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The Port Bursary Examination 2010

1. Describe the location of the Douro Valley.
Douro Valley is only one delimited area of Port. Valley is
located in north part of Portugal and is situating along the
river Douro. The river rises in Spain and flow more or less
east/west across of Northern provinces of Portugal reaching
the Atlantic Ocean at the town Oporto. Valley is surrounded
by the Marao and Montermero mountains, from north by Tres-
os-Monres region, in the west by Minho and Oporto and in the
east by the Spanish regions of Castile and Leon. The Valley
Douro is divided in three sub regions: Baixo Cargo in the
west, Cima Cargo in the centre and Douro Superior in the
east.
2. Describe the climate of the Douro Valley.
Separated from the sea by the Mareo mountains and
protected from rain and wind from the Atlantic Ocean the
Douro valley has a climate of barking dry and hot summers
and the winters mild and wet, becoming more continental in
upper Douro Valley, where the summers are extremely hot
and winters can be very cold. Douro Valley is divided
administratively into three sub regions, which differ in
climatic conditions. Baixo Corgo is the coldest and wettest
from all parts of the Douro Valley. Here produces a lighter,
fresher style of port, rarely superior, mainly ruby and tawny.
Cima Corgo is hotter and drier, where you can find the most
famous vineyards in the region, which produces colheitas,
Late Bottled Vintage and Vintage Port. Douro Superior, the
most continental, the eastern part of the Douro Valley, here
are scarce rainfall and the highest temperatures. Hence
comes just 5 percent of port overall production, but the best.
3. Name three Principal Grapes Varieties used in the Port blend.
Varieties of grapes are grown in the Douro Valley region,
most of them local Portuguese grapes. The six most widely used
grapes for red port wine are Touriga Francesa, Touriga
National, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Barroca, Tinta Cao and Tinta
Amarela but all of them are cultivated or blended in different
proportions in different Quintas. Where first three are most used
in production and there are very good black grapes, those has
tiny berries and produces pitch-black wine with intense aromatic
properties.
TOURIGA NACIONAL
Small, blue-black berries the wine produced is very dark and
concentrated, with a powerful and rich berry aroma.

TOURIGA FRANCESA
Wine is slightly lighter in colour and weight a very fine and
intense perfume to the final blend.

TINTA RORIZ
It is not a Portuguese native grapes wine is tough and masculine
in its character, bring a firm tannic structure to the final blend of
port, have a distinctive ‘resiny’ nose.

4. What type of soil is most commonly found in the Douro Valley?

Sail of the Douro Valley is very stony and is made up of a
flaky ochre-coloured rock called schist with a bit of granite here
and there. This soil is rich in nutrients but is free draining obliging
the vine to sink its roots deep into soil and down through fissures
in the bed rock in search of water. Some of the hard Douro soil on
the steep terraces often requires blasting to enable planting.
5. What type of maceration does the Fladgate Partnership prefer
to use for their Vintage Ports?
For maceration vintage port the Fladgate Partnership are
prefer to use old fashion style start in concrete or granite tanks or
tube with capacity up to 8 tons call lagar. The reason is extraction
not of the juice but of the colour and tannin from the skins. A
good tread results in a deeply-coloured as the tradition of three
distinct stages of treading:

-First, during the maceration the treaders line up across the larger
in three or four rows, shoulder to shoulder and march on the spot
to the monotonous rhythm of the foreman shouting one, two or
left, right. Each time the lines will move one step forward or back
to smash another line of the mash. This change of position results
in a new set of grapes being broken up. They are noticeably more
solid and considerably colder.

-Second, when all the treaders dance inside the lagar in party
mood to stirs up all this grapes that were missed in the cut and
feet squeezing the grapes on the bottom of the lagar and
particularly around the corners where the grape mass is still
quite solid and it is still extracting colour and tannin during two
hours of dance. The dance stops at midnight and grapes or what
left of them are rested for 8-10 hours to start fermenting.

