The finest ports to celebrate with this Christmas

By Tempus | 09 Dec 2021 | Indulge

Need a robust, juicy tipple to round off an evening of festivities? Try one of these classic ports

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Picture the scene; Christmas dinner is finished, family members are snoozing on the sofa, the kitchen looks not dissimilar to a bomb site, and you've got a lovely relaxed evening ahead of you. So what do you do? That's right, you head for the drinks cabinet and pull out your finest bottle of port to share with the lucky relatives who have remained awake.

But if your port collection is currently looking a little sparse, Tempus has compiled a list of the best expressions currently available to buy. 

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Graham’s 30 Year Old Tawny Port

This multi award winning 30 year old Tawny is aesthetically pleasing, with a beautiful light orange-tinted amber colour, and has a magnificent nose showing an array of dried fruits with a gorgeous sweetness.

On the tongue, its flavours are mature and concentrated, allowing it to stand alone as a dessert in its own right, making it perfect for cracking out at the end of an evening of festive cheer.

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Heranca Late bottled Vintage Port 2013

This Late Bottle Vintage Port from Heranca starts out life just like true blue vintage port and is a blend of varieties from carefully selected vineyards. When vintage port is moved from barrel to bottle LBV stays put for four to five years mellowing in barrel, developing wonderful depth of flavour.

It is dense and mouth coating, full of plum and blackcurrant fruit with a lovely floral note that mixes with the classic Christmas cake spice. The tannins are lovely and tight giving our exclusive port a little more bite than other LBVs out there. Pair with a well-stocked cheeseboard or a rich chocolate torte and double cream.

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Vintage Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage Port 2011

Owner and winemaker Dirk Niepoort calls this expression the “Little Brother” of the winery's Vintage Port, as the origins of the grapes and vinification methods are identical. This Late Bottled Vintage is taken from Ports made in the 2011 harvest and is aged for four to six years before release.

The 2011 LBV is a brilliant red colour with a wonderful aroma of dark fruits and a classy touch of chocolate. On the palate sweet grainy seductive tannins give the wine a superb elegance and interact well with the fruit and fine, polished finish.

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Quevedo LBV Port 2015

Master winemaker Oscar Quevedo has given a new lease of life to his old family vineyard in Portugal, and made some fantastic wine in the process. Once a banker, Oscar found true happiness in the vines of his family and produced a port that is smooth, rich and full bodied, with layer upon layer of delicious fruits.

This super-special Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Port has aged for 5 years under Oscar's careful watch and the result is superb, with a sweet, robust profile, perfect for pairing with Queijo da Serra cheese and grilled almonds.

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Taylor’s Historic Limited Edition Reserve Tawny

This unique port, housed in a replica 18th-century "mallet-shaped" bottle, is sure to be a hit with everyone at your Christmas party. The colour is a deep reddish-brown at the centre with a narrow brick coloured rim, while the mature, opulent nose opens with a warm redolence of coffee, butterscotch and dried fruit, with notes of plum and raisin. 

On the tongue, meanwhile, the drink is thick and robust with a smooth silky texture, which merge seamlessly with toffee and preserved fruit flavours on the finish.

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Croft Quinta da Roêda 2004

This vintage port is defined by its deep ruby colour with a purple edge. On the nose is a an array of powerful, concentrated fruit aromas, punctuated by cassis, while on the palate, this strong-bodied wine is fresh, rich, firm and full of fruit including, dark berries and chocolate.

As the brand notes, single Quinta wines "need decanting as they are usually a decade old, and will throw a sediment as they age". Walnuts are an excellent accompaniment to this port, along with rich flavoured cheeses such as Silton and dried fruits.

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Adnams Finest Reserve Port

More famed for its impressive catalogue of beers, Suffolk-based brewery-cum-winery-cum-distillery Adnams has also produced a superb port for dessert wine lovers to indulge in this Christmas.

This expression is a a ripe and juicy port with a vibrant ruby colour and complex aromas of red berry and balsamic hints. Balanced and complex, it has fine and round tannins and an elegant finish.