The Charbay White Port Story…
A long time ago… we were offered irresistible Late Picked Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Not 'late harvest'(as with botrytis for Sauternes), these were 'late picked'. They were fermented together slowly with the plan of making a rare white Port.
Miles chose which of our barrel aged Alambic pot still brandies to add to the young fermenting wine to arrest the fermentation. Toasty oak flavors of the brandy began mingling with the sweet young wine, a blend of Chardonnay & sauvignon Blanc. The fermentation stopped, 'arrested,' and the young port was now held at 18.9% Alcohol.
This was the beginning of the Charbay White Port. It was bottled and set aside. In fact, Miles declared that it would not be sold because Americans weren't interested in White Port. That's Miles, crafting products as an artist!
Time passed. The wine business evolved. More people traveled to Portugal where they experienced rare white ports. Then one day Miles came into the office with a snifter of amber colored viscous liquid…"Taste this," he said.
It's hard to describe what we tasted but the complexity that in the Port was a result of all these flavors being woven together through the years of bottle aging into something of a new dimension. What we tasted: smooth, mouth-filling, soft flavors of elegance with a balanced sweetness that whirls around mellow, toasty tones. The amber color reminds you that these were white grapes, not the traditional red grapes that such richness usually comes from. It was complex, almost nutty. Balanced (very important) with a soft velvety sensation.
So we told Miles the world was indeed ready for this white port. It was released and we sold out.
Now, years later again, we had a surprise up in the office. "Taste this," he said. Miles had secretly put some back into the Library to see if could evolve further. He's excited - and so it goes!
Miles & Marko chose to rebottle it as the French often do with their aged wines. We printed new labels and now, trust us - no more hidiing places - this really is the last of this batch. Mature, velvety, viscous, elegant and rich – it is a rare treat, again.
Serving Suggestions: This is a course in itself. Often enjoyed after dinner by itself or with, ripe blue veined cheese, Cambazola, for example. Serve about 2 oz. in a port glass. Pass a bowl of freshly roasted walnuts, hazel nuts or serve with a nut torte or cheesecake. Or enjoy with a cigar – it's ready for all the above. When you feel like sipping a classic, think about Charbay White Port.
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