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Dec 16, 2002 02:11 PM

shopping for port

  • c

Followers of the general message board will recognize this thread, but any input on where I could try track down vintage Port at a wine shop in San Francisco proper??

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  1. I just bought some vintage port at K & L Wines, 766 Harrison, SF. They had a large selection, and when I got home and looked up what I bought on the web, the price I paid was the lowest I saw.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      I second the recommendation for K&L Wines. They tend to have an interesting selection at very low prices. They also carry a decent selection of half bottles if you do to want to make too much of a commitment.

    2. it looks like a hole in the wall but i'd also suggest the market at the corner of 17th and Cole in Cole Valley. Incredible selection of port and aged Burgandy too.

      1. As fate would have it I have an entire cellar of Vintage Australian port dating back to 1900 I have been contemplating whether to sell off by the bottle as it is crowding my basement. My family has been collecting the stuff for years.Email me if you are interested.

        1. The notice below for a port and madeira tasting at William Cross appeared in my inbox today. I've tried all four of the wines listed (and am very curious about what the mystery wine might be) and this is well worth $15. A good chance to sample before you buy. The Ferreira Duque de Brangança is my favorite 20-year old tawny. Wish I could be there, but I'll just be picking up my car at SFO by the time it's over.

          Disclaimer: Steve Sherman (owner of William Cross WM) and Bartholomew Broadbent are personal friends.

          Wednesday, December 18, 2002
          Ports and Madieras with Bart Broadbent

          Please join us for the last tasting of 2002, as we delve
          into the world of dessert wines and taste through
          some great Madieras and Ports with Bart Broadbent.

          Broadbent "Rainwater" Medium Dry Madiera
          1995 Broadbent "Colheita" Madiera
          Ferreira Duque de Braganca 20 year old Tawny Port
          1994 Broadbent Vintage Port

          Flight $15



          2253 Polk St.
          SF, CA 94109
          (415) 346-1314


          1. John Walker downtown has older vintage ports sometimes. And, you got an informed reply on the General Topics from a local wine merchant - check out PlumpJack too.

            If you're looking for aged bottles, consider ordering from Tinamou or Rare Wine Company (check their websites) and having the bottle shipped to you from Sonoma. They are specialists in older ports, as is Golden West Wine in SF. It pays to shop around, as prices for older bottles can vary dramatically. I have purchased from all three and have been satisfied with their service. However, I have heard some complaints about Tinamou from time to time.


            7 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Your help is deeply appreciated. I will look into these leads. My time is running out! :-)

              1. re: Celeste

                Good luck, and let us know what you end up with.

                I'd vote for a tawny with indication of age or a colheita (tawny port of a single vintage). Will keep for several days and doesn't have to be consumed in one sitting once opened. K&L in SF has some of the Krohn's colheitas described in the linked post.


                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Ha! Without seeing this last post of yours, I was just to write to say that I managed to make it over for the Madeira/Port tasting at William Cross and decided to purchase the Ferreira 20 year Tawny based on upon reconsideration that my father and I probably can't finish the whole bottle in one sitting and noone else in the family likes port. And who wants to waste half a bottle of $100 port?

                  By the way, the 1954 Colheita Madeira they tasted (which they did instead of the 1964 for some reason) was utterly mindblowing. I'm sitting here today wondering why I didn't ask to buy a bottle of that as well. Quite a treat.

                  Melanie, thanks so much for your help!


                  1. re: Celeste

                    Your dad's a lucky man! Was the 1954 Madeira perchance Broadbent's Terrantez? If so, it is indeed mindblowing, one of the most complex wines I've ever tried. A steal at $50.


                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      (back from holiday break)

                      I don't think the 1954 was Terrantez - I wrote it down just as Broadbent 1954 "Colheita" Madeira.

                      My dad was impressed with the port though - however, it hasn't been drunk yet as he wanted to share it with me and I got sick and couldn't drink. Grr.

                  2. re: Melanie Wong

                    melanie - i am a port newbie but did just buy a full bottle of vintage that is ready to drink (1970) but did not think it had to be drunk in a single sitting or even in a quick amt of time. i thought that it could sit for some time (clearly not forever but for several weeks or a few months) but is this not the case?

                    1. re: nancy

                      Once you pull the cork on any wine, the exposure to air starts to oxidize the wine. For a wine that's not yet mature, the oxidation can make it more palatable. But for a wine such as your 1970 probably is, that's ready to drink, this effect degrades the wine. Depending on the producer of your port and how it's been stored, likely it will not stand much aeration. The last bottle of 1970 Taylor that I opened a couple years ago didn't need any additional aeration to be ready to drink. Because it was soft, I didn't even decant it, fearing that the additional air introduced would cause it to degrade too quickly. It had been standing up for 2 days, so the sediment was well-settled, and I poured it carefully directly into the wine glasses. I would recommend that you finish your 1970 within 24 hours of opening it.