Dow’s Old Tawny Ports are the ultimate expression of the wine makers and blender’s art. Only tasters with a profound experience and knowledge of the great Ports of the Douro can nurture these wines through many years of aging in seasoned oak casks in the Dow’s cellars. The Dow’s blenders will select particular wines that are set aside and destined to become these great Old Tawny Ports.
Old Tawny Ports need to be regularly tasted throughout the many years that they lie in the cellars. The wines need to be ‘racked’ from time to time during each year. Racking is the process by which the Dow’s team of experienced lodge men will carefully draw the wine off its ‘lees’ (the natural sediment that is formed at the bottom of the cask) and then pour the wine back into the clean cask. During these many years of careful attention and aging, the dark, purple and vibrant young Port mellows and ages into the complex but delicate aged Tawny Ports, gaining a classic amber tawny hue which gives them their name. Most of Dow’s Old Tawny Ports are aged in the company’s extensive cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia where the moderate coastal climate plays a key role in bringing a balanced aging process to the wine. Ports aged in the Douro tend to react to the great heat of the summer months by gaining over-strong caramelised flavours. A small proportion of Douro aged tawny Ports are normally a valuable addition to the final blend, but in excess, they will unbalance a great Tawny Port.
Dow’s holds one of the largest stocks in the entire Port trade in oak casks in its cellars. This un-surpassed investment in valuable Port is fundamental to the great quality of Dow’s Old Tawny Ports. Dow’s Old tawny Ports are drier than most (although they retain the classic richness of all Port wines). It is widely acknowledged amongst generations of Port producers that producing slightly drier Old Tawny Ports is far more difficult than producing sweet tawny Ports. The sweetness can cover any slightly less well balanced wine but it will tend to make the final blend rather cloying and less enjoyable to savour. It is for this reason that Dow’s Old Tawny Ports are slightly drier than others. This fact makes the blender’s job more difficult and demanding but the wine that is finally bottled is superb and is the reason why Dow’s Old Tawny Ports regularly win the top awards around the world for their unique style and quality.
The great Tawny Ports of Dow’s are particularly good when drunk slightly chilled in warmer weather.
Dow’s Ten Years Old Tawny Port. Amber golden in colour, soft and rich on the palate with a fine and mellow fruit flavour blending in with the almond overtones of prolonged cask aging. A very fine Port to be savoured in a reasonable sized glass so that the aromas and colour can be appreciated. Serve slightly chilled in warm weather. Dow’s Twenty Years Old Tawny Port.
For many the perfect age for a great Tawny Port. The vibrant purple colour of a great young Port has softened to a delicate green-gold after 20 long years in seasoned oak casks under the watchful eye of the master blender and the Dow’s head lodge man. On the palate, Dow’s Twenty Years Old Tawny is perfectly balanced, with notes of dried nuts and spice. One of the greatest wines a Port blender can make.
Dow’s Thirty Year Old Tawny Port.
Very few Ports can age for 30 long years and still show the complexity and flavours that can be found in Dow’s Thirty Year Old. At any one time only 6 or 7 casks in the ancient cellars of Dow’s in Vila Nova de Gaia are available to be bottled for this very rare and fine Port, the remaining barrels of Port in cask are on the long and slow journey to reach this pinnacle of the Port tasters art.
This is a Port to be savoured as a special occasion, truly a memorable experience.
Dow’s Forty Years Old Tawny Port.
An incredibly rare and fine Port of immense age and delicate elegance. A Port where the essence of fine Tawny Port is encapsulated; pale golden-green with age on the rim and sweetly concentrated by four decades in seasoned oak barrels. A brilliant Port of rare pedigree.