Woody, fruity and mellow: Our pick of the best ports


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. 

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