Port wines come from the oldest defined and protected wine region in the world, with the first establishment of protections coming in 1756. With such a venerable history, it isn’t often that new innovations find their way into the world of port wine. And yet innovation is exactly what has happened with Croft’s new Pink Port Wine. Croft Pink is an interesting and valuable addition to the world of port wine and may herald a major change in the direction that port wines are headed.
Port wines are fortified wines (essentially, brandy known as aguardiente is added to stop fermentation at a certain part of the winemaking process) that hail exclusively from Portugal. While there are a variety of styles of port available, the two major categories of port are barrel-aged (or tawny) ports and bottle-aged ports (which include vintage, ruby, late bottled vintage and more). Croft Pink falls into the bottle-aged category and is, essentially, a rose-style port wine. The wine is limited in the amount of time it spends on the pressed grape skins, resulting in a wine that takes some color from the skins but doesn’t spend enough time to extract the heavy tannins that come with increased exposure.
Port wines can be made from over 100 varieties of grapes, although in reality only five major grapes are used for port wine production. Tinta Cao, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Nacional, and Touriga Francesca account for almost all of the production of barrel-aged and bottle-aged port wine. White ports use different grapes but the same vinification process to achieve their flavors.
Croft Pink is a controversial product in the world of port. Classic port drinkers may turn up their noses at the idea of drinking a rose-style port wine, but this is a product that is a versatile wine that can be enjoyed during warmer months when many people avoid traditional port wines. It also mixes well, offering a lower alcohol alternative in cocktails.
Croft Pink should be served chilled or on the rocks for best results. On the nose, Croft Pink features aromas of red raspberries, cherries, strawberries, and honey. The flavors continue through to the palate. Croft Pink is light, sweet, and refreshing; I enjoyed it best on the rocks with a large twist of orange peel. Mixed, Croft Pink is also a unique addition to cocktails. Croft Pink with tonic is a sophisticated and exceptionally easy way to enjoy this wine, and the bitterness of the tonic is a nice counterpoint to the overall sweetness of the port wine.
Croft Pink is a new way to enjoy port wine, especially during the spring and summer months. While this isn’t a wine for port purists, those who enjoy experimenting with their wine choices and those who want to explore new dimensions in the world of port should be pleasantly surprised when they taste Croft Pink. It also makes an easy mixer for backyard barbecues and summertime entertaining, so keep it in mind for your next social event.
Disclosure: I received a sample of this product from Croft Port for review. No other compensation from Croft Port was received.