Learn all about Red Port wines

From appellations to storage and tasting, Porto Cruz answers the questions asked more often.


Learn all about Red Port wines Learn all about Red Port wines
1. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A RUBY AND A TAWNY PORT?

Ruby and Tawny Ports are two very distinct families of wine but are both made from red grape varieties. Ruby Port is aged in vats in a non oxidative manner (this means that it has not been subject to oxygenation, through contact with the air); this provides the wine with a fresh and fruity character and a deep colour ranging from ruby red to crimson. Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) and Vintage are wines from a same vintage, belonging to the Ruby family and which continue to age and improve after bottling.

Tawny Port is aged in oak casks on average for 4 years. Its oxidative ageing allows for exchanges with the ambient air through the wood, giving the wine more sweet and spicy hints and a mahogany colour with golden highlights. The longer the wine stays in the wooden casks, the more developed the complex and dried fruit aromas.

2. WHAT IS RESERVE PORT?

A Ruby or Tawny style Reserve Port is a blend of several wines of different ageing to produce a more complex, round and balanced product.

The Tawny type CRUZ Special Reserve Port is aged for an average of 6 years in oak casks.

3. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN LBV AND A VINTAGE PORT?

Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) and Vintage Ports are wines made from premium red grape varieties harvested in a single and exceptional year. These are wines with concentrated hints of very ripe read and black fruit. Vintage Port is considered to be the quintessential Port.

Vintage Port is bottled two years after the harvest and will continue to develop for 20 to 50 years after bottling, and sometimes even longer. These are wines to be cellared and have complex aromas that develop over time. LBV wines are bottled five years after harvesting and are ready to drink when they are bought.

4. HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP A BOTTLE OF PORT ONCE IT HAS BEEN OPENED?

The length of time that a Port wine can be kept after opening depends on the type of wine and its cellaring conditions. The periods indicated below are provided for information by the IVDP

• Ruby / Reserve Ruby: 8 – 10 days after opening
• Tawny / Reserve Tawny: 3 – 4 weeks after opening, preferably stored in a cool place.
• Aged Tawny Port (from 10 to 40 years old): 1 – 4 months after opening. The wines with the least ageing should be drunk first.
• Colheita: 1 to 4 months after opening (the wines with the least ageing should be drunk fairly quickly) Preferably stored in a cool place.
• Vintage: 2 days after opening
• LBV: 10 days after opening