Cockburn’s have been revolutionary in every step of the port-making business. In 1815, two brothers John and Robert Cockburn, directly bought grapes from the farmers in upriver Douro, bypassing the merchant’s fair. In 1969, with the launch of the Special Reserve, the company successfully planted the previously ignored Touriga Nacional in large numbers. Despite their success, they still use some traditional techniques like aging in oat vats. Their different business approach and an uncompromising attitude towards tradition have helped them achieve success in port making.
The success of Cockburn’s is visible in the ports they make, which includes:
Special Reserve: When it was launched in 1969, the Cockburn’s Special Reserve was the bridge between vintage ports and new ports. The wine is made from grapes from the finest vineyards in Upper Douro and is aged for five years in oak casks before being bottled. The oak aging provides a full-bodied, fruity palate with a distinctive dry finish. The port pairs well with cheese and desserts, especially chocolate and nutty desserts.
Porto Branco: The port comes with a delicate golden crisp, hints of almond and flowery scents. A blend of young wines from the high-altitude vineyards, the Fine White is aged in stainless steel for about 18 months. The port goes well with cured meat and with olives, salted almonds and crisps.
10 Year Old Tawny: As the name suggests, this ten-year-old port is a careful blend of the old and young ports. It has a tawny red color with the aroma of vanilla, caramel and honey. Flavors of dried fruits and notes of almond and walnut give the port a lustrous finish. The port is a delight in itself when consumed alone or paired with sweet pastries like pies.
Late Bottled Vintage 2016: With a deep-colored center and a garnet rim, this port is a sure crowd puller and is meant to be enjoyed with others. Notes of eucalyptus and red fruit give way to flavors of strawberry and red fruit. Fine-grained tannins provide freshness, balance and spiciness to the port. The strong port is paired with solid food like strong cheese and chocolate desserts.
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