Wine Spectator 83 points - An alluring nose of dried fig, cassis, brown sugar, molasses, burnt orange peel, and decadent dried cherry. The palate is luscious and sweet with lots of purple fruits, dried violet, cinnamon, and alpine herbs. Very balanced and sweet on the finish.
Winery Notes: Cockburn's Special Reserve is the world's favourite Port and a fitting testament to the blending skills of our winemaker. First blended over 40 years ago it offered wine drinkers a new style of Port. Four-fifths of the blend is from youthful wines but the remainder is from more mature wines which give the wine roundness and a seductive, velvety feel. The overall effect is a vintage character Port, mellow and rounded on the palate with deep autumn fruit flavours. It is produced from grapes grown in the spectacular higher reaches of the Douro river in northern Portugal. The wine is ready to drink and gentle filtration at the winery ensures that decanting is not necessary. Special Reserve is in its element served with rich dark chocolate desserts, fruit tarts, berry or nutty puds, and complements most cheeses incredibly well.
Special Reserve is a "vintage character" port, intended to reflect a shipperís Vintage Port style.
Vintage Character ports are matured before release and ready to enjoy when bottled, without the need for decanting.
These offer the taste of a vintage port with about 5 years of bottle age.
Vintage character ports are a blend of fine ruby ports from various years and vineyards, aged in large vats to retain their ruby red color and bottled ready to drink after filtration.
Cockburnís focuses much of its expertise on maintaining the quality of Special Reserve.
Special Reserve fruit is picked at the peak of ripeness from single varietal vineyards in the finest vineyard areas.
Slightly longer fermentation produces a less sweet finish, highlighting fruit and tannin structure, known as "grip."
A higher percentage of older wines in the Special Reserve blend creates a complex, layered wine that is the Cockburnís signature style.
Only the five best port grapes are used in Special Reserve: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tint„ C„o, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca.