Ramos Pinto Collector Reserva
The Wine Advocate
January 31, 2019, William Kelley
“The NV Collector Porto Reserva is an unfiltered Port coming in with 99 grams per liter of residual sugar and a bar-top cork. It was aged about five years in large, well-used wooden vats (25+ years old). This Reserva takes Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca from Ramos Pinto's Quinta da Ervamoira and Tinta Barroca from its Quinta do Bom Retiro. (A field blend from Bom Retiro fills out the blend.) This particular bottle was from the August 30, 2018 bottling (lot number L-18242A). Winemaker Ana Rosas told me that this "doesn’t undergo any type of treatment, no fining, cold stabilized, nothing. It’s only a blend of different wines of several ages, some young, some quite mature. The wines can age in wood (balseiros) and in cement or in both....We release our first 'Collector' with a proper cork and the wine used to age [beautifully], something between LBV and Crusted, but the market...didn’t want a proper cork...The wine has the capacity to age but with this bar top no more than four to five years. After that, the wine will be good but will lose fruit." Dark and stern, leaning more to figs and dried plums than sweet red fruits, this very expressive and intense Reserva has unusual power for a Ruby Reserva and plenty of concentration for the category. One or two may have been its equal, but there was no wine in this report that showed better after being held for another two days. At that point, it still showed surprising power and coated the palate. As time went on, when a lot of the Reserves in this report fell off, this just got better. The gripping finish, even two days later, beautiful fruit and serious demeanor made it seem pretty fine. It has impressive color as well, reminiscent of Vintage Port. The complexity in the flavor profile added a key bit of distinction—it has a certain maturity to it that is appealing. The texture was velvety and sensual. Five days later, it was still intriguing and I couldn't say that about many of them this issue. Simply, it is wonderfully expressive—unusually so for a Ruby Reserve. The only downside—the norm for a Ruby Reserve—is that I wouldn't expect it to hold at this level for too many years (bar-top cork or not). That's a key distinction between this and a real Vintage Port or a top LBV (like Ramos Pinto's) that must constrain my scoring. While it is young and fresh, though, you may like it even more than the score suggests. It was probably my favorite of the tasting.
P.s. You'll also like the typically atmospheric Ramos Pinto label—a bonus.”
Ramos Pinto was founded in 1880 and, for several decades, its history has been marked by a balance between innovation and respect for tradition. In addition to producing wines of exceptional quality, the House is known for its knowledge of terroir and for its pioneering viticulture. Through its strict production policy, the selection of the best Douro grape varieties and the systematic technical and technological research, the House is positioned as the reference for the production of superior quality wines in Portugal.
Collector Reserva, an unfiltered vintage character port, is a five-year-old bouquet created from several young blends. The wine retains its delicate fruity aromas while gaining the patina and roundness of age. Collector Reserva gives wine drinkers the opportunity to experience a vintage-quality wine without laying it down for years.
The must is fermented through maceration and automatic pumping over so that a better extraction is achieved. After four or five days, the fermentation is interrupted with the addition of 20 percent spirit. Lastly, the wine is racked. It does not undergo any hot or cold treatment or filtration.
The pale-red rim around the glass is the only visible sign of maturity. The initially opaque core develops into a translucent dark red and finishes with an intense red at the bottom of the glass. Its aromatic characteristics are similar to that of the vintage due to the potency of its dominant and dense fruit, revealing incredibly ripe aromas of dried plum, fig, blackberry, raspberry and cherry. The attack is smooth and a full, balanced sensation of sweetness can be noted on the palate. Its ripe fruit is deliciously revealed to us, enhancing the most volatile and developed retro nasal aromas. Its persistence is noteworthy.
It is a perfect match with chocolate and medium-bodied cheeses. It is also an excellent accompaniment to wild game dishes, especially duck. It can be served with desserts made with red fruits or a mille-feuille of fresh cheese and ham. Serve between 16º and 18º C. Store the bottle upright, in a cool, dry and dark place.
Varietals: Mixture of grape varieties from traditional old vines from Portugal
Wine Alcohol: 19.5%
Titratable Acidity: 3.88 g/l
Residual Sugar: 95.4 g/l
Aging: Aged over five to six years in large wood vats