The plush power of port

A fine vintage port entices and seduces the senses, writes Emile Joubert. 

Port as a winemaking style truly captures the essence of the grapes. As the magical process of fermentation begins, the wine is fortified with neutral grape spirits. This slows down the conversion of sugar to alcohol, allowing the perfumed sweet plushness of grape purity to remain intact. Port, for me, is best enjoyed in a glass of decent size. The aroma drifts lazily from the glass, the smells immersing the senses in rich black fruit stewed by the late summer sun. The nose of this wine carries in it the warm heart of noble power, dark and sexy. 


Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve

Boplaas Family Vineyards in Calitzdorp continues the Nel family’s legacy of crafting the very finest Cape ports, utilising Portuguese varieties, traditional vinification and dedication to style to create wine that will offer decades of enjoyment. The Portuguese varieties, which thrive in the Klein Karoo’s dry climate, were discovered quite by chance, when Boplaas patriarch Oupa Danie sourced and planted Shiraz vines in the 1970s. Only later was it discovered – partly by Carel, Oupa Danie’s son, now the cellar-master and at the time studying oenology at Stellenbosch University – that his father’s vines were Tinta Barocca and not the intended Shiraz. Fortunate error. The 2017 Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port was voted Port of the Year and given five stars by Platter’s Wine Guide.

Muratie Ben Prins Cape Vintage

Ben Prins was affectionately known as the ‘barefoot winemaker’ of Muratie. A man of the land, with hands like spades, he was in touch with his soil and his vineyards. During his tenure under the ownership of Annemie Canitz, Muratie became well known for its expressive and interesting wines. To this day, 44 years later, grapes are still harvested from a single vineyard that Ben planted in 1977. This block is harvested as a field blend and earmarked for the Muratie Ben Prins Cape Vintage, a fortified wine that shows great elegance and structure and is a fitting tribute to Ben.