wow. The textural depth is absurd, honeyed and oily but stays fresh from the acidity. Flavors of apricot jam, ginger snaps, green tea, candle wax, wood varnish, graham cracker, honeycomb, the complexity is astounding. Long, lingering finish with deep notes of sea salt and honey. So delicious, but so lively. Wow. (96 points)

2003 Kopke Porto Colheita White - Portugal, Douro, Porto
SRP: $40/750ml
Rich orange color. Pretty aromatic display of orange liqueur, apricot jam, spiced tea, apple pie and cinnamon. Plump and rich but fresh, this is honeyed and plush with flavors of apricot, orange marmalade, graham cracker, lemon oil, so complex and deep. Delicious stuff with decades ahead. (92 points)

1941 Kopke Porto Colheita - Portugal, Douro, Porto
SRP: $785/750ml
Deep auburn color. Waves in intoxicating aromas: ginger snap, yellow raisin, candied pecans, dried mango, pumpkin pie spice. Incredible aromatic display. On the palate, the textural depth is impressive, medium acidity and the sweetness are woven in so beautifully. Harmonious flavors of glazed pear, baked apple, yellow raisin, topped in cinnamon, clove, candied nuts, shaved ginger, honey, spiced black tea, orange peel — complex and delicious, deep and velvety, wow. Gorgeous now, but this has decades to go for sure. (95 points)

1967 Kopke Porto Colheita - Portugal, Douro, Porto
SRP: $240/750ml
Rich amber color. Nose of caramel, clove, cinnamon and ginger snap on top of apple cider and orange marmalade, lots of intoxicating and complex aromas. Plump texture on the palate but such pretty acidity, balancing out the sweetness, and letting the flavors shine: ginger snap, apple crisp, orange marmalade, spiced orange liqueur, clove, honey, black tea. Rich and unctuous but plenty of freshness, too, and plenty of time ahead. (94 points)

1981 Kopke Porto Colheita - Portugal, Douro, Porto
SRP: $240/750ml
Rich, deep orange color. Aromas of orange marmalade, fig paste, sweet tobacco, violets, clove, candied ginger. Full, rich texture but superb balance and freshness. Flavors of quince paste, yellow plums, dried apricot, with notes of cinnamon, clove, ginger snaps, fruit cake and graham cracker. Finishes with nougat, honey and freshness. Lots of depth, plenty of evolution ahead. (93 points)

This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist.

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