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Mamba
11-19-2008, 12:28
Although I collect more whiskey than any other beverage, I have a longstanding love with port as well. 10 & 20 year tawnies were my first exposure to port and I fell for it immediately. I used to go through a bottle of 10-year every week until I decided it was ridiculous to be spending over $100/month on port at the age of 21. Fast forward a few years and I still buy port occasionally, usually Blake Whiskers 8-year tawny from Australia. It runs about $13 around here and is "almost" as good as the 10-year tawnies from Portugal that cost $30.

Talking with a friend recently, he suggested I try some madeira too. Something like Blandy's would only run about $20 and might also fix my sweet tooth when I'm hankering.

I've enjoyed most dessert wines that I've tried. Looking for more recommendations in the sub-$30 range. Anyone got a favorite?

spun_cookie
11-19-2008, 13:23
V. Sattui in Napa has a fun Madera. There are a lot of good ports in the $30 range.

Take a trip to Eldorado county north east of Sacramento and you will find a few. They are also speckled around Napa and Sanoma. Full Moon makes a decent Port for $20 and I think you can get it outside CA.

Damon
11-19-2008, 14:30
There are some tremendous dessert wine values from Australia.

Yalumba REseve Tawny goes for about $20 and Robert Parker scored it a 97

Yalumba Museum Reserve Muscat- same score & price

Campbell's Tokay Rutherglen is also very good- same price range

Also- from France and available at Costco I've gotten some really good Sauternes for under $25 that you should really try.

Sijan
11-19-2008, 15:36
Dessert wine is a great area for values because they're just not very popular.

I think most LBVs are a great value. Many can be found right around the $20 price point. I like Taylor's LBVs, among others. Get the 2000 Taylor LBV if you can find it.

I like Whiskers Blake quite a bit. Another good, similarly priced Aussie port is the Benjamin Tawny. The Old Jonesy is another good tawny value. Both are usually under $15 and I think I see the Old Jonesy for $10ish sometimes. I've also enjoyed the de Bortoli 8 year old, but don't remember the price - probably closer to $15-20.

Costco sells actual 10 year tawny port for about $17. It has a Kirkland label but is made by Fonseca. They also sometimes have a 20 yr Graham's and a few other non-Kirkland ports at good prices.

Sherries are some of the best values on the planet (again, because few drink them), and many are sweet - look for Sweet Olorosos or Cream Sherries or Pedro Ximenez. A great value is the Osborne Pedro Ximenez 1827 for about $15-20/bottle. I think it got a 94 pt score from some prominent reviewer (forget which one now). Osborne's cream sherry is good too. Alvear and Emilio Hidalgo and Emilio Lustau all also make very good cream sherries and PX for just a bit more than Osborne.

The Yalumba Muscats and Tokays that Damon references above are also a great value with outrageously high scores.

One can occasionally find some good bargains on Sauternes. I think my best find was half bottles of 2001 Chateau Filhot for $15. And for awhile (maybe still?) you could get a full bottle of Suduiraut's second wine, the 2001 Castelnau de Suduiraut for under $30. I just got an email from a local merchant offering half bottles of the 97-pt 2005 Chateau Guiraud (#4 WS WOTY) for $35.

Dramiel McHinson
11-19-2008, 20:30
I've enjoyed most dessert wines that I've tried. Looking for more recommendations in the sub-$30 range. Anyone got a favorite?

Sandeman Ports are good and usually inexpensive unless you go to a 20 year old or older. Fonseca ports are also good and very affordable.

If you're looking to drink a lot of port for a little money then Taylor ports will fit that bill.

Other desert wines that are very good and usually much less than $30 are German Beeren Auslese wines or the sweeter eiswein.

