Warre’s, Porto (Portugal) Late Bottled Vintage 2001

($30, Vineyard Brands): Late Bottled Vintage Port, or LBV as it is commonly known, is an ideal way to savor some of the glories of Vintage Port without waiting the requisite two or three decades for the latter to mature in the bottle.  The accelerated maturity of LBV comes from aging in barrel for 4 to 6 years before bottling.  (Vintage Port, by comparison, must be bottled within two years of the harvest.)   Warre’s 2001 LBV is unfined and unfiltered, which means it will continue to expand with more bottle aging.  That said, there are plenty of reasons to drink it now.  It has a seamless combination of nutty notes atop a vibrant array of both dried and fresh fruit flavors.  Its mellow sweetness is balanced by a warming grip of spirit.  You don’t normally think of Port as a summertime drink, but this one is so good, you should make an exception.  Try it with cheese or by itself.  And remember, it will be winter again.  
93 Michael ApsteinJan 1, 2019