Archive for December, 2010

I read an intriguing review of Cockburn’s special reserve on Stogie Life. I’ve always been a fan of their 20-year old tawny, but still hadn’t tried the special reserve. I picked up a few bottles at the local vintner and headed home for a relaxing evening…

Cockburn’s touts their Special Reserve as follows: “Cockburn’s Special Reserve is the world’s favourite Port and a fitting testament to the blending skills of our winemaker.
Cockburn's Special Reserve
First blended over 40 years ago it offered wine drinkers a new style of Port. Four-fifths of the blend is from youthful wines but the remainder is from more mature wines which give the wine roundness and a seductive, velvety feel.

The overall effect is a vintage character Port, mellow and rounded on the palate with deep autumn fruit flavours.

It is produced from grapes grown in the spectacular higher reaches of the Douro river in northern Portugal. The wine is ready to drink and gentle filtration at the winery ensures that decanting is not necessary.

Special Reserve is in its element served with rich dark chocolate desserts, fruit tarts, berry or nutty puds, and complements most cheeses incredibly well.

After dinner, we settled down to enjoy port and some of my latest acquisitions from igourmet: Royal Blue Stilton, Butlers Blacksticks Blue, and Idiazabal. There are few things that I enjoy as much as wine & cheese; especially port!

Cockburn’s has now been purchased by the Symington family, so I am curious to see where they take the product line.

The Cockburn’s special reserve is a beautiful bottle with a mild nose: fruity, leathery, with a hint of spice. This port is dark in the glass almost purple. It looks like a blend of ruby and tawny (Appropriate, since it is classified as an aged ruby). I loved swirling it around watching the streaks slide down my glass…a hint of pleasures to come.

First sip of this Port is tannic which really enhances the mouth-feel for me. Grape flavor permeates, with hints of strawberry and clove, and a hint of anise. Aftertaste of this Port is medium to long and slightly bitter. As I continued to drink this port and intermix samples of the various cheeses, various flavor nuances manifested themselves. The tannin is extremely pleasant in cleansing the palate between courses. I particularly enjoyed pairing this for the Royal Blue Stilton; they compliment each other well.

This is a good Port, but I don’t think it warrants the ‘Special Reserve’ rating; I still prefer my Graham’s Six Grapes.

Cockburns Special Reserve

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