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Quady Starboard Vintage Port 1996
In a small San Joaquin valley town, Madera (CA), Andrew Quady discovered an unused patch of rare Orange Muscat grape, known in Italy as Moscato Fior d’Arancio. These grapes became the first Essensia Orange Muscat Dessert Wine in 1980.
Essensia’s creation marked the birth of Quady Winery's Muscat expertise - where the rich flavors of rare Muscat varieties are celebrated and intensified rather than blended and softened. Since then, Andrew Quady has produced other well-known wines including Elysium, Electra Mosc
ato, Starboard Vintage and Batch 88, as well as the first premium American vermouth of its kind – Vya Vermouth.
The varieties used by Quady Winery are rare, delicious expressions of the fruit filled San Joaquin Valley. The winemaking style is rich, full bodied, perfectly balanced, and unparalleled in any other Muscat you can find. For many, Quady Winery has become known as the experts of sweet wine.
Originally a source of oenological sustenance for gold-seeking miners of the mid-1800s, the Sierra Foothills was the first region in California to produce wines from European grape varieties. Located between Sacramento and the Nevada border, this area’s immigrant settlers chose to forgo growing the then-ubiquitous Mission grape and instead brought with them superior vines from the Old World to plant alongside mining camps.
Zinfandel has been the most important variety of this region since its inception, taking on a spicy character with brambly fruit and firm structure. Amador and El Dorado counties, benefiting from the presence of volcanic and granite soils, are home to the best examples. Bold, robust Rhône Blends and Barbera are also important regional specialties.
Blended from the most important red grapes of the Duoro Valley, Port is the famous fortified wine from Portugal. It is based on the Touriga Nacional grape with over 80 other varieties approved for use in the blend. However, typically about four other varieties play a major role: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Touriga Francesa. Other wine regions of the world can produce fortified wine of a similar style from the same grapes or other grapes.
There are numerous styles of Port: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, LBV, White, Colheita, and a few unusual others.
Ruby ports usually pack the most value and are ready to drink once bottled. Typical characteristics are ripe cherry and blackberry flavors with stewed plums, cocoa and dates.
Tawny ports are “tawny” in color and have flavors of toffee, caramel, toasted pecans, vanilla, dried apricot, citrus peel, green figs and roasted espresso. The age designation on a Tawny Port indicates the average vintage age of the grapes in the bottle.
When Port is made with high quality grapes selected from a single notable vintage, it is called Vintage Port. Some of the best recent vintages are 2011, 2009, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1997 and 1994. Vintage Ports are complex and full-bodied with many flavors possible: concentrated blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and spice, smoke, coffee and chocolate.
LBV Port comes from a single-vintage Ruby Port and may spend six years in the barrel before being bottled. These are ready to drink upon release. Serve most Ports slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.