I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of the The Old Codger Old Tawny Port as a Thank you from the Baron for being a chauffeur to many a DTWC night. And I have to say that this port stands out as one of the finest ports I have tasted to date. It is not to say that I haven't enjoyed the past ports, it is just that this one has been distinctly different to all the other ports I have tasted.
Interestingly enough this port has a little story behind it and where the name 'Old Codger' came from which for me adds a little more excitement to the port as well.
"My first job after completing high school was working in an old cellar in the Barossa Valley filling and stacking port barrels with an “Old Codger” (old man). Each day the two of us would finish work with a glass of port and share a few stories. What a civilised way to finish the day!" Wayne Dutschke as quoted from The Old Codger Old Tawny Port site.
This Port has been blended using a Solera system. The Solera system is quite interesting as the finished product ends up being a mixture of varying ages. Many different type of products can be solera aged some of which include Sherry, Madeira, Port wine, Marsala, Mavrodafni, Muscat, and Muscadelle wines; Balsamic, Commandaria, and Sherry vinegars; Spanish brandy; and rums. Wikipedia explains the process best "In the solera process, a succession of containers are filled with the product over a series of equal aging intervals (usually a year). One container is filled for each interval. At the end of the interval after the last container is filled, the oldest container in the solera is tapped for part of its content, which is bottled. Then that container is refilled from the next oldest container, and that one in succession from the second-oldest, down to the youngest container, which is refilled with new product. This procedure is repeated at the end of each aging interval. The transferred product mixes with the older product in the next barrel…The output of the solera is the fraction of the last container taken off for bottling each cycle."
The PORT Experience:
The Old Codger – Old Tawny Port
Region: 80% Langhorne Creek, 20% Barossa Valley, South Australia
Grapes: Verdelho, Grenache, Shiraz, Palomino, Frontignac and Muscadelle
Size: 750mL bottle
Winemaker: Wayne Dutschke
Retails Currently: $21.99AUD
This Port has a rich ruby colour to it. It has a hint of complexity and spice on the nose. To taste it is thick, but not like a syrup, with red fruity flavours including cherries and plums. It finishes with a hint of oak. For me the balance, for a lack of a better word is 'perfect!'. This port places itself 'perfectly' between dinner wine and a dessert wine, where the sweetness does not overpower the flavours at all. Without a doubt this has to my favourite port to date.
So please – Join me next time, as we share in "The PORT Experience"
Note: I also found a link (not sure how reliable it is), but it lists grape varieties. I found sometimes it has helped me to understand the flavours of what I am drinking by researching the grapes themselves.