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
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
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