Offley 2006 Late Bottled Vintage Porto

Posted by Keith Wallace

Sometimes is about having something good at an impossible price. The ’06 vintage isn’t the greatest. The ’05 and the ’07 Offley bottlings are better.  However, at the price that the PLCB is currently asking (Less than $12 in the Summer of 2012), it is well worth picking up a bottle or three.

It’s 100 degrees in Philly as I write this, with a level of humidity that could poach a muskrat. This is the last wine in the world I suggest drinking right now. However, it is the perfect type of wine to have as a memory of colder moments, when a glass of port could cut the chill from your bones.

A typical Late Bottle Vintage Port stresses the big jammy red and dark fruits. This bottle pushes the sweetness level higher than other vintages as well, giving it a bit of a candied note. The almond and yeast notes are very appealing. The downside is the tannin levels, which are rawer than expected in an LBC. It may even take a few years to mellow out.

Origins of Port

It is hard to imagine how such a wonderful winter-warming drink as a port could ever have been conceived in such a hot and sunny country as Portugal. Popular belief has it that it was not the Portuguese but the British responsible for the port; however, this is not entirely accurate. We can thank the Portuguese for dreaming up this most classic of fortified wines; the British merely capitalized on their original idea. 

In 1678, two Englishmen were sent by a Liverpool wine merchant to Viana do Castello, north of Oporto, to learn the wine business. Vacationing up the Douro River, they were regally entertained by the Abbot of Lamego. Finding his wine “very agreeable, sweetish, and extremely smooth,” they asked what made it exceptional among all others tasted on their journey. The Abbot confessed to doctoring the wine with brandy, but the Englishmen were so pleased with the result this had that they purchased the entire stock and shipped it home. Check out our Port reviews.

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