Text João Pedro de Carvalho | Translation Jani Dunne
I am once again tirelessly looking for novelty; I see this as a good excuse to carry on doing something I love: wine tasting. On a very recent occasion, amidst busy tables with bottles, somebody asked me if I knew the Blackett brand and its Port wines. I smirked and said I hadn’t heard of it; that smirk snapped into a big smile when a bottle of Porto Blackett 30 Years landed right in front of me. These moments make us feel like a child who just got a new toy – in this case, a proper Tawny.
Before I get more into the wine itself, I should say something about the person behind the wine, George Blackett, who was born in Leeds and settled in the city of Oporto in the 19th century as a Port wine tradesman. His positioning within the sector allowed for a remarkable progression, having made it to the top five biggest tradesmen of that century. His children later expanded on his trade, in the beginning of the 20th century, by linking up with maritime transport, which lead to the Blacket and Magalhães Company. Through time, this company that traded in Port Wine changed its name a few times: from Blackett e Companhia [and company], it was later renamed Blacket Sucessores [successors] until it was merged into a great company after World War II, more specifically in 1949. This name that had been lost in history was rescued by Alchemy Wines, Port Wines & Vineyards Ltd. and, in this case, it reveals a wine that was marked by the power of time, able to survive and to outgrow several generations, just as the purpose of this new company. This 30 year-old Blackett comes from vineyards whose age varies between 40 and 60 years-old; they are in Douro Superior sub-region and result from blending higher-quality wines aged in casks that are on average 30 years-old.
I shall never question the majesty of Porto Vintage, but what I am most charmed by, and that which wins me over the most is a glass of Tawny Port; the older the better. In my view, the soul and essence of Port Wine resides in the Tawny style. The plot is an art mastered by the person who plays the master blender, who is such a genius that he is on first name terms with every old cask siting in the vast cellars. That figure will almost always go unnoticed in the eyes of the consumer, knowing, however, that they can choose between hundreds of the casks he considers to be the best as if he were assembling a jigsaw puzzle; he can create true works of art. In this case, a Tawny 30 Years of beautiful complexity; very refreshing, with amazing clean aromas, tobacco, walnut, crystallised apricot, milk caramel, a hint of hairspray, a silky feeling in an ample, deep blend with a greedy end on the mouth. The way the youth and vigour of the younger wines are combined is all very precise given the complexity and education of the older wines that compose the blend. This type of wine is the perfect reward as it keeps you company at the end of a long day’s work.
Port Wine & Vineyards
Avenida da Boavista, nº2121 – 4º Sala 405