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Ports and table wines of Rozès

by Tom Cannavan, 07/08

These notes accompany our in-depth profile and visit to the Rozès vineyards.

table wines

Rozès Grand Reserve Branco 2006
Reserve white, partially barrel-aged. Big marzipanny nose, with plenty of butter. Oak certainly dominating. The palate has power and a nice, dry, walnutty quality, with good acidity, but quite dry and pithy, perhaps lacking a bit of verve and crunch. Mostly made from Malvasia Fina. 85/100

Terre de Grifo Grand Reserve Branco 2007
Much more aromatic, with fresher, orangy, tang, though still plenty of fruit. There is oak too, with a nutty, vanillin background. The fruit just has that extra dimension of vibrancy. 50% Viosinho plus Malvasia and a little Verdelho. 87/100.

Quinta do Grifo Grande Reserve 2006
Served at a nicely chilled temperature, there is an aniseedy, lightly marzipanny quality. The palate bursts into life with tight, fresh, racy black fruit with black cherry and a touch of background smokiness, and a lovely edge of racy, liquorice and cherry skin crispness. Made from Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Sousão. 87/100.

Quinta do Grifo Grande Reserve 2007
Barrel sample of a Sousão-dominant blend. Fantastically deep, meaty, smoky nose with plenty of rich, full cherry and plum fruit. Nice notes of smokiness and grilled meats. Palate has plenty of sweetness and robust, chunky tannins. Sells for around 16 Euros approximately. 88/100.

Rozès Rosé 2007
80% Touriga Nacional, 20% Touriga Franca . Lovely, light, crisp, fragrant rose-hip and raspberry rose. Dry, fresh and curranty, retaining plenty of crisp acidity and lemony bite. Lovely food rose. 86/100.

Rozès Malvasia Fino 2007
Air-dried, late-harvest Malvasia, aged in Acacia barrels. Lots of delicate honey on the nose, with lemon and just a hint of something oatmeally. On the palate, delightful, jasmine tea flavours with beautifully sweet, tangerine and fragrant, light nectarine flavours. Lovely acidity, with a shimmering lemon core and good length. 89/100.

Vintage Port wines

The UK agent for Rozès' Port wines is Justerini & Brooks.

Rozès Vintage Port 2007
Barrel sample. Lovely silky, pure black fruit quality with a fine, floral character too. Palate has real intensity and richness, with very fine, concentrated red fruits. Good chocolaty depth to the tannins and very good balancing acidity. Good balance and length. Will have to see if Port Wine Institute approves, but Rozès would like to declare as a vintage, but very fine potential. 92/100 potentially.

Rozès Vintage Port 2006
Barrel sample. This vintage already approved by PWI. Real fleshy, meaty, plumy, but lacks the charm of the 2007 sample, with less of the florality, but plenty of chocolaty, rich fruit. Nice balance on the palate, and has lovely sweetness, but just lacks that precision and length. Decision still to be taken, but possibly not to be released as a vintage. 89/100.

Rozès Vintage Port 2005
Tight, fleshy, nicely muscular and dense, with nice little glimpses of kirsch and baked plum pie. The little floral notes come through, and the palate has silky red fruits, with very good, smooth tannins and a good weight and texture that is very harmonious. Juicy. 91/100.
  

Rozès Vintage Port 2003
Immediately appealing, with really rich, meat stock and grilled aromas, then the plum and quite complex herbal and cherry fruit. The palate is delightful, with really robust, sweet fruit. Lovely fleshy density, with a blue/black quality to the fruit and very nice chocolate and liquorice notes to the tannin structure. Lovely depth, balance and length. 94/100.

Rozès Vintage Port 1999
Schisty and herbal nose, with a keen black berry fruit character. Nice crisp, crunchy character. Palate has a big, fairly straightforward juicy cherry skin fruity acidity and lots of blueberry and silky cassis-like black fruit. Fine, though lacks a little complexity. 90/100.

