The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 95 of 148

PHOTO COURTESY OF SYMINGTON FAMILY ESTATES The U.S. is the top aged tawny market in the world. In 2012, shipments of premium ports declined slightly, while shipments to the U.S. of "standard" port wines increased by 7.6%. These numbers suit the producers just fine. "We can't always meet demand due to the long storage. We want smooth, steady growth, not huge jumps," says Robert Bower. While vintage sales have been static or declining, the fastest growing port style in the U.S. market is aged tawny. The U.S. is the top aged tawny market in the world. It is fortunate for the Douro that, at least in the U.S., port lovers have discovered tawnies at a time when the region's traditional customer—collectors with the patience and financial means to age bottles in cool cellars—ebbs. "The future is bright," sums up Chris Adams, "but there's some heavy lifting to do." Rupert Symington, joint Managing Director of Symington Family Estates. PHOTO COURTESY OF SYMINGTON FAMILY ESTATES The improvement in the neutral spirit, in particular, has made the wines more drinkable earlier, at a time when the number of collectors—who have the patience and facility to store wines for decades—is declining. Vintage ports remain "the primary stamp of identity for port houses," says Robert Bower, Sales and Export Manager for the Fladgate Partnership. But, he adds, "There is now less emphasis on vintage port." "There's less of an appetite among younger drinkers to be collectors," agrees Chris Adams, CEO of New York–based Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits. "With port you have to be patient. [Now] there's less need to put it down in your cellar, because there's approachability at a younger age." In 2011, according to the IVDP (Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto), total exports to the U.S., in terms of sales, increased by 8% over the previous year. The premium port category (reserves, LBV, vintage and aged tawnies) increased 15%. Adrian Bridge, Managing Director of Taylor Fladgate and CEO of the Fladgate Partnership. may 2013 / the tasting panel / 95

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - May 2013