MADERA (KCBS)—The Ficklin family has been making California ports since 1945, and started with a Solera in 1948. A Solera is a tear of barrels in which the freshest wine is put in at the top and the oldest wine is taken out of the bottom.

Once the wine at the top is a year old you empty that barrel into the lower one in order to put the fresh wine in at the top.

KCBS’ Narsai David:

What is then taken from the bottom of the barrels is a wonderful complex mixture of several different vintages.

Ficklin Vineyards takes out their old vine tinta port when it has an average of seven years of age.

It’s medium red color and bright cheerful fruity red colors is the perfect compliment to dark chocolate and it sells for $15.

They age their elegant and coppery red colored tawny port for 10 years. It sparkles on the glass with spicy aromas and leads to a lush wine on the palate.

The 1996 Vintage port is pricier at $36 a bottle and was bottled after just three years in the barrel. It contains nuances of spice and licorice and has a deep red color.

You can visit Ficklin Vineyards in Madera California.

Click here to listen to all of Narsai’s podcasts

Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53am, 12:53pm and 4:53pm, and at 2:53am Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  1. Tom Thomus says:

    Nice Blog with Excellent information.

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