Review: Sandeman Port – Founder’s Reserve, 20 Year Tawny, and 30 Year Tawny (2021)
We’ve reviewed the Port wines of Sandeman on several occasions, the most recent in 2016. Today we look at a smattering of offerings from the iconic house on the Douro river, including a fresh look at Founder’s Reserve — which now has an apostrophe in it! — and two well-aged tawny offerings.
Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Ruby Porto (2021) – A very straightforward expression of ruby Port, this offering sees notes of plum, cherry, gentle raisin, and some Christmas spice elements. There’s a somewhat blunt, caramelized sugar character throughout, and a milk chocolate note that emerges on the finish. It’s a simple wine, but fine for the price level. B- / $21 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Sandeman Tawny Port 20 Years Old (2021) – We last reviewed this tawny in 2010, and it’s got a brighter, fruitier character than I remembered, lacking the pungency one normally expects from a tawny. A plump raisin character gives way to a more vegetal character on the back-end, showcasing a certain greenness that lingers on the finish. Definitely more nuanced than the Founder’s Reserve, but lacking finesse. B / $57 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Sandeman Tawny Port 30 Years Old (2021) – We’ve never reviewed this bottling before, but it’s a clear step up from the 20, hitting the tongue with a strong note of cherry and spiced raisins, hints of licorice tempering and elevating that gentle Sandeman funk and informing the finish with a stronger note of chocolate, cloves, and cola. Worthwhile. B+ / $110 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]