WINE REVIEW: Dow’s 10-year Tawny Port, Porto, Portugal ($39)
by Andrew Chalk
From one of the leading port producers in Portugal, Dow’s is managed by fourth and fifth generation Symington family members. These ready-to-drink ports are the culmination of over 100 years of experience and are the ultimate expression of the art of winemaking and blending. Only tasters with a profound experience and knowledge of the great ports of the Douro can nurture these wines through decades of aging in seasoned oak casks.
From two of the Douro’s finest Quintas: Senhora da Ribeira and Bomfim, these ports are the product of the best hand-harvested vineyards, which have both supplied Dow’s for over a century. These 10 and 20 Year Old Ports are the result of a skillful process that strives to balance the original fine fruit flavors with a proportion of wood-character, unique in the port world thanks to Dow’s unusual use of larger oak vats in addition to the more common 550L ‘pipes’ (barrels).
In the barrel-ageing process, aged tawny ports are subjected to a gradual transformation through contact with air thanks to the permeable wood. The result is excellent craftsmanship in a glass, with Dow's 10 Year Old providing aromas of red cherry and almonds with toffee and vanilla on the nose and mouth-filling peppery spice with a touch of marmalade.
Tawny Port is always READY TO DRINK!