Displaying items by tag: San Joaquin Valley
Madera’s Ficklin Vineyards celebrated their 65th anniversary in the Port business last September. The focus now, as it was from the start, is to make authentic Ports from four traditional Portuguese grape varieties planted in the family vineyard in 1945. One of the most popular wines Ficklin still produces is the Old Vine Tinta Port, which was first released in October, 1951. It is an aged ruby style that originated with David Ficklin, the original winemaker. The solera system for that wine was started with the first Ports made at Ficklin in 1948.
Today, two-hundred and fifty-six American oak barrels and sixty-seven European puncheons provide a totalcapacity of over 23,000 gallons for that solera system. Housed in Ficklin’s historic adobe brick winery building, these barrels and puncheons have provided for the consistent flavor development of the Old Vine Tinta Port for over sixty years.
A solera system for wine is a fractional blending system, meaning that only a fraction of the wines progress through to the level of ageing at any time. As the wine is slowly moved through this solera system, a newer three year-old Port from each of the four Portuguese grape varieties is carefully blended to be added to the solera. Current winemaker, Peter Ficklin looks at each varietal component, and how that individual wine will provide the rich and full flavors that will develop into the complex layers found in the Old Vine Tinta Port. This younger wine is used to top-off the sixty-seven puncheons that are the first layer in the solera system. Smaller fifty gallon barrels make up the last level of this sixty year-old solera system. The resulting Port withdrawn from this last stage shows tremendous consistency and character as it is readied for bottling. Consequently, every barrel and puncheon, every bottle, as well as every glass and sip of the Old Vine Tinta Port has a diminishing percentage of the every single vintage since 1948. It is truly a living picture of the history of wines made at Ficklin.
Highly regarded and esteemed through the years, the Old Vine Tinta Port has been a consistent award winner for many decades. It is truly a wine for all ages, as it pairs well with many
desserts, such as fresh fruit, cheesecakes, dark chocolate, as well as the traditional blue-veined cheeses.
OLD VINE TINTA PORT
Best In Class 2009 National Women's Wine Competition
Critics Gold 2008 Critics Challenge International Wine Competition
Top Fortified Wine 2007 Beverage Testing Institute World Value Wine Challenge
Best Of Class 2002 Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition
2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
2009 National Women's Wine Competition
2009 Best in Appellation Competition
2009 Lodi International Wine Competition
2004 International Eastern Wine Competition
2002 International Eastern Wine Competition
2000 El Dorado County Fair Wine Competition
2011 California State Fair, Sacramento
2009 Long Beach Grand Cru Competition
2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
2008 Critics Challenge International Wine Competition
2008 San Diego International Wine Competition
2008 Monterey Wine Competition
2008 Lodi International Wine Competition
2006 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition
2006 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
2003 Riverside International Wine Competition
2002 Long Beach Grand Cru
2002 Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition
2000 Riverside International Wine Competition
2000 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition
1999 Dallas Morning News National Wine Competition
1999 Taster's Guild International Wine Judging
1998 American Wine Society
1998 Taster's Guild International Wine Judging
1997 New World International Wine Competition
1996 California State Fair, Sacramento
1996 El Dorado County Fair Wine Competition
1996 Jerry Mead's "On Wine"
1996 Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition
1991 Beverage Testing Institute
1989 Orange County Fair Wine Competition
Editor's note: Links to websites of wineries in Madera County and other parts of Central Valley, as well as hundreds of links to lodging and dining options, are found at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.