Best Inexpensive Fortified Wine

217630
Samson Estates
NV Cassis Black Currant Dessert Wine
Ruby garnet color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of warm cassis compote, chocolate mint, and spiced nuts with a satiny, tangy, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long cranberry sauce, eucalyptus lemon lozenge, and menthol tobacco finish with crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A rich, spicy fruit wine with great dimension and length.
94 points $13 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215940
Johnson Estate
"Maple" Estate Grown
Brilliant light amber color. Interesting, earthy rustic aromas and flavors of grappa, lacquer, suede, and honeyed dried peaches with a glycerous, soft, sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long spiced apples and pears, chestnut nougat, and maple cream finish with light oak. A delicious and nuanced fortified dessert wine that evokes memories of Italy.
93 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216065
La Quinta
NV Syrah Port Paso Robles
Dusty ruby black color. Dusty, earthy aromas and flavors of leather, cocoa and coconut, raisin box, and crayon and clay with a round, bright, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length prune compote, spiced nuts, pencil shavings, and pepper dust and minerals finish with dusty, chewy tannins. A brooding Late-Bottle Vintage Port styled fortified wine with attractive earthiness and restraint.
93 points $17 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218971
Porto Meneres
2012 LBV Douro
Dark garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of dried berries, pencil shavings, cocoa, and caramel with a tangy, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and an elegant, long chocolate orange peels, sasparilla float, cherry cola, and pepper finish with chewy, fine tannins and moderate oak. A robust and flavorful LBV port that has a lot to offer.
92 points $18.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220582
Savory & James
NV Fine Ruby Porto Portugal
Ruby black color. Interesting, nutty aromas of caramelized peanuts, caramel covered popcorn, and blackberry jam with a slightly chewy, lively, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, compelling, medium-length sweet tarragon and milk chocolate finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A complex and nutty ruby port that over-performs for the category.
90 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220583
Savory & James
NV Fine Tawny Porto Portugal
Copper color. Spicy aromas of leather wallet, ripe forest berries, fresh foraged herbs, and spiced orange tea with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a refreshing, medium-long bread pudding with caramel sauce, dried dates and figs, and eucalyptus finish with light oak. A lip-smacking, fruity tawny Porto for after dinner, cocktails, or cheese pairings.
89 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220585
Savory & James
NV Deluxe Medium Amontillado Sherry Jerez
Mahogany brown color. Toasty, yeasty aromas of raisin, panettone, cocoa powder, and almond meal and fresh baked croissant with a satiny, racy, off-dry medium body and a warming, captivating, medium-long dried figs and dates, chocolate batter, and anisette biscotti finish with fine, silky tannins and light oak. A rich and chocolatey Amontillado with singing acidity.
89 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218974
Porto Meneres
NV Fine Tawny Douro
Medium dusty ruby color. Inviting, minty aromas of blueberry jam, mint chocolate cookie, caribbean spices, and burnt sugar with a round, tangy, very sweet light-to-medium body and a delightful, medium-long blueberry compote, Caribbean spices, tanned leather, and smoky cedar finish with dusty, fine tannins and light oak. A solid tawny port that will be versatile.
89 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217629
Samson Estates
NV "Blu" Blueberry Dessert Wine
Dusty garnet black color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of fresh blueberry cobbler, orange blossom honey, alpine herb-mint lozenge, and cherry cola with a satiny, bright, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a tingling, delightful, breezy spiced custard, sweet spices, and peppercorns finish with dusty tannins and no oak. A warming, spicy blueberry wine.
89 points $16 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220584
Savory & James
NV Deluxe Quality Cream Sherry Jerez
Clear chocolate brown color. Attractive, yeasty aromas of fresh baked bread and chocolate covered dried fruits with a syrupy, vibrant, very sweet fat body and a tingling, carefree candied pecan, bran muffin, dried apricot and castelvetrano olive, and rum soaked raisin finish with soft tannins and a suggestion of oak. A satisfyingly sweet cream sherry for cocktails and desserts; try it over gelato or creme caramel.
87 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab