Port of Call

Ramos Pinto is a Portuguese port house majority-owned by the family that also owns Louis Roederer Champagne. Export director Jorge Rosas visited Australia to promote the wines recently, and the tasting climaxed with a run of great vintage ports, none better than the mature 1983 Ramos Pinto Vintage Port, a magnificent port of unfathomable complexity and elegance (98/100). But, of the affordable – and available – wines there are four tawny, or wood-aged ports, culminating in the 20-year old Quinta do Bom Retiro ($128; 96/100), a very beautiful wine.

The best value for money is undoubtedly the popular Adriano Reserva 8 Years Old Tawny Port ($37; 89/100). A real step up from the 4-year-old tawny port, for little extra cost, this has vanilla, caramel, espresso coffee aromas that are youthful but appealing, while the taste is nicely balanced, has good length and is not overly sweet – indeed, it finishes clean and relatively dry. It’s readily available in retail stores, including Best Cellars.

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