Intense and complex with aromas of red and black fruits, earthy forest floor, heather, spices and hints of balsamic. The red and black fruit profile continues onto the full bodied palate which balances lively acidity with firm, powerful tannins on a long finish.
The soil in the Douro Valley is made up of schist – a slate-like metamorphic rock that is rich in nutrients and has useful water retention properties. The vines are grown on terraces cut into the steep hillsides of the Douro Valley. The terraces are walled with cut schist to prevent erosion, otherwise torrential rains would wash loose stones down the slopes and into the river. Each terrace can hold up to three rows of vines.
Sandeman LBV was produced by the traditional Port method, with a long, intense maceration during fermentation to extract tannin, colour and flavour from the skins. This was done both by foot-treading in traditional granite lagars (shallow vats), and by pumping over. Fermentation temperatures and densities were carefully monitored to choose the ideal moment to fortify. The wines remained in the Douro until the spring when they were transported to Vila Nova de Gaia to mature in large oak vats. The final blend was created from wines that had been carefully selected by regular tasting and analysis.
There are few more iconic images in the world of wine than the ‘Don’, the logo created for the Sandeman family in 1928 by George Massiot Brown. The cape was modelled on the attire worn by university students in Porto, while the wide-brimmed hat was a nod to the family’s presence in Jerez. Today, the wines are good enough to be every bit as famous as the image of the Don. Since Sogrape bought Sandeman in 2002, the major improvements and investment that have taken place in the vineyards and the winemaking has seen the wines rise to the top of the tree in Port. The production of Port – especially Tawny – requires patience and a long-term vision, something which explains why families like the Guedes are among the major players in the Port business today.