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Maynard’s LBV 2015
In a nutshell: A mellow, fruity take on the LBV sold through Aldi at a price that’s hard to resist.
No, nothing to do with wine gums, Maynard’s is actually one of the oldest, if not the best known names in the history of port.
Walter Maynard was born in 1652 and was one of the very first port shippers. His descendants have married into the Symington family, the people behind Warre’s et al.
The name has been resurrected by the Barão de Vilar company, founded by Fernando and Ávlaro van Zeller who were originally Dutch but came to Portugal in the 1870s.
The van Zellers at one time owned Quinta do Noval. Just to confuse things further, Barão de Vilar also produces port under the Feuerheed label, the historical name of the family who own Quinta de la Rosa. It’s an incestuous world in the port business!
The Maynard name is now used to produce a range of budget ports, including a decent 10-year-old tawny and perhaps the cheapest 40-year-old tawny on the market, a steal at £30 a bottle.
I’ve picked the firm’s LBV which stands for ‘late bottled vintage’. An LBV comes from a particular year and is then aged for between four and six years in wood to soften it and make it ready to drink. Most LBVs have some of the style of a vintage but this one is slightly different. In flavour, it’s a sort of halfway house between a tawny and a vintage port.
It’s all about red fruit, dusty North African spices and figs. In short, it tastes much more mature than a four-year-old wine, meaning that it is great for drinking now and probably not for keeping.
You could have a lot of fun mixing this in cocktails, perhaps with Campari to make a Portuguese take on the Americano. It’s candied sweetness means that it would be a good foil for bakewell tarts and the like.
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