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Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port 1985

Port from Portugal
  • RP90
Ships Fri, Aug 25
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Currently Unavailable $64.99
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Winemaker Notes

Only three to four times a decade are the climatic conditions ideal in the Douro Valley to produce a sufficient quantity of exceptional wines which will allow shippers to declare a Vintage. Vintage Port is aged in oak casks for two years before being transferred unfiltered to the bottle, where it has the potential to mature for decades. The 1977 is a classic Vintage with tremendous structure and fruit. This wine is a sheer delight and truly deserves its numerous accolades ... intense cherry aromas, full bodied with well knit tannins.

Critical Acclaim

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

My experience with Smith-Woodhouse is limited. Is the 1985 the sleeper of the vintage? An astonishing amount of creamy, black-cherry and chocolate-scented fruit fills the nose. On the palate, this full-bodied wine is loaded with extract, great length, and has super finish with plenty of fruit and tannin in proper balance.

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Smith Woodhouse

Smith Woodhouse

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Smith Woodhouse, , Portugal
Smith Woodhouse
Christopher Smith, a prominent figure in the British wine trade and Member of Parliament, who was later to become Lord Mayor of London, opened offices in Oporto in 1784 to ship Port wine from the bar of the Douro. Several years later Smith's sons were joined in partnership by the Woodhouse brothers, already well established as importers of wine from other regions, and the firm became known by its present name. Smith Woodhouse built a strong clientele for more than a century, but after World War II, in common with other firms, business became increasingly difficult. In 1970 the Symington family acquired the firm. Under the Symingtons' ownership Smith Woodhouse continues to make some of its finest Ports by the traditional methods, and has produced a succession of outstanding Vintage Ports in a characteristic opulent rich style, balanced by firm hard tannins. Most of the Smith Woodhouse wines come from the Rio Torto area in the Upper Douro, the majority of them still produced by treading the grapes by foot in stone lagares.

Known for bold reds, crisp whites, and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines...

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Known for bold reds, crisp whites, and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place the primary emphasis upon its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally warm to hot. In the center of the country lies a vast, dry plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought. Because of its location on the Iberian Peninsula, many of Spain’s wine regions are located on or near the milder coast, either of the Bay of Biscay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, or the Mediterranean sea to the south and east. Each of these regions has its own unique soil, climate, and topography, as well as principal grape varieties.

In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate, though elsewhere the most popular wines are generally red. Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache), as well as rich, nutty whites from Viura. Ribera del Duero produces opulent, fruity, top-quality wines from almost exclusively Tempranillo. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, blends Garnacha with Cariñena (Carignan) to make bold, full-bodied wines with a hint of earthiness. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. Sherry, Spain’s famous fortified wine, is produced in a wide range of styles from dry to lusciously sweet at the country’s southern tip in Jerez. Since the 1990s, international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc have been steadily increasing in importance in several regions.

Grenache

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Full-bodied but light in both color and tannin...

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Full-bodied but light in both color and tannin, Grenache loves the sun. It thrives in hot climates where it can easily achieve full ripeness. Grenache is best known in the Southern Rhône, where its plush texture and ample alcohol are tamed by savory Syrah and structured Mourvèdre, most notably in Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Grenache originates in Spain, where it is known as Garnacha and is important throughout the country, particularly in Rioja, where it is blended with the more austere Tempranillo, and in Priorat in tandem with savory Cariñena (Carignan). It is also responsible for dry, fruity rosés in Navarra. In Sardinia, the variety is known as Cannonau and produces bold, rustic reds. In California, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and playing a supporting role in Rhône-style blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with red fruit flavors ranging from strawberry to cherry to dark berry. Richer examples can also show plum, chocolate, and licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. With its uncomplicated, friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb loin chops or spicy Italian sausages. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not be fazed by a good chili kick.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia’s Cannonau is often revered for its association with a long, healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, and they credit this antioxidant-rich wine—along with their healthy Mediterranean diet—for their impressive longevity.

WWB67257_1985 Item# 26401

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