V. Sattui Winery in Napa Valley is a producer who sells all of their wine direct to consumer. Some of it through their website and the rest right through their hugely popular tasting room just south of St. Helena in the heart of Napa. In addition to tasting wine when you visit, of which they have a plethora, an array of foods are available. Their cheese selection in particular is quite varied. Picnic grounds are on hand and for a lot of folks this is a great lunch stop. Today I’ll take a look at current release of one of their numerous dessert wines. The V. Sattui Winery 1998 Vintage Port was produced using some of the same classic varietals used in Portugal: Tinto Cão, Souzão, and Touriga Nacional. Neutral spirits were added to the wine partway through fermentation to halt it. After that the wine was aged in small French oak barrels for 8 years. It was then bottle aged for several more years prior to being released. Less than 1,000 cases of this wine were produced and it sells directly through the winery for $46.
Boysenberry, plum and burnt sugar aromas lead the welcoming nose of this 1998 Vintage Port from V. Sattui Winery. Clove, nutmeg and cardamom spices light up the palate and support the abundant dark fruits such as black mission fig and plum. Bits of rum raisin, plum pudding spice, and a hint of sweet balsamic vinegar emerge on the finish which has fine length and persistence. This Port is delicious on it’s own but it works fantastically with strong, pungent cheeses.
What I enjoyed most about this selection is that it balances sweetness with a an inherent lightness of palate that keeps it from bogging down your senses. Some Ports and Dessert wines go over the top with either sweetness or overall weight and heft. The 1998 Vintage Port from V. Sattui Winery does neither of those. Instead it’s a well proportioned wine that makes a fantastic ending to a meal.