Well, even though port and fortified wines in general might have fallen out of favour over the years, it is a style of wine that can be profound when its executed right. We’ve always enjoyed sipping on a vintage fortified at the end of the night ourselves, so we decided to have a crack at creating our own version in a slightly more modern style.
Our 2018 Vintage Fortified is made with 60% Touriga Nacional, 20% Tinta Cão and 20% Tinta Negra Mole. The grapes were all harvested on the same day, and then crushed and destemmed, and foot trodden in the true traditional Portuguese style by my kids, an experience they absolutely loved.
The base wine was fermented cool and slow, so it would retain its delicate aromatics. The wine was pressed off, fortified with Brandy spirit and left on its lees for ten months.
Traditional Vintage Fortifieds usually have around 20% alc/vol and more than 100g of sugar, and Australian versions can have even more. The idea with our Vintage Fortified was to make a more modern, drinkable style. We wanted to make a wine that maintained the character of Vintage Fortified and its aging potential but doesn’t need 20 years in the cellar to reach its prime. We wanted a Vintage Fortified that could be drunk in its youth.
With this in mind, we also set out to create a port that you would want to have a couple glasses of, as some of the sweeter fortefieds we can struggle to even get through a glass. To achieve this, we left our Vintage Port with less residual sugar than most fortifieds.
We’ve always embraced different styles and winemaking techniques with our wines, and we felt that this new addition to our Dodgy Brothers family would align itself with the other wines we’ve created.
As is the key with all wines, balance is paramount, and we feel we’ve nailed it in this Vintage Fortified!