Vino: Fonseca 2000 Late Bottled Vintage Port

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Name: Fonseca 2000 LBV Port
Region: Douro, Portugal
Price: $17.97 to $19.99

Rich and robust with loads of sweet chocolate and cherry; a perfect wine to combat cold winter temperatures or, as is my case, an icky chest cold!

Port is a fortified wine with high alcohol and a nice, sticky sweetness. The name stems from the Portuguese city, Oporto, and the wine can be a blend of 80 approved varieties within the region.

Port comes in a range of styles from Ruby, which is the simplest of the bunch to Tawny (both are blends of years), then Colheita, Late Bottled Vintage, Vintage or Crusted. Late Bottled Vintage, or LBV, are often delicious values. An LBV is a wine from a single vintage year bottled on the fourth or the sixth year after the harvest.

Vintage years are declared only when the weather has agreed to give the land the best possible fruit, distinguishing this year superior to others. LBVs hold the advantage of being released much earlier then their single vintage cousins so are generally much less expensive but still retain the greatness of the declared the vintage.

Fonseca has been making wine since the early 1800’s, they are one of the most formidable and recognizable names in Port winemaking. Their 2000 Late Bottled Vintage is delicious, rich and sweet, exactly what I am looking for in a representative of LBV port.

By nature, port can contain tartrates, which are small organic crystals that are left over remnants of sugar and grapes. These tartrates will not harm you if swallowed. If you plan on serving an entire bottle of port at a dinner party, you would do best to decant it gently leaving the tartrates in the bottom of the wine bottle. Since port is a fortified wine, it will keep for at least two months after opening if it is stored in a cool, dark place.

Serves well with blue cheese, deserts (especially anything with fig), chest colds and winter days.

Stores:PJ Wine $17.97 (4898 Broadway @ 204th St.), Garnet Wines & Liquors $18.99 (929 Lexington Avenue between 68th & 69th Streets), Wine.com $19.99 (online retailer)