Almost 30 years ago, Souzao port was one of California’s most popular dessert wines was discontinued from production. Now, Valley of the Moon Winery brings back port from this rare grape with the release of the 2007 Valley of the Moon Late Bottled Vintage Port. Deeply fruited, subtly sweet and exceptionally smooth, this delicious port not only captures the pleasures that made its predecessor such a hit, it takes them to the next level.
One factor in Souzao port’s delayed return may be the rarity of the Souzao grape; only 68 acres remain in California – and Sonoma County, from which this bottling comes, is home to just 2 acres. Souzao is a traditional port grape and Valley of the Moon Winery produced this port in the traditional manner; “punching down” the fermenting must frequently to extract color and flavor, using Alembic-distilled brandy to stop fermentation, racking several times to achieve clarity and aging the young wine for 30 months in neutral small oak barrels.
The 2007 Valley of the Moon Late Bottled Vintage Port pours ripe, opulent aromas of Italian plum, black currant and cocoa. The flavors are similarly decadent, showcasing black currant, Italian plum, licorice and spice. The palate is complemented by moderate sweetness, uncommon smoothness and excellent balance, all of which contribute to a full, lingering finish. This delicious port is drinking beautifully now and will continue to do so for years.