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Waitrose Christmas press tasting
Part 2 Fortified wines

October 2002

Of the UK supermarkets, Waitrose has probably the best wine selection. I attended their autumn press tasting and I'll be writing up the 100 or so wines I tried in four parts. Part 2, the smallest, concentrates on the fortified wines.  

See also: Part 1, Fine wines; Part 3, white wines; Part 4 Spanish, Portuguese and Italian reds

Henriques & Henriques Monte Seco Madeira
90% Negra Mole, 10% Sercial. Pale yellow colour. Slightly nutty and waxy with rich texture and some sweetness. Lacks a bit of character. Good/very good (£6.49 for 50 cl)

Henriques & Henriques 10 year old Sercial Madeira
Aged for 10 years in American oak casks. Orange/brown colour. Caramelly, nutty nose leads to a rich, spicy palate with some nice bitterness balancing the sweetness. Very good (£11.99 for 50 cl)

Henriques & Henriques 15 year old Verdelho Madeira
Deep orange/brown colour. Warm caramelly edge to the nutty nose. Palate is rich and sweet with some attractive raisiny character and a nice bittersweet finish. Some complexity here. Very good+ (£16.99 for 50 cl)

Henriques & Henriques 15 year old Malmsey Madeira
Brown/orange colour. Raisiny, toffeed nose. Rich, sweet palate with some raisiny complexity and nutty toasty richness. Quite tasty and full. Very good+ (£16.99 for 50 cl)

Seppelt DP63 Rutherglen Show Muscat, Victoria, Australia
Maturation in old oak casks prior to introduction into a modified solera system. Very rich, intense raisiny caramelly nose. Hugely concentrated palate shows spicy, raisiny, Christmas cake complexity. Very sweet and intense. Very good/excellent (£7.49 for 37.5 cl)

Quinta do Noval 10 year old Tawny Port
Sourced from grade A vineyards on the Noval estate near Pinhão. Pale coloured, this is quite spicy and rich with some intriguing, nutty complexity. A little bit light weight? Very good

Dow’s 20 year old Tawny Port
Pale colour. Attractive rich spicy style with good acidity and some raisiny complexity. Very good+ (£25)

Dow’s Late-Bottled Vintage Port 1996
Attractive liquoricey fruit to this rich, reasonably concentrated LBV. Dusty, slightly spicy nose. Really attractive for the price and drinking well now. Very good+ (£8.19 for 50 cl)

Rosès 1995 Unfiltered Late-Bottled Vintage Port
Grapes from Cima Corgo sites foot-trodden in lagares. Rich fruity nose with caramelly, herby character. Rich, herby, liqoruicey palate is spicy and rich. An attractive open style with good density and concentration. Very good/excellent (£11.99)

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