Here are a few wines by varietal, style, or vintner that I find are generally sweet and usually very good,

Gewurztraminer
Beeren Auslese
Muscat
Muenzenrieder Gruner Veltliner
Baywood Cellars Port
Harvey's Bristol Cream sherry (I've had bottles of this that were very sweet while others were less so.)
Cockburn's port
Dela Force port
Don Pablo port
Dow's port
Barthelemy ports
Taylor Fladgate ports
V. Sattui (more expensive but highly recommended) www.vsattui.com (http://www.vsattui.com)

There are many more, some are very expensive but price never indicates the quality of taste especially since taste impression varies from one person to the next. I find the California ports are usually well done. Just about any German dessert wine is going to be delicious and of course the masters in portugal always have something you can like.

Prost Doch Mal

Dramiel McHinson
11-19-2008, 20:33
V. Sattui in Napa has a fun Madera. There are a lot of good ports in the $30 range.

You are obviously a man of masterful taste. V. Sattui always has something you can like very much. I enjoy their 1999 Vintage Port and the Madiera is a very pleasant glass.

boss302
11-20-2008, 00:46
When it comes to bang for the buck, Madeira is a very attractive option. The four primary varietals are Malmsey, Bual, Verdelho, and Sercial, in order of richest to driest.

You can get a good 5-year madeira for less than 20 bucks, and its taste rivals the maturity of a 10-year tawny port.

The 10-year and 15-year releases are also surprisingly-affordable, as are even Vintage Madeiras many decades old!

spun_cookie
11-20-2008, 07:30
You are obviously a man of masterful taste. V. Sattui always has something you can like very much. I enjoy their 1999 Vintage Port and the Madiera is a very pleasant glass.

THe self proclaimed "Friendliest Winery in the World" and I have yet to find a winery that tops them in that area... You have to love a place that will give you 12+ tastings, talk all day with you and not charge a cent...

Their deli is very good as well. We always time them for around noon.

TomH
11-20-2008, 17:08
My favorite value port is Fonseca Bin 27. I think I paid around $15 a bottle at Costco the last time I bought some.

Tom

Mamba
11-21-2008, 13:01
Thanks for everyone's suggestions, they've been very helpful. Yesterday I picked up a bottle of Blandy's 5-year Malmsey for $22 and Benjamin's Tawny for $13. Next I'll try a few older madeira's and a couple sherries as well. It's hard work but somebody's gotta do it

smokinjoe
11-21-2008, 13:38
I certainly don't have a lot of knowledge and expertise on these, but I have had a couple of bottles of the Whiskers Blake, that I enjoyed the heck out of. :yum:

Jono
11-21-2008, 13:43
I have mentioned before that I enjoy Galway Pipe - a nice port from Australia too....good holiday wine with pumpkin pie etc. I have not tried Blake Whiskers.

Dramiel McHinson
11-22-2008, 11:20
I have mentioned before that I enjoy Galway Pipe - a nice port from Australia too....good holiday wine with pumpkin pie etc. I have not tried Blake Whiskers.

Dang! I gotta stop coming here. That sounds to good to pass up. I was reading in another thread about having a bourbon and snacking on apple jacks cereal. That sounded really good and now this. Well...I guess its bourbon and cereal early and Port with pie for dinner. Any suggestions for lunch?

Jono
11-23-2008, 07:26
On weekends....I associate beer with lunch (if I am drinking)...I rarely have whiskey of any type during daylight hours...it just works out that way -not a rule by any means...wine is consumed too depending on the event...usually a more formal lunch.

Beer goes with various sandwiches, pizza, Mexican, chili / soups, Chinese etc.
Hungry yet?

Damon
12-01-2008, 17:42
I was in Costco today and saw that they had a Sauternes for $17. I got it and tried it and can highly recommend it at this price. Balanced layers of complexity and flavors at a bargain price.

Tennessee Dave
12-02-2008, 09:14
There are some tremendous dessert wine values from Australia.

Yalumba REseve Tawny goes for about $20 and Robert Parker scored it a 97

Yalumba Museum Reserve Muscat- same score & price

Campbell's Tokay Rutherglen is also very good- same price range

Also- from France and available at Costco I've gotten some really good Sauternes for under $25 that you should really try.


