2016
Cedre Heritage Cahors
750ml
$18.99
$13.99
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NV Jose Maria da Fonseca Setubal 25 Yr 750ml

NV Jose Maria da Fonseca Setubal 25 Yr

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Varietal: Muscat
Muscat was one of the first grapes to be identified and cultivated and is, more accurately speaking, the name given to the family of four main sub-varieties. The most important is Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains and Muscat of Alexandria. Due to the high level of Monoterpenes they are almost unique in producing wines with a distinctively grapey and musky aroma. Muscat Blanc is fast becoming one of the world’s most popular light-skinned varieties making the Moscatel’s of Spain and Moscato’s of Italy. These wines are typically very fragrant and low-alcohol, sweet, sparkling wine. The grape is also grown in France, making bone-dry whites in Alsace and sweet fortified ‘Vins doux naturels’ in the hotter climes in south of the country. In Australia, it is the darker hued Muscat of Alexandria which forms the countries finest liqueur Muscats, delivering unctuous aromas of citrus peel and sweet spice. Good examples come from Barossa and Rutherglen Valley.

Country: Portugal
Portugal is a relatively small but diverse wine producing nation. Apart from supplying most of the world’s cork, it also makes two of the world’s most popular fortified wines, Port and Madeira. With a wealth of indigenous varieties, varied geography and modern wine producing technology, Portugal is now exporting a selection of unique and interesting quality table wines. Climates have a big impact on the style of wine. Regions within a stone’s throw of the coast are heavily influenced by the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean, whereas slightly further inland, temperatures rise considerably and precipitation drops dramatically. Even between neighboring regions these differences have a big impact on the styles of wine made. The difference between the coastal region of Minho (responsible for light, spritzy, Vinho Verde) and the wines of the Douro (home of Port) is a case in point. Southern Portuguese regions such as the Alentejo are showing promise with native varietals, Castelão, and Trincadeira, and white skinned grapes such as Arinto.

Region: Port (Douro Valley)
Port is a fortified wine originally produced in the Douro Valley in Portugal. The name is an Anglicized form of the town Oporto, where the wine is aged and from where it is shipped. The discovery of this style is credited to English wine merchants and shippers who were seeking new sources of wine during 17th century trade disputes with France. Because the wine is fortified with grape brandy, which stops the fermentation process and raises the alcohol content, it could be shipped back to England or any outpost of the empire unspoiled. Even in the 21st century British producers still dominate the industry, in particular the Taylor Fladgate partnership and the Symingtons, whose holdings include Graham, Warre, Dow, and Smith Woodhouse. Although producers in a number of New World countries, including Australia, South Africa and California have replicated the Port style, the traditional defined area within the Douro valley still produces the vast majority of Port on the world market. Ports are divided into two broad types, cask-aged and bottle-aged. Within the bottle-aged category there are two different styles. Ruby, intended for early consumption and generally the least expensive, and Vintage Port which are aged for a short time in oak (2 to 3 years) are then aged for a significant time in bottle (10 to 30+ years). There is also Single Quinta, which is generally made in non vintage years from the port houses single estate vineyards. Cask-aged Ports such as Tawny, Colheita (Tawnies from a single year) and LBVs (Late bottle vintages) do their maturing prior bottling so are ready to be consumed straightaway and do not develop further in the bottle. Although Port is normally reserved for special occasions and often consumed alongside Stilton, the use of different styles has often been neglected. White port can be a great component in cocktails and is becoming increasingly popular. Tawny ports also make a great Summer drink, often preferred by locals in the sun baked Douro valley, either as an aperitif or accompaniment to dried fruits and nuts as well as pastries.

Sub-Region:

Type: Fortified and Dessert
Dessert wines are usually any sweet wine drunk with or around a meal. White fortified wines (fino and amontillado sherry) are usually drunk before the meal, and the red fortified wines (port and madeira) drunk after it. Most fortified wines are regarded as distinct from dessert wines, but some of the less strong fortified white wines, are regarded as honorary dessert wines. In the United States a dessert wine is legally defined as any wine over 14% alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines.