Just in time for your Christmas celebrations, we have released two new fortified wines. Whilst both are produced in the ‘port’ style, they are two very different wines expressing the distinctive seasons from which they were made. As one of the few Australian wineries to continue making vintage fortifieds, we love the versatility of these wines that no longer need to be classed as ‘after-dinner drinks’.
Stanton & Killeen have been making vintage fortifieds for most of our history and sixth generation winemaker Chris Killeen pioneered his own unique Australian style. Some of his ‘VPs’ are still available on our online shop or you could contact us for further information about special years.
2011 Late Bottled Vintage
After a seemingly endless drought, the cooler and wetter years of 2010, 2011 and 2012 gave our parched lands a much-needed refresh but also meant we needed to adapt our viticulture and winemaking practices.
Continuing on with the S&K style of blending Portuguese varieties, our 2011 Late Bottled Vintage is a much lighter, sweeter wine than usual and gave us an opportunity to make a more accessible, easy drinking fortified red. With soft tannins and sweet raspberry jam flavours, we think this wine is fantastic for those just starting their journey into the world of red wine and fortifieds, as the bright palate and warming spirit ensure a versatile wine.
Enjoy it with your main meal such as a mushroom risotto or lasagne, although using it as a base for a festive sangria is a great way to highlight the bright red fruit flavours and smooth spirit. We recommend you drink it within the next few years as the lighter body and soft tannins will not ensure cellaring longevity. Think of it is a bright, fun fortified red for early enjoyment.
Varieties: Tinta Roriz, Shiraz, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão
$25.00, 750ml bottle only
2013 Vintage Fortified
If you’re looking for a more traditional style, our 2013 Vintage Fortified is a blend of Portuguese varieties and has a flavoursome balance of rich fruit and warming spirit. The 2013 growing season and vintage was warm and dry after three cooler years resulting in intense fruit development and good acid structure. Notes of liquorice, chocolate, allspice, cinnamon and sweet strawberry combine with mouth-coating velvety tannins. The carefully chosen spirit gives a lengthy finish.
This is also a highly versatile wine as the rich Rutherglen fruit can balance a high acid dish like a slow cooked tomato-based casserole. Traditionally, the best cheese to match with a vintage fortified is a ripe and creamy blue cheese, especially if the port has a great tannin and acid structure. We think our 2013 is a must on the Christmas table to complement pudding with a similar flavour profile of chocolate, liquorice, dried fruit and spice.
The 2013 Vintage Fortified is drinking beautifully now but could cellar well for up to 20 years. The most important thing when cellaring all wine is to keep the temperature consistent. Ensuring it’s cool and dry, without fluctuations, will keep the wine in optimum condition. As always though, the best time to drink any wine is when sharing with family as friends as the atmosphere always enhances the flavours and memories, and there’s nothing worse than leaving a wine too long in the cellar. So if you’ve got a few bottles stashed away that you’ve been saving for a special occasion, there’s no better time than the present.
Varieties: Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional and Tinto Cão
Magnums and 375ml available.
The Future of Vintage Fortifieds at S&K
Even though it’s now harder to find an Australian vintage fortified producer, we believe in the special place that this wine style holds in the hearts and tables of wine lovers. A great vintage fortified can evolve in the bottle over decades but also be a bright and generous young fortified red wine.
Our winemaker, Andrew Drumm, travelled to Portugal in 2015 and discovered some new and excited winemaking techniques. We aim to make the best version of our house style representing our rich soils and warm climate, and paying careful attention to growing our Portuguese grapes specifically for rich fruit and tannin structure.
We thought 2016 was possibly one of the best vintages we had seen in a while but the 2017 season is shaping up to be a stunner as well. Methods such as co-fermentation, spirit choice and wood maturation will ensure a pretty exciting future release.
*Please not that there was no Vintage Fortified produced in 2012 or 2014.
One Final Note
As always, we want to make sure our customers get to enjoy our fortifieds in their optimal condition. The world of fortifieds can get a little confusing with all the different names and classifications so we have a page dedicated to explain the different styles of S&K here.
Bottle-age wines from a single vintage -like the 2013 Vintage Fortified described above- can be cellared for many years but must be enjoyed within 3 days of opening otherwise the wine will oxidise and become undrinkable (although it could be salvaged to make a lovely glaze for a roast!).
Barrel-aged fortified wines are a blend of many years- like our Classic Tawny- and have already been exposed to oxygen through extended time in barrels. They will no longer mature once bottled (so avoid buying a Rare Muscat and holding onto it for 10 years) but once opened, it can be consumed over several weeks though it will be freshest within the first week upon opening.
Our cellar door is open 364 days a year and we love showing people the fortified winemaking process. Visit us and taste your way though our range to find your favourites. Have a safe and happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in Rutherglen.