As I mentioned in a previous post we are normally conservative when adding the brandy at fortification in order to avoid adding too much, so often we need to make a small adjustment to the AD (a very pure grape spirit) in order to get it up to precisely 19% v/v.
The Vintage is only over for us at the winery once all the wines that need it have been corrected and we therefore deal with the corrections as they come in so that there is no backlog at the end of the Vintage – which would prevent us going home!
An aside on the AD that we use for fortification it is very carefully selected by our tasters in the months leading up to the harvest to ensure the best possible quality and charcterisitcs, and must have the Port Wine Institute’s approval. It is neutral in terms of aroma (serving only to fortify the Port and not influence the aroma of the wine), colourless and in terms of alcohol has 77% v/v.
Its proportion in Port is roughly 20%, so every bottle of Port is made up of 80% wine and 20% AD.
Despite 20% being colourless AD, just take a look at the opaque purple black colour of the Malvedos Touriga Nacional in the left hand glass. It’s a tribute to the efficiency of the robotic lagares that we can get such fantastic colours!