-Third, the following morning the skins have usually floated to the
surface. There should be no whole grapes left, just a mash of
broken up skins and juice. As the fermentation progresses a cap
will form more like a crust given the size and shape of it. This will
be submerged over the next day or so by men with special
punching-down poles that look like deformed telegraph poles
called monkeys or macacos, the process is constantly to allow
juice and air circle around cup skin until the correct colour and
sugar levels are reached, and the fermentation begins. All process
proximately takes 3-3.5 days. The extraction of flavours, aromas
and tannins is much batter then maceration in the developed vats
because of shortage of labour.
6. What is a lagar?
Lagar is the fermentation vessel, traditional shallow stone
granite treading tank, allowing the reintroduction of foot treading,
still unsurpassed as a method of extraction a special for vintage
port. The lagar is proximately size 3m by 4m which can capacity
between 7.5 tons to 8 tons of grapes or approximately 7.500 liters
of extracts. The gentle smashed grapes by bare foots of treaders,
will not break the pips in the grapes, which could release very
bitter flavours into the wine.
7. Give a classic tasting note for the following styles of Port.
a. Pink Port:
Nice light cherry colour with good aromatic mix berries smell,
chill raspberry sour flavour with crisp light finish. Fresh and
vibrant, with a unique appeal, a subtle of hint tannin and
surge of alcohol on weight reminds so it`s a port not pink
wine. Very attractive bottle all of this make perfect appetitive
drink.
b. Twenty Year Old Tawny Port:
Brownie amber colour, peppery nose and palate with caramel
intensity to finish, a rich palette with good long of fruity,
plumy-oak perfect taste.
c. Late Bottled Vintage Port:
Dark ruby colour, and firm cherry and blackcurrant sense, full
body and texture with fresh fruit and prune flavours.
8. Describe the aging process of a Vintage Port.
Vintage ports are aged in barrels for a maximum of two and a
half years before bottling, and generally require another ten
to thirty years of aging in the bottle before reaching what is
considered a proper drinking age. Since they are aged in
barrels for only a short time, they retain their dark ruby colour
and fresh fruit flavours. Particularly fine vintage ports can
continue to gain complexity and drink wonderfully for many
decades after they were bottled. It is not unknown for century
old bottles to still be in perfect condition for consumption.
9. Describe the aging process of 10 year Old Tawny Port.
Ten Year Old Tawny Port is aged in wooden barrels, exposing
it to gradual oxidation and evaporation call- angel share. As a
result, it gradually mellow to a golden-brown colour. It is basic
bland of wood aged ports that has spent average 10 years in
barrels - oak cask of 630 liters capacity, then it is bottled, is ready
to drink, and does not require any further ageing in bottle.
10. What is used to fortify Port made by the Fladgate Partnership?
Fortification created Port. Traders added brandy to fortify
wine against the rough voyage to England through Atlantic
Ocean. Pure grape spirit call aquardente was added during
fermentation where unfermented sugars will cause wine sweeter
and together with brandy keep alcohol level around 20 %.
Fladgate Partnership is using the finest pure grape spirit and
organic pure grape spirit from selected blocks Quinta do Panascal
for organic ports.
11. Which styles of Port should you decant? Describe the
decanting process.
Decanting is necessary with Port wines that age in bottles
versus those that age in wooden casks. Bottle-aged Ports include
Crusted Port, Unfiltered Late Bottled Vintage Port (LBV) and of
course, Vintage Port (VP). The "crust" or sediment that forms
inside of the bottle is nothing more than the dead yeast cells and
in the case of Vintage Port - particulate matter from grape skins,
seeds and stems. They are not in any way harmful but neither are
they pleasant to drink. But there is more to decanting than just
the removal of sediment. The other reason for decanting a
Vintage Port is to provide it the time to “flesh out” by allowing it
to come in contact with oxygen. A great VP may age well for 20
-100 years and on rare occasions even longer. When the bottle is
opened, these VPs need time to blossom and aerate.
Before start decanting, we stand up the bottle of Port for a
day or three, this allows the sediment to fall to the bottom of
the bottle. First we need is a clean decanter and give a quick
rinse with warm water, followed by cold water and best to
shake out all the excess beads of water. All we need more is a
room with good lighting and a steady hand. The trick is
pouring by hand into a decanter in one steady stream to
prevent the “wave effect” disturbing the dregs while pouring.
Stop pouring when the sediment reaches the bottle’s neck.
After when you finish decanting you can pour port back to the
washed bottle or carafe. Please pay attention to the date of
bottling port because older ports requite less decanting time
and usually the brackets for port are 1-12 hours before
serving. Now the port is ready to serve.
Ports are not reacts the same, but here are some specific
improvements that can be achieved by extending the
decanting time of Vintage Ports like: darker color, density,
mouth feel, softener, aromatic, integration, and flavour.
12. When and how would you suggest serving a Tawny Port?
Tawny Port I will suggest to drink after main course instead
of pudding or with same almond tart, tart tatting or chocolate
pudding and it`s common to go good with blue-veined cheese or
hard cheese Cheddar, or just with cigar what will give both
improvement of the taste.
The port should be served slightly chilled in generously
proportioned wine glass so you can enjoy good nose and full
mouth of port.
13. What is your ideal food pair with the following styles?
Ten Years Old Tawny Port as a delicious dessert wine, and
combines particularly well with flavours of almonds, berry
fruit or dark chocolate puddings or blue veined cheeses, my
suggestion is same firm and creamy cheeses, which will make
the port taste creamer and the cheese more caramelized.
Bottled Late Vintage Port the perfect port to accompany chocolate
desserts, and blue cheeses such as Stilton or Roquefort. I
loved it with warm apple crumble or apple strudel with
custard.
Vintage Port - recommended with mature, strong hard cheese
such Cheddar or bowl of nuts and dry fruits and I am thinking
it will go well with nice aromatic smoke from pipe.