Interesting thing about Ports, many people who drink Cabernets and Zinfandels often say “Oh, no thanks. I’m not into Ports”. If you fit in that category (normal person who drinks red wine but isn’t really into Ports), then the Justin Obtuse 2001 or 2002 should be the first Port you experience. I haven’t run into someone yet that has tried this wine and hasn’t been roped in. Its as if the Justin Winery created this wine to help people transition from regular wines to dessert wines.
Here is how the Justin Winery describes the wine:
Obtuse is JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery’s American-style Port made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. We adhere to traditional vinification and maturation methods to make this wine. In cooler growing seasons, color extraction is often more difficult and may require the addition of pectic enzymes that help free color from the grape skins before fermentation. Once fermentation begins, the juice is pumped over the cap several times per day to extract color and flavor from the skins. The sugar concentration of the fermenting must is closely monitored. When it reaches the desired level of residual sugar, typically in 3 to 4 days, the fermenting must is pressed off and fermentation is stopped with the addition of 170° proof unaged grape brandy. At this point, the wine is adjusted to an alcohol content of approximately 20%. After the fortification process, the Port style wine is placed in large neutral French oak barrels called puncheons, which are twice the size of traditional 225-liter barrique barrels. The wine is then racked once every three to four months during the one to two-year aging period for a natural clarification and to allow for maturation and integration of the brandy and the wine. This wine is unfined and unfiltered.
Whoa…Thats a mouthful. What that breaks down to for you and me is simply a full-bodied dessert wine that has plum and cherry aromas and tastes like a deep plum jam. Its always surprising how good it is no matter how many times I’ve tried it. Justin Winery makes this port out of 100% Cabernet grapes so the foundation is already there if you’re into Cabernets. Could be part of the reason the transition to this Port is so easy.
My wife, Kelly, was one of the people who I talked about before. So I tripped her out by giving her a taste of this with her dark chocolate (she’s a dark chocolate fanatic). She fell in love with and now I have to chase it around the Internet to keep a healthy stock in our wine fridge. (I’ll make it easy on you though; you can pick up a bottle here or at the winery’s website here).
One of the coolest things about this wine is that with proper storing you can keep it for a while, figure a couple of months. Over time, it develops a sort of nutty flavor on top of the already delicious plum-jam flavor. If you have two bottles you can try storing one after you open it and one day open another and compare. Storing an open bottle is not too different from storing a sealed bottle. Temperature should be around 60 F degrees and you shouldn’t store it too close to anything with a real strong aroma. If you’re into it, its worth a try. If not, just grab a couple half bottles and bring them with you to parties to impress your friends, especially those who aren’t “into Ports”.
Have fun and remember to Enjoy the Wine Life!