LBV [Late Bottled Vintage]

Late Vintage Port is made entirely from grapes harvested in a specific year from a variety of vineyards, but is then left to age in barrel for four to six years before bottling, compared to around 18 months for Vintage. LBV does not have the grandeur, intensity and concentration of Vintage Port, but the finest examples boast mature, well-rounded, velvety fruit and a rich, smooth finish.

Learn more about LBV [Late Bottled Vintage]

Usually known simply, and rather jauntily, as ‘LBV’, Late Bottled Vintage Port starts life in exactly the same way as a true Vintage Port and can provide an excellent, earlier-drinking alternative.

Late Vintage Port is made entirely from grapes harvested in a specific year from a variety of vineyards, but is then left to age in barrel for four to six years before bottling, compared to around 18 months for Vintage. LBV does not have the grandeur, intensity and concentration of Vintage Port, but the finest examples boast mature, well-rounded, velvety fruit and a rich, smooth finish.

On the label, both the vintage and the bottling date must be shown, and ‘Late Bottled Vintage’ must be clearly stated so as to avoid any confusion. There are two distinct styles of LBV: Traditional LBVs tend to be the best, and are usually from a good vintage that has not been declared. They are unfined and unfiltered, and can age and improve for several years after bottling. They also throw a sediment so require decanting before serving.

Most LBV, however, is filtered and cold-stabilized. These may lack the power and structure of traditional LBVs but are at their peak as soon as they are released and do not require decanting. Excessive filtering can strip LBVs of their character, however, and poorer examples are little better than a standard Ruby Port.

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