Croft Distinction Special Reserve Port NV
Wine SpectatorA light singed alder accent frames a fleshy core of blackberry and blueberry reduction flavors, followed by baker's chocolate and black licorice notes on the finish. Drink now. 1,400 cases made.
Wine EnthusiastFull, ripe, attractively fruity Port, with soft tannins and rich berry fruits. It has plenty of fruit, sweet strawberry flavors, deliciously full and rounded.
Wine AdvocateThe NV Distinction Porto Special Reserve was aged for three to four years in used French oak. It comes in at 97 grams per liter of residual sugar. This is a June 2017 bottling, although it is not listed as such. The only one of the Croft trio that doesn't come in the distinctive fat bottle, this still has a fat lip, thus requiring a larger size bar-top cork. I rarely see this as often as the regular Croft Ruby Reserve. David Guimaraens told me the difference here is that "Croft Reserve Ruby is a rich, fruity and youthful premium Ruby [that] is approachable. ... Croft Distinction is for Croft what Bin Nº 27 is for Fonseca, where we select special parcels of Port from each harvest to mature in large wooden vats, then blend into a rich full-bodied Port where you combine intensity of fruit and some maturity. ... As you know, older Ports like the Aged Tawnies and even the LBVs, require us to have large stocks to back up for future sales. These are very costly in every aspect, so having a premium Reserve Ruby such as Distinction and Bin Nº27 are very important for us as a business." While this isn't as rich as the regular Croft or as intense as the anniversary bottling, it has fine focus and good structure. It demonstrates some intensity as it airs out. It is also more lifted than the regular Croft, although it's not quite as deep. I wound up liking this a bit more than the regular, mostly because of its structure, and it is often available on the street for very modest money.
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