Thanks to last night's tastings at Vinología, I was able to choose a style of port I was familiar with when I went to Kopke today. I chose to have a semi sweet white port since that was the style I preferred last night.
A success! This Kopke Fine White Port is well balanced between tang (acidity), sweet, and spice (alcohol). Just divine. The best part is, Kopke gives an assortment of chocolates to be enjoyed alongside each glass of port.
White ports are traditionally, and almost exclusively, young ports that are produced from white grapes. Interesting since this is not always the case for many white dinner wines. There are a variety of aging periods and ranges of sweetness in white ports. Typically the aging period is around 3 years... Kopke will soon stretch this norm with their newest, not yet released product.
Kopke was founded in 1638 by a German guy - named Kopke. Since then the company has switched hands a few times and is now owned by the Sogevinus group. Generally I enjoy smaller family owned producers, but on this side of the river it's all about big production and that's not going to stop me from enjoying a glass or two. It's also a great place to learn about the history and production. As I mentioned, white ports are traditionally young, aged for around 3 years or so, and are served chilled as an apéritif (to drink before the meal). Kopke is first to come out with a product that challenges this tradition: a 10 year White Port.
The color difference is incredible, but don't be fooled, it is made completely from white grapes. This bomb of a drink tastes more like brandy than sweet wine to me and my waitress gives me a middle ground just to compare.
Here I've got the new Kopke 10 year White Port, the Branco Lima (their sweetest white currently for sale), and my semi sweet fine white... I think I'll stick with the semi sweets.
If you're like me and enjoy tasting a few varieties of wine next to one another, thereby easing the ability to compare and contrast, then this is the place to come! Vinología offers tastings of 3 or 6 varieties of port (yes only port!) and there are so many to choose from!
Did you know that there's such a thing as white port??? I did not.
It's great! Well, at least I found one that I love.
To start, I chose a variety of whites to try: an extra dry, a half dry, and a sweet.
Here's what I found:
#1. Extra Dry White Porto Portal
Color: pale straw
In mouth: dry and fruity but not very well balanced.
#2. CJ Casal dos Jordoes White Port Half Dry
Nose: also flowery... rose? I can't think of that many flowers.
In mouth: This is my fav! I love it. It's super well balanced and very easy to drink. I asked the waiter about it and he said that it was the only organic producer they have!
#3. Porto Fine White Quita Santa Eufemia
Color: Darker brown straw
In mouth: dried pineapple, honey, marmalade, and spicy? to be honest, I have a hard time distinguishing aromas and tastes in these sweeter ports with higher alcohol content. They pack a punch, and for me it's hard to get past that.
This is definitely a fun new find though and I'll look forward to tasting more!
Now, as I've become quite friendly with the two waiters in the past half hour or so, I am given another glass to try. This one: not a port - a Muscatel do Douro. I love it! Quita das Lamelas (photo below). The french guy from Bordeaux (I'm guessing the owner) asks me what I smell... I have no clue. Roses and Lichee, he says. Who knew! Very bizarre but very true and so wonderful. Highly recommended.
Next... I was so enthusiastic about the organic semi sweet white port that the waiter brought me the Red 10 year Port by the same producers... just to try ;)
I'm a fan of this one too... and can't help getting all "Boulder" and loving it just because it's organic... notes of cinnamon remind me of home and would be great with a big piece of apple pie... hey America!