Cockburn’s is a Port house — like many this year, it seems — attempting to make a resurgence in the mind of the common drinker, and even I have to admit the “Pronounce Responsibly” ad campaign is a clever one. (The ck is silent. It’s pronounced like “Coburn’s.”)
Cockburn’s Special Reserve is the bottling you’re most likely to find, a blend of a little bit o’ everything much like Graham’s Six Grapes and Sandeman Founders Reserve, aged four to five years and offered to you for less than 20 bucks.
Cockburn’s Special Reserve is an intensely fruity Port, more strawberry and fresh plum than the typical raisin notes of the classic Port style. The nose reminds me of a stout Zinfandel, and the body hints at that jammy, racy grape, too.
Ultimately I find Cockburn’s Special Reserve a bit sweet for my taste, with a concentrated finish that turns a touch sour as it lingers.