Sandeman 20 Year Old Tawny
A rich yet elegant combination of flavors - dried apricots, honey, nuts, spices, vanilla - creates an endlessly complex wine that unfolds smoothly and develops in the mouth.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Sandeman’s long-standing reputation for aged tawny Port is confirmed by this wine. It is poised between fresh fruit and spice, dried dates and a generous golden glow. The wine is at its peak and ready to drink.
Pretty cherry color with amber edges. Aromas of toffee, brown sugar and burnt caramel with lots of dried fruits. Full. Very sweet. Silky and attractively woody. Real 20-year-old character here. Drink now.
As a young Port wine drinker, I grew up on Sandeman’s 20 Year Tawny, a wine that always over delivered when it came to gingery energy and shimmering fruit. And though the brand has changed hands, now part of Sogrape, the wine still holds its identity, delicately creamy with lovely floral esters and a zesty feel that lasts.
The NV 20 Years Old Tawny Porto is a typical Douro blend bottled in August 2022 with a Vinolok cork and 129 grams per liter of residual sugar. For a lot of folks, a 20 Year is the sweet spot in the lineup for Tawnies: It's fresh, so you don't worry about cracking fruit; it's reasonably complex, so it's old enough to be serious; and most of all, it is actually affordable compared to some of the really old ones. This is lovely. Showing a trace of caramel and darker chocolate flavors, this is still dominated by its freshness. Its lively acidity lifts the fruit and allows the flavors to dribble over the palate. It is tightly wound and very focused. It tastes great too, finishing with a touch of sugar and big fruit. That dries out with time and becomes a bit less exuberant and a bit more stern. It acquires a very serious demeanor. It is hard to resist. Best after 2022.
The House of Sandeman was founded in London in 1790 by George Sandeman, a young Scotsman from Perth who borrowed £300 to invest in a wine trading business with products from Porto and Jerez. More than 230 years later, an average of 21 bottles of Sandeman are bought every minute in more than 75 countries. The Sandeman portfolio includes Ports, Sherries and Madeira's and has been recognized as the world's most awarded portfolio of Aged Tawnies for the past six years by Decanter, IWC and IWSC.
As for the infamous Sandeman Don, a Scottish artist named George Massiot Brown approached Sandeman in 1928 to design a poster to advertise the brand. Incorporating the company's Ports of Portugal and their Spanish Sherries, The Don is wearing a wide-brimmed Spanish had like the caballeros of Jerez and a Portuguese student's cape. The Don became famous and was one of the very first design icons for wine. Today the Don has become part of the very essence of the Sandeman brand and can be found on every bottle sold.
The home of Port—perhaps the most internationally acclaimed beverage—the Douro region of Portugal is one of the world’s oldest delimited wine regions, established in 1756. The vineyards of the Douro, set on the slopes surrounding the Douro River (known as the Duero in Spain), are incredibly steep, necessitating the use of terracing and thus, manual vineyard management as well as harvesting. The Douro's best sites, rare outcroppings of Cambrian schist, are reserved for vineyards that yield high quality Port.
While more than 100 indigenous varieties are approved for wine production in the Douro, there are five primary grapes that make up most Port and the region's excellent, though less known, red table wines. Touriga Nacional is the finest of these, prized for its deep color, tannins and floral aromatics. Tinta Roriz (Spain's Tempranillo) adds bright acidity and red fruit flavors. Touriga Franca shows great persistence of fruit and Tinta Barroca helps round out the blend with its supple texture. Tinta Cão, a fine but low-yielding variety, is now rarely planted but still highly valued for its ability to produce excellent, complex wines.
White wines, generally crisp, mineral-driven blends of Arinto, Viosinho, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina and an assortment of other rare but local varieties, are produced in small quantities but worth noting.
With hot summers and cool, wet winters, the Duoro has a maritime climate.
Port is a sweet, fortified wine with numerous styles: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), White, Colheita, and a few unusual others. It is blended from from the most important red grapes of the Douro Valley, based primarily on Touriga Nacional with over 80 other varieties approved for use. Most Ports are best served slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.