N.V. Warre's 20 Year Old Tawny Port Otima 500 ml

Year: N.V.
Appellation: Oporto
Country: Portugal
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 90
Wine Enthusiast: 93
Fortified Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 20.0%
Price :
$36.95

"Graceful, featuring lush and rich flavors of baked pear, caramel, toffee and cream that are long and well-spiced. Cardamom and white chocolate notes fill the elegant and pure finish, with hints of tarragon. Drink now. 250 cases imported. –KM" (WS)

"The NV Otima 20 Year Old Tawny Port was tasted from a typical 500ml bottle, this bottling from 2014. Symington/Warre's also makes a "regular" 20-year-old tawny (to which I would give the nod), but they are intended to be very different styles. Rui Ribeiro at Symington Family Estates said to me: "They are two different wines, coming from different blends..Different lot selections and different barrels. We have a specific aging lot for Otima which differs from the normal Warre tawny lot...The Warre’s 20YO tawny is a classic profile, showing a bit more nuttiness and wood notes, warmer palate perception (comparing with OT20). OTIMA 20 is probably the most elegant wine in the category, evident freshness on the nose, really elegant palate, great acidity and a completely clean and integrated finish." That is a pretty good summary, for better or worse. This is indeed remarkably elegant and refreshing for a 20, dancing on the palate with light footsteps. That also means it is far better on the nose than the palate, though. It seems sunny and bright, but it doesn't show the concentration of flavor, tension on the finish or even the intense aromatics that the best 20s can. For many, it will be just what they want, something fresh and lively, but it is a bit underwhelming. That said, it certainly enlivens the palate and it is remarkably easy and fun to drink. Plus, after it was open for a few days (who says they don't change?), it began to show more of those classic, mature Tawny nuances, certainly more than were there initially. Take note, though: it is still Port, there is a lot of alcohol, even if it controls the perceptible spirit influence very well, and it will knock you on your butt if you drink too much. You'll want to do exactly that–it goes down easy and tastes great.

Smith Woodhouse, Dow's, Warre's, Cockburn's, Quarles Harris and Graham's, represented in this report, are all owned by Symington Family Estates. Each is listed under the separate houses, consistent with past practices and nomenclature, but this prefatory note (usually actually appended rather than placed at the beginning by our software) will hopefully go with each.

Said Rupert Symington (Joint Managing Director, Symington Family Estates) to me: "We have two distinct approaches to LBV: Warre and Smith Woodhouse, which offer bottle-aged ‘traditional’ LBV’s which are neither fined nor filtered, so that they will age in bottle much like a Vintage Port, but with an earlier maturation due to the extra years in wood. These are bottled after four years in wood. Graham, Dow and Cockburn offer a ‘modern’ style LBV which has been fined to remove sediment and which is bottled at 4/5 years ready to drink."

Symington's lineup certainly demonstrates that bar-top corked LBVs can provide fine experiences, at least in the short term. The 2009s were an impressive group overall.

Don't forget, by the way–there are a couple of nice tawnies here, too." (WA)

"A complex, wood aged wine, this 20-year-old has a perfumed, dry style. Walnut and spice flavors blend together with the spirit and mature acidity. It’s rich, with just the right amount of age. -R.V. (6/1/2012)" (WE)

Winery Notes:
OTIMA 20 is a new, fine blend of Twenty Year Old Tawny Port, a partner to the hugely successful Otima Ten Year Old. It is another important breakthrough for the Port trade, broadening the perceived image of Port in its traditional markets.

An outstanding wine that epitomises everything that is great about asuperbly balanced Twenty Year Old Tawny; the translucent copper coloured tone of the wine is matched by the beautiful soft nutty aromas gained by a full twenty years ageing in seasoned oak casks. Otima 20 Years is rich and delicate, but never cloying; the tannins and acidity ensure balance and perfect length.