Jodar Late-Bottled (non-vintage) Port

El Dorado, CA; 19% ABV
$8 at the Richmond, CA, store on 28 Dec

Jodar_ElDorado_PortThis Port-style wine from the Sierra Foothills seemed like a promising Grocery Outlet find, and indeed, it’s delicious.

Similarly to the Woodbridge 2001 Portacinco, this wine is apparently made from traditional Portuguese varietal grapes (Jodar Winery’s Black Bear port is likely made from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cao, and Touriga Francesa) in a way that reflects the local terroir, and also only fully revealed itself on its third night open.  The first two nights were pretty good, but tonight it’s especially good.

The wine tastes in equal measure of purple grape, ripe / dried red cherries / strawberries / raspberries, and tangy brown earth, with abundant complexities of raisin and aromatic spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, slight black pepper).  Darrel commented: “Tried the port and does drink without much burn for 19% alc. The rim had orange and did have age in smell and flavor. The only complaint is the oak extraction which there shouldn’t be if emulating the Portuguese wines. The oak is in the nose and flavor. The Woodbridge might be more to the liking for a traditional port drinker even for $2 more.”  The wine does have that woody component, nicely integrated IMO, but I admit I don’t know much about Port, so take my opinion as you see fit.


4 thoughts on “Jodar Late-Bottled (non-vintage) Port

  1. Darrell

    BW, I don’t think you need to worry about the agebility of the Jodar. It is priced appropriately at $8. Just had some Indian Peaks fortified dessert wine at $6 and the Portocinco at $10 is my preference due it being more Porto-like. The Indian Peaks was a much simpler wine than the other two. Will be interesting to see how the Jodar ages out the oak some years later, if you can wait that long.

  2. BargainWhine Post author

    So.. port hounds out there! I liked this enough to get a couple more bottles, and am nearing the bottom of my second bottle, have one left. But my question is, should I get more? After being open for several days, this wine is now very dark and rich and nicely complex. (I recakk some sediment at the bottom of the first bottle.) When a regular wine is like this, I conclude it’s at perfect maturity and should be drunk up before it starts going over the hill. But what about port? Does it improve or get worse after this sort of phase? Will it get less fruity but more smooth and elegant? Thanks for your opinions.

    1. flitcraft

      It really depends on how the port is made, and which style of port it’s emulating. Take the Woodbridge Portacinco, for example. We’ve been drinking the 2000 and 2001, and I’d say there’s no extreme hurry on them, but they show no signs of developing the kind of secondary mature flavors typical of well aged vintage port. So, once the fruit dries up, they’re probably done.

      It would be nice to know how old the Jodar is, and as important perhaps, how long it was aged before being bottled. Unfiltered late bottled vintage port from Portugal is rather like a ‘baby’ vintage port in that it does develop secondary mature flavors, albeit more quickly and with a shorter life span than classic vintage port. The fact that the Jodar has some oak suggests that it was likely originally aged in barrel rather than the enormous ancient oak casks in which traditional LBVs would spend their first years. (And because the casks are so old and so large, they leach practically no oak flavor into the wine but do permit very slight and controlled oxidization via the wood’s pores; hence Darrell’s comment that real Port has no oak taste.)

      At this price, though, what have you got to lose? If you have cellar room, stash a few away and see how they do. Just in the interests of science, of course…

      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I also had a bottle of the 2001 Portacinco. It also became very darkly fruity, but in my recollection at least, it was not as complex and structured as the Jodar. So, yes, I guess I should put away a few just out of curiosity.


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