The collected wine-tastings & wine-ramblings of one who prefers to describe wines with metaphors, not percentages

Churchill’s 20 Years Old Tawny Port Review

Looking up at a bottle of Churchill's Port. The label's typography is minimal and elegant

Doesn’t port make you think of big old chaps with gouty feet and snuff-reddened noses?

(Especially when the stuff’s made by an outfit called Churchill’s, for god’s sake.)

Well. Well. Cast aside your old bloke. Kick away his walking stick, crush his pipe and torch his slippers. Because this port is as sprightly as fuck.

In the front of your mouth, there’s a huge burst of bright, sweet, ruby cherry. It glitters. Hell, it’s practically spangly. If this is a codger, it’s a codger on ketamine.

But don’t dismiss it as all spangle; wait a couple of seconds as it sinks and spreads in your mouth like butter. Yum, sweet butter. Toasted butter, nutty butter. Macadamia, almond. Cream.

The box in which my bottle of Churchill's Tawny Port came. A rare example of modern, tasteful wine packaging. The box features striking, high-contrast black and white aerial photography of vineyards to create a brilliant patchwork of texturesAnd before I plough on into the ‘Verdict’ section, may I take a moment to commend the packaging? As you can see above, the label is a model of elegant, typographic minimalism (a few lovely details, such as the apostrophe of Churchill’s). And the whole thing came in a very nicely designed box, left. Beautifully conceived and executed, in my opinion, managing to be both modern and tasteful. Don’t you think?

Verdict

So, yes, as I was saying, allow this port to spread and bloom in your mouth: it’s very long-lived (the only respect in which it could be said to be codgerly). It’s also invigorating and vibrant — yet elegant and poised.

Which makes it the freshest, liveliest, most three dimensional port I’ve had in a good long while.

And if you don’t like the idea of being surprised by port, perhaps it’s you who’s getting a bit doddery.

Rating ★★★★ (4 stars)
ABV 19.5%
Price £24.99 from Oddbins

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