There are few more iconic images in the world of wine than the ‘Don’, the logo created for the Sandeman family in 1928 by George Massiot Brown. The cape was modelled on the attire worn by university students in Porto, while the wide-brimmed hat was a nod to the family’s presence in Jerez. Today, the wines are good enough to be every bit as famous as the image of the Don. Since Sogrape bought Sandeman in 2002, the major improvements and investment that have taken place in the vineyards and the winemaking has seen the wines rise to the top of the tree in Port. The production of Port – especially Tawny – requires patience and a long-term vision, something which explains why families like the Guedes are among the major players in the Port business today.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were destemmed and gently crushed. Fermentation took place in granite lagares with vigorous treading to extract optimum levels of colour, flavour and tannin before fortification. The ferment was closely monitored to determine the ideal moment to halt the fermentation by fortifying with grape spirit, leaving some of the grapes’ natural sugars. The wines remained in the Douro until the spring following the harvest when they were transported downstream to the historic Sandeman cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia for oxidative ageing in oak barrels. The 30-Year-Old Tawny is a carefully crafted blend of wines between 25 to 40 years of age.
This has a rich tawny colour with amber hints. The 30-Year Old Tawny boasts a hugely complex nose with intense aromas of honey, spices, dried apricots, hazelnuts and vanilla. On the palate, the sweetness is perfectly balanced by a linear acidity which carries the complex flavours onto the exceptionally long finish. A great match for cheese AND pudding.