Rozès Vintage Port 1987
Quite leafy and vegetal aromas, with a touch of mouldy character. Beneath there is brown sugar and cocoa richness and sweetness. On the palate it is quite fresh and bright, with a cherry fruit and nice bittersweet chocolate and liquorice notes and fine tannins. That tiny vegetal note persists and detracts slightly. 87/100.

Rozès Vintage Port Quinta do Grifo 2003
About 70% Touriga Nacional, made totally in Lagars, and only 5,000 bottles produced. Nose is very tight and densely muscular, with deep-set spices and dark berry fruit. Beautiful fruit on the palate - fantastic dense, sweet, ripe plum and cherry, but with a great chocolaty, cocoa-dusted core. The tannins are very sweet and ripe, and the thick, rich texture is mouth-filling. Fine length and massive concentration, with tingling spice and acidity, and definitely one for the long haul. 94/100.

Rozès Late Bottled Vintage 2003
LBV is always unfiltered since 2000. Needs some aeration, but nose begins to open very slowly, showing some bright, kirsch-like fruit and a background of herbs and tarry notes. The palate comes through with sweet, full fruit, and a delicious bright, creamy, cherry and raspberry quality. Bold and tangy, with plenty of spicy length and fruit. 89/100.

Rozès Late Bottled Vintage 2000
Really rich, vanilla and almond nuttiness to the nose, with a really plush depth of fruit. Vinous and ripe, and onto the palate has a lovely sense of harmony and completeness. Currants and raisins, and that brightness of raspberry, with a slick of black chocolate adding silky depth. Delicious stuff this, that is drinking beautifully. 91/100.

Colours Collection and other Ports

The next three wines are of an innovative range, aimed at enticing younger drinkers to try and hopefully enjoy, quality Ports in decidedly different packaging.

Whilst I have reservations about this packaging, General Manager Antonio Saraiva says it is proving very popular, and that some people are pouring wines like the "Red" over ice. The wines are very good - and the "Gold" is a fairly serious 10-Year-Old tawny, so if the packaging can lure a new generation of Port fans, who am I to argue?
  

Rozès “Red” Port
A Ruby Reserve includes large proportion of declassified vintage and LBV, and Antonio stresses a premium product. Quite leafy and herbal at first, with raspberry fruit coming through - becomes very creamy, with good red fruits. The palate has a lovely richness and creaminess, with less complexity, and slightly more alcohol. 86/100.

Rozès “White” Port Tawny colour that starts life as a white Port, with minimum of 7 or 8 years in oak. Lovely orange and nutty notes, with a lemony quality coming through. Palate has some mellow, smooth, vanilla and nutty flavours, but the fruit is still quite sweet and ripe, with a lemony acidity coming through. Very nice balance between crispness of an aperitif white Port and a nutty tawny. 87/100.

Rozès “Gold” 10-Year-Old Tawny Port
Lovely rich, ripe, very alluring depth of marmalade and nutty aromas. Very fine notes of leaf tea, toffee and creamy red berries. The palate has that raisined, Moscatel grape and sultana richness, with a big chocolaty background that is smooth and full, and has lovely persistence. The lemony acidity melds nicely with the vanilla and nutty spices, in a very nice Port. 89/100.

Rozès Special Reserve Tawny
Much darker, old varnish colour than the "White", with again 8 years or so of age. Some volatile notes, and sweetly vegetal fruit, with nutty and herbal aromas and a palate that has lovely mouth-filling plum flesh fruit and plenty of acidity and tannin giving real bite. The sweetness persists. 88/100.

Rozès Infanta Isabel 10-Year-Old Tawny
Older, more varnish and nutty aromatics, with more raisin and walnut than the orangy tang of the colour collection 10-year-old. Very nice fruit on the palate, with good sweetness and a much more mellow vanilla and spice character. Lovely length and balance of acidity. 90/100.

These notes accompany our in-depth profile and visit to the Rozès vineyards.