Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate – 90 points
The NV Otima 20 Year Old Tawny Port was tasted from a typical 500ml bottle, this bottling from 2014. Symington/Warre’s also makes a “regular” 20-year-old tawny (to which I would give the nod), but they are intended to be very different styles. Rui Ribeiro at Symington Family Estates said to me: “They are two different wines, coming from different blends..Different lot selections and different barrels. We have a specific aging lot for Otima which differs from the normal Warre tawny lot…The Warre’s 20YO tawny is a classic profile, showing a bit more nuttiness and wood notes, warmer palate perception (comparing with OT20). OTIMA 20 is probably the most elegant wine in the category, evident freshness on the nose, really elegant palate, great acidity and a completely clean and integrated finish.” That is a pretty good summary, for better or worse. This is indeed remarkably elegant and refreshing for a 20, dancing on the palate with light footsteps. That also means it is far better on the nose than the palate, though. It seems sunny and bright, but it doesn’t show the concentration of flavor, tension on the finish or even the intense aromatics that the best 20s can. For many, it will be just what they want, something fresh and lively, but it is a bit underwhelming. That said, it certainly enlivens the palate and it is remarkably easy and fun to drink. Plus, after it was open for a few days (who says they don’t change?), it began to show more of those classic, mature Tawny nuances, certainly more than were there initially. Take note, though: it is still Port, there is a lot of alcohol, even if it controls the perceptible spirit influence very well, and it will knock you on your butt if you drink too much. You’ll want to do exactly that–it goes down easy and tastes great.