Then there is the relatively new category of tawny reserve, created for wines that have spent at least seven years in wood. It represents the epitome of balance and poise, combining the primacy of fine Douro fruit with the secondary complexity that comes from ageing in cask. Twelve great wineries to visit in The apogee, to my mind, is year-old. The tasting and blending of tawny port is a continuous process, the aim being to produce a wine that not only conforms to the house style but is consistent over time. The aromas are some of the most seductive of any wine, with dried fruit apricots, figs and a touch of sultana and toasted almonds and brazil nuts. The wine should lift itself in the glass but without the noticeable volatile component vinagrinho which is often found in a or year-old. Provided the wine has been well nurtured, a certain amount of bake can be a positive characteristic in a mature tawny.
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