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Porto Solene: a new concept in Port  

Does Port have an image problem? Is it a drink that appeals to younger drinkers? Does it need repackaging for the next generation? These are some of the questions being asked by a Portuguese company, Wine Cluster Co., who have been working in tandem with Port producer
Poças Junior to create a ‘new concept in Port wine’, which they’ve named Porto Solene.

The first thing that’s apparent is the way these wines are presented: the packaging is strikingly modern, with dramatic-looking square-shouldered bottles, which come packaged in attractive boxes. I wasn’t convinced at first, but then I asked the opinion of a non-wine nut who was pretty positive. These unusual, clear glass bottles have grown on me, and I think they’re actually quite stylish. More significantly, though, what are the Ports like? There are two – a ruby and a tawny. I wasn’t expecting them to be very good, but surprisingly, they were quite impressive.

Porto Solene Tawny Special Reserve (bottled 2004)
Deep orange brown colour. Warm, rounded nutty, spicy nose with some woody, cedary notes. The palate is rounded, spicy and full with a raisiny, woody character. A tasty, rounded tawny showing nice balance. Some toffee, vanilla and toasted nut complexity. Very good/excellent 90/100

Porto Solene Ruby Special Reserve (bottled 2004)
Good deep red/purple colour. Savoury, spicy, rubbery, dusty nose with some nice dark fruits and liquoricey notes. Quite concentrated on the palate but there’s a softness to the fruit, which has a rasiny edge and some spicy tannins. Quite youthful with a bit of attitude. Good quality. Very good+ 89/100

Is there a market for these new-styled wines? I think so, but a lot depends on the price, which isn’t decided yet.


Wine Cluster Co.
phone: + 351 256 383 200
fax:     + 351 256 383 201
mobile: +351 919 444 749
e-mail: geral@portosolene.com
Website: www.portosolene.com

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