Port powerhouse Dow’s recently rebranded its Tawny Port line, with Charles Symington “tweaking his rule-book to create and re-launch a striking range of tawny Ports.” Those changes involve aging the wine for a longer period of time in smaller oak vessels, with the goal of building up the body of the wines and darkening their colors. How’d this fare? Let’s find out by tasting the 10 and 20 year old expressions.
Dow’s Tawny Port 10 Years Old (2019) – This entry level expression is rather blunt and pruny, somewhat one-dimensional with its dried plum and juice raisin notes. There’s a spicy character to the sweetness — think cinnamon raisin bread — which adds to its drinkability, though the entire affair is rather simplistic. B- / $37
Dow’s Tawny Port 20 Years Old (2019) – More going on here; this wine is sharper, more acidic, and a bit dryer, with less blunt sugar in the mix. A clearer cherry note emerges on the palate, though the raisin/spice bill never feels overly far away. Notes of dark chocolate on the finish add some nuance. B+ / $65