Only a few wineries in California make “Port” that mirrors the lush, sweet wines of Portugal. Pedroncelli is one of them, and it achieves its authenticity by blending grape varieties used in making the “real thing” — Tinta Madeira, Souzao, Touriga and Tinta Cao. The 2008 “Four Grapes” bottling is a glass-staining deep purple color, with an unexpected litheness in the mouth and a long after-flavor. Still youthful, it exudes impressions of salted nuts, bittersweet chocolate, Christmas spices, pepper-laced raisins, graham crackers and fleshy black plum. Consider opening this expressive wine on Christmas Eve, accompanied by roasted walnuts and Stilton cheese… serve it alongside chocolate desserts at the holiday table… savor it solo on a cold winter night… or lay it down for up to 20 years.
MSRP: $20/375-ml. bottle (November 2013)
Wine Lines rating: 92