Australia is offering some of the best PVR dessert wines around. Great price and great product. Don't miss out.

mier
01-21-2009, 00:57
Mamba if you try Madeira make sure you try a colheita,also i can recommend you Malaga,i think that you`ll like that too.I`m really schocked you pay US$ 30 or more for a 10 yrs old tawny,almost triple of the price we`re paying here.Besides shippingcosts etc. looks like a lot of money is made with the stuff.Is portwine populair in the States?

Eric.

MJL
01-26-2009, 17:32
I like the Auslesee and Spatlesse out of Germany. These are types of wines that are fruity and sweet; best served chiled cold with cheese, nuts and fruit.

Stones
01-27-2009, 19:30
I too have a soft spot for ports and desert wines but i stumbled upon this spanish sherry that should be classed as a port as it is incredibly viscous and pronounces the most incredible aromas - Vincola Hidalgo Napoleon Old Pedro Ximenez... :yum:

Jono
01-27-2009, 20:17
The absolutely most memorable and joyous wine experience ever was drinking some DeLoach Gewurztraminer Russian River Valley Late Harvest....wonderful, heavenly...like it came from honeyed streams of gold. You may not be able to find it easily outside of CA (shipping?)...my brother in-law and sister in-law had it and brought some back for me. Of course the company and gorgeous sunset helped the memory...but the wine is delicious.

I believe my first was from 2000 and I have a 2001.

http://www.winelog.net/wines/wine/35327/deloach-vineyards-gewurztraminer-late-harvest-russian-river-valley-2000

"Our 2001 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer is a light golden color with aromas of apricot nectar, peach and hints of pineapple. Flavors of apricot, tropical fruit, rich honey and citrus zest follow through to the finish. This is a clean, crisp wine with the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity."

Late harvest Gewurztraminer's and Eiswein / Ice Wine's etc. are delicious treats.

texascarl
04-27-2009, 16:38
Many of my faves have already been mentioned. Here are a few others you might want to watch for:

Quady 'Starboard' - http://tinyurl.com/d4ufcy
IMO a heckuva nice US dessert wine, named Starboard when the European market objected to Quady calling it Port. Their 88 is usually what I buy.

Hogue Late Harvest Riesling

http://tinyurl.com/cqjkff

Late Harvest is roughly the same as a Spatlese (depending on who's making it) Hogue LH is an excellent value - I buy it at Costco and it's a good 2nd bottle to open w/a cheese plate. I've also poached pears in this and had good results, or splashed the last part of a bottle over a fruit salad. FWIW I liked it better several years ago before ownership changed, but then again...I liked ME a lot better back then as well.

OZ tawny ports have been mentioned, another contender is the Penfolds Club tawny, and their Club Reserve tawny...both are good bargains, the reserve is well worth the extra $. Their Grandfather tawny is great, but frankly priced out of my league. Get the very tasty Club Reserve and spend the money you save on bourbon.

Niepoort LBV and tawny when I find a sale.

Let me also mention...Missouri dessert wines. They can't grow very many of the classic wine grapes in MO but they can grow some excellent hybrids. Those hybrid grapes may never push the classics off the shelf when making dry wine, but they CAN make some top notch dessert wines. Doug Frost, a KC wine writer I respect, has said that Missouri dessert wines are some of the best he's ever tasted anywhere. Augusta's Vintage Port is a personal fave, Stone Hill Late Harvest Vignoles another. So give them an honest try if you get the chance, you'll probably be surprised. They seldom beat the Aussies or Hogue Late Harvest for value, but if you're passing thru the area keep them in mind.

http://tinyurl.com/czkm8r

texascarl
04-27-2009, 20:00
Forgot to link to Penfold's Club and Club Reserve, above:

http://tinyurl.com/dhkzov