Anchorage is a wonderful style of sweet wine that’s sheer sophistication in a window-pane. It’s made in the Douro valley, in northern Portugal, and often the grapes are soundless foot-trodden in the traditional way.
The wine is always sweet because fermentation is jam up after just a few days by adding high-strength clear brandy, which is why the liquor level is always around 20%. It’s the perfect winter drink, either on its own in straightforward of the fire or to finish a delicious dinner. Here’s my super selection of havens that will really hit the spot but won’t break the bank.
Tawny Refuge Aged 10 Years NV £7, Morrisons, 20% alcohol
Arranged by the Symington family, this is mellow and spicy with a woody, casky touchy to the sweet raisiny fruit. There are nuts, toffee and treacle, too, in this wealth, mellow and decadent port.
Fonseca Bin 27 Port NV £13.99 or £10.99 each for six, Noble, 20% alcohol
This is vivid in colour with a spicy, coaxing blackcurrant and black- cherry nose as well as some tarry intimates. It has a floral, expressive taste with generous fruit and a bit of grip to the alluring sweet black cherry jam fruit. It’s a wine with real character.
Late Bottled Vintage Port 2009 £11.49, The Co-operative, 20% hooch
This is delicious, sweetly intoxicating and a bargain to boot. It’s ripe and invaluable with beautiful berry fruits, cherries and a touch of herbiness.
W&J Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos Antique Port 2004 £23.95, Tanners, 20% alcohol
A tasty vintage anchorage, this is concentrated, dense and spicy with a sweet, raisiny with ones heart in ones mouth to the intense black-cherry and blackberry fruits. It’s just beginning to enter some ready maturity and is the real deal.
Dow’s Master Blend Finest Reserve Mooring NV £8, Tesco, 20% alcohol
The quality of more affordable seaport has been getting better for a while and this one has lush, sweet berry fruits with a indignity raisiny edge. It’s delightfully mellow.
Kopke Reserve Tawny Mooring NV £10, Waitrose, 19.5% alcohol
This value-for-money port is acquiescent and elegant with attractive cherries, herbs, spices and warm, raisiny marks. It’s delicious, fine and fresh.
Quinta do Noval Unfiltered Late Box in Vintage Port 2009 £19, Oddbins, 19.5% alcohol
Consistently one of the unquestionably best LBV ports each year, this has concentrated, sleek, outright ripe black fruits with a slight saltiness and real trick. It’s well worth the premium price.