Sandeman, Graham’s, Taylor, Croft and Warre’s are just some of the great names in Port, that famous sweet dessert wine fortified with brandy that hails from the Duoro River Valley of Portugal.
Warre’s, however, does have a distinction none of the others can claim. It’s the oldest mark of Port in the world, shipping its product since the 1750s. Its founding dates even further back, to 1670, which makes it the first British Port company established in Portugal.
The Warrior label sources its grapes from two of the finest estates in the Duoro - Quinta da Cavadinha and Quinta do Ritero Antigo. Perhaps playing with the name Warre, the winemakers have branded the name Warrior on the casks of Warre’s finest Reserve Ports sine the earliest days of the firm.
For a wine that has earned 90 points with both the Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits and taken home silver medals consistently at the International Wine Challenge, it comes with a remarkably reasonable price of $19 (SRP) or $17.99 through the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
At a recent tasting, I found the wine to have a dark red color with a fruit forward bouquet of berries, cherries and spice. On the palate, the wine is big. bold and full-bodied, pleasantly rich, sweet and complex with flavors of fig, mulberries, blackberries, plums and a hint of cedar. Nicely balanced, the Warrior has medium and smooth tannins, and the finish is long lasting and lingering.
Of course, the wine can be enjoyed by itself, especially after a meal, but it also pairs with nut and chocolate desserts as well as soft, strong-flavored cheeses.