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New World Port 2014

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New World Port 2014
New World Port 2014
Tasting notes

Porto is a sweet, fortified dessert wine made from native Portuguese varieties harvested from the steep mountain cliffs of the Douro River Valley. Using those same grape varieties grown here in California the new-age, New-World Port has been born. The seven Portuguese varietals are intensely colored and flavorful grapes which are inoculated and fermented hot until half of the sugar has been converted to alcohol. At this time brandy spirits are added to arrest the fermentation producing a richly extracted and very memorable dessert wine which grows finer and finer with time.

With a slightly lower residual sugar level (6.63% whereas we generally are in the 8% range), this Port showcases a more elegant and refined balance. In fact, the sugar level is so well-balanced that some might find it hard to call it sweet. Instead, it's pure richness! The dark cherry/plum aspects abound in the nose and the palate, with ripe blackberry filling in all the edges. Seamless in nature, the texture is velvety as it runs across the taste buds with hints of sweet spice bringing all the fruit characters together. And interestingly, there's a beautiful floral note on the lingering finish that makes this New-World Port one of the most complex and unique of all the vintages we've produced!

Varietal Composition36% Alvarahao, 39% Touriga Nacional, 12% Tinta Cao, 6% Sousao, 5% Bastardo, 2% Tinta Roriz
AppellationEl Dorado
VineyardEstate Vineyards
Residual Sugar6.63%
Volume500 ml
Bottling Date10/31/2014
Cases Produced203

The Sumu Kaw Vineyards, owned by Sheila and David Bush, showcase some of the nicest fruit grown in the El Dorado appellation. On the far south-eastern corner of their vineyard at an elevation of 2,800 feet is a small 2.5 acre block of six Portuguese varieties planted in 1997 with the intention of making a Port-styled wine. Southerly in exposure on a rocky Josephine soil series, the vineyard is almost a snapshot of Portugal. The spacing of 7x10 feet allows for the less fertile conditions and the thirsty nature of the site. The last variety, Bastardo, is planted atop the Sumu Kaw Vineyards at an elevation of 2,960 feet. Uniquely suited for the variety, the Aiken-Clay soils help retain some of the natural acidity in the grapes.

Paul Bush, Owner/Winemaker

Madroña Vineyards

Camino, California. 


We are a family-owned and operated winery focusing on terroir-driven, Estate-Grown fruit.

Annual Case Production:  12,000 cases

Planted Acres:  70 acres planted at the 2,850 to 3,000 foot elevation.

Career Background:  Having helped plant the family vineyards as a kid in 1973, I grew up working in our winery what seemed like every day after school. I had no intention of “winding up” in the wine industry and graduated from U.C. Davis in 1989 with a degree in Economics. However, with an interest in traveling abroad, our winery offered a flexible schedule and an opportunity to work with inspiring winemakers such as Mark Foster and Hugh Chappelle. I began managing the vineyards and business in 1991 and making the wines in late 2002.

Biggest Professional Challenge: Balance! Working with my wife, Maggie, we find our greatest challenge is how to be business owners with all of its responsibilities while making the wines, growing the grapes, marketing the brand and raising two daughters. Any given day can be filled with dusting the vineyards at daybreak, acid trials before lunch, working in the tasting room in the afternoon—and then throw in a swim meet or school play for spice.  Undoubtedly, every small, family winery tackles the same aspect of wearing so many hats, but the challenge and excitement is unique to each one.

Varietals that Madroña is Known for:  In total, we grow 27 varieties in our El Dorado vineyards. From within these plantings, however, I believe that Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Riesling and the seven Portuguese varieties (for our New-World Port) are consistently outstanding.

Short Testimonial: I truly can’t imagine doing anything else but growing grapes and enjoying  wine. I believe the terroir of our region is unique with overall cool-climate aspects, peppered with warm summer days and a slightly shorter growing season. So finding the true expression of each variety for our vineyards ends up being an exciting and challenging adventure every vintage. The wines have more backbone and structure than most regions of California while showcasing the intense varietal character of mountain fruit. Most often, I find that the wine knows best in how it should be “made,” and I’m just along for the ride. As we once heard in France, “One does not make wine. One elaborates wine!” And with our Estate-grown grapes, I am quite content to be the “elaborator.”

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