In 2008 and 2009, we produced a savoury, Portuguese-inspired style of red table wine in honour of sixth generation Chris Killeen (08.07.54-19.06.07), affectionately known as "The Prince of Port". Using four different varieties usually reserved for our Vintage Fortifieds, the 2008 was a blend of 30% Souzão, 26% Tinta Roriz, 22% Tinto Cao and 22% Touriga Nacional. Recent tastings have proven these Iberian varieties varieties have staying power and meld superbly to create a mouth-filling food wine.
Chris started planting Portuguese grape varieties very early on as he loved the savoury, complex style as opposed to the sweeter Australian style. The 1983 Vintage Port even has Touriga Nacional in the blend; however, it wasn't until 1997 that Chris changed S&K's style to become predominantly Portuguese based with his own unique elements including Durif and Shiraz. The Prince Reserva is a style that honours Chris, his passion and foresight in taking a risk and planting these varieties that weren't widely popular at the time. It's a table wine that is very different to our traditional Rutherglen red styles of a big, bold palate and grippy tannins; instead, The Prince Reserva offers a subtle elegance and complexity yet with mouth-filling, robust flavours.
We have been keenly watching the vintages wanting to produce The Prince again and the 2013 vintage proved a success with great fruit. Although severely frosted in the last growing season, we managed to hand-pick some unaffected end vines from the rows so we are currently nurturing some parcels for a 2014 blend. It would have been Chris's 60th this year so we are pleased to have this special year mulling away in the barrel. Although not due for release for another year or so, we thought you would be excited too!