Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kirkland 10-year Tawny Port. No, really.

Fonseca Guimaraens ( ), one of the oldest and most prestigious producers of Vinho do Porto (Port  wine) in the world.

COSTCO, one of the biggest producers of inexpensive bulk items in the world.

How, one may ask, could the two of these meet in the middle? The answer lies within a bottle of 10-year Tawny Port made by the former, and sold by the latter. And what exactly is Tawny Port?

     It is fortified wine, made in the Douro region of Portugal, fortified by the addition of a spirit known as aguardente which is a native product of Portugal. Tawny Port is also aged in wooden barrels using the Solera system, just as in Sherry production in Spain. For this, I am at this moment eternally grateful, as I believe it gives much to the wine that may otherwise be somewhat lacklustre.

     I realize that many of you are still shaking your heads at the notion of COSTCO brand Port, but read on dear friends and colleagues. This is the same company we buy our eggs and cheese from, our tissue paper and short-sleeve shirts, even our gas. They've always done a solid job with everything else, right? Right. Otherwise we would have taken our hard-earned money elsewhere by now. So why not put away the snobby-hat and give COSTCO brand Port a chance?

Kirkland 10-year Tawny Port, NV  Douro Region, Portugal
$17 USD, 20% ABV, Very Good Value
  • visual:    moderately intense caramel centre, light cherry/brick rim
  • nose:     moderately intense aromas, mostly sugary sweetness, some stonefruit especially cherry, old raisins, light leathery notes, vanilla, touch of cedar
  • palate:   moderate+ acids, moderate tannins, moderate+ intense flavors once again focused mainly on sugar. That being said, there are layers under the sugar that mimik the nose well. Moderate+ body from the sugar levels, decent structure with a slightly bitter aftertaste & noticeable alcohol.
  • PAIRS WITH:   this, to me, is a beginners Port. If you have never tried Port before, this will go down quite smoothly and will leave a fairly nice aftertaste, especially for the price. Try it with Gorgonzola cheese, spicy candied walnuts & toasted anise bread & I think you'll find it more then adequate after a meal.
     Please understand, I'm not trying to subjugate anyone to the will of Mass Business. Quite the opposite. However, I feel it only right and proper to try and display the facts as I see them and not be swayed in either direction from a label. We can find greatness in the most unexpected places!

     This is not a great Port, but for a Canadian, it is a very reasonable product for the price. I would, and will, purchase this again, and feel very comfortable having a sip any old time... as opposed to a Colheita 1951  from Fonseca, which I would horde and feel a little guilty every time I walked past the dreadfully expensive bottle, but that's another story!


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