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(1) - Wellington Old Vines White Port, Sonoma Valley, 500ml
(1) - 2009 Wellington Old Vines Port, Sonoma Valley, 500ml
(1) - Wellington Criolla Port, Sonoma Valley, 500ml
We've been making port since 1992, when only a couple of other wineries in Sonoma or Napa were making port. Working with the same grapes, from ancient vines, we've had ample opportunity to fine tune our processes. Of all our winemaking techniques, we're a little more secretive about our port than anything else regarding yeast strains, fermentation temperatures, maceration, etc.
As with all our wines, we strive for intensity of character, balance and finesse. And achieving balance in port can be a tricky proposition, due to the higher alcohol levels and residual sugar. Anyone can make a stable three legged stool, but building a sound four legged chair is a lot trickier. We pride ourselves on producing Ports that are bold and flavor-packed, but with a fine balance of sweetness, acid, alcohol, body and tannin. To this end, our ports are higher in acid and lower in alcohol and residual sugar than most of their counterparts.
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Wellington Old Vines White Port, Sonoma Valley, 500ml
We make white port in the traditional (Portuguese) style. We blend from multiple vintages after several years of barrel aging. We use a solera style system of fractional blending, always keeping some of the oldest stock and topping with younger wines, so each batch of white port has a small amount of wine from every vintage since 1993.
This new release (batch #17?) has great aromatic intensity and complexity, with aromas of dried fruit, caramel, coconut, honey and a potpourri of dried flowers and orange peel. The entry is only moderately sweet, the mid-palate supple and rich yet still delicate. The finish is only slightly warm, and not at all heavy or cloying. This makes a wonderful companion to fruit tarts, gingerbread, and other spicy desserts.
Semillon, Monbadon, Palomino, Muscadelle de Bordelais, Sylvaner, Columbard and Trousseau gris, all from vines planted between the 1880’s and 1920’s.
2009 Wellington Old Vines Port, Sonoma Valley, 500ml
Unlike the Criolla and white ports, our vintage port is made in single batches. This means that the timing of fortification is crucial, as there are very limited opportunities for blending. Murphy’s Law would have it that fortification almost always needs to be done outside of normal working hours, usually in the wee hours of the night. 2009 wasn’t too bad, with fortification at 10:45 PM.
Dark purplish red with youthful aromas of cassis, blackberry and other dark fruits. Notes of carob, coffee cake and herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary) add complexity. The entry is moderately sweet, the mid-palate full and rich, balanced with good acidity, and moderate heat on the finish. If you’re a port and chocolate fan, this is the port for the job; also great with sharp cheddar.
Wellington Criolla Port, Sonoma Valley, 500ml
This is also a blend of multiple vintages with extended barrel age. 100% from Criolla (aka Mission) vines, planted between 1892 and 1924. Medium brick, slightly tawny color, with aromas of toffee, cocoa, dates, citrus, brown sugar, roasted nuts and brown spices (clove, cardamom, cinnamon). The entry is a bit sweeter than the white port, the mid-palate is rich and viscous, and the finish is warm. Great with walnuts or Stilton cheese.