Sandeman 'Late Bottled Vintage' 2013
Grape Varietals: 45% Touriga Franca, 30% Tinta Roriz & 25% Touriga Nacional
Growing Region: Douro Valley - Portugal
Head Winemaker: Luís Sottomayor
4 Stars ★★★★
The 2013 vintage in the Douro was a challenge with testing conditions at both the start and end of the growing season. This meant that the harvest began 8 days late, but when the team did get into the vineyards to pick, the grapes had good balance and flavour development. And the grapes were at the standard and quality Luís demands to craft this LBV style Port wine. I was actually in their cellars in July 2017 while this wine was still ageing in barrel.
Sandeman used ‘traditional’ Port production methods for this wine. As after soft-crushing and partial destemming - maceration took place via foot-treading in granite lagares. Then at the start of alcoholic fermentation, the partial wine and juice was pumped in stainless steel tanks at a set temperature, in order to extract the inherent qualities from the grape skins. The wine's balance and harmony, as well as its body and structure, result from the selection of indigenous grapes and the key moment to end the fermentation and add grape spirit to the desired strength. Sandeman are well known for careful selection and blending high quality fruit parcels to create a strong, full-bodied and character filled 'Late Bottled Vintage' Port - while maintaining the style of a single-vintage wine.
The wine then remained in the Douro until the following spring - when it was transferred to Vila Nova de Gaia where it matured in traditional oak casks. During this period, it was subject to periodic racking, and various tasting and analysis to monitor its development. The final blend was made after a rigorous selection process, using only wines befitting the quality and style of Sandeman’s LBV. This wine was not filtered, so a natural deposit will therefore form in the bottle. This Port wine is also Vegan & Vegetarian Friendly.
This wine has been aged between 4-5 years before bottling, so can be enjoyed now, though it will continue to evolve positively for another 8-10 years. To aid this journey, this wine has been bottled in black glass to provide protection against the effects of light, and closed with a cork, like that used for Vintage Porto. Store horizontally at 13-15ºC.
• In the appropriate glass - you will be greeted by a rich, absorbing dark red colour with a shining hue. On the nose your senses are instantly engaged by vibrant aromas of dark fruits, mocha-chocolate then a secondary wave of infused dried-herb notes along with splashes of red and black fruits, and balanced spicy undertones.
On the palate the wine has intensity showcasing a refined complexity, with good mouthfeel, and a nice lift of fruit acidity all wrapped in balanced confident tannins, alongside generous dark fruit flavours, cocoa and infused spice, resulting in warm lingering finish.
This Sandeman ‘Late Bottled Vintage’ 2013 Port has 20.5% Alc./vol. and 94g/L of residual sugar. Decanting will be required for the last few glasses *(try to stand vertically a day before opening) - and serve in a small, narrow shaped glass at 15º- 17ºC.
Drinking perfectly well this coming season; and will age well for another 8 - 10 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine when served ever-so slightly chilled with dark chocolate desserts, steamed puddings with vanilla cream, and strong blue cheeses - enjoy.