26 Oct Please The Palate Wine of the Week: C. da Silva Dalva 1963 Golden White Porto
There was something ethereal as I put my nose in the glass last week during the Port and Douro events I was organizing in Chicago and New York. “Wood-Aged Portos – A Concerto of Wine and Time” was the theme of the seminar and featured a beautiful array of Tawny Ports, and one Golden White Port. I was running around and barely had a chance to taste all of the wines but when I was poured a glass of the C. da Silva Dalva 1963 Golden White Porto, I was captivated. That is why the C. da Silva Dalva 1963 Golden White Porto is the Please The Palate wine of the week.
Tawny, Ruby, and Vintage Ports are well-known. But White Port is in some ways a best-kept secret. White Ports are fortified wines made from white Portuguese indigenous grapes, such as Viosinho, Malvasia Fina, Códega and Rabigato. C. da Silva, a traditional Port wine house founded by Clemente da Silva in 1862, focuses on White and Tawny Ports with its two labels, Dalva, which is named after the owner, and Presidential.
C. da Silva created a limited collection of White Port Colheita (Single Harvest) wines under the Dalva label. These wines are are only made in the best years. The 1963 Golden White Port, made mostly from the Malvasia grape, was aged for a minimum of seven years in cask. While the wine is almost 60 years old, it is bottled in batches and the 1963 Golden White that I enjoyed was bottled in 2022.
While red wines lose their color as they age, white wines gain color. At 60 years old, the 1963 Golden White is a beautiful golden brown color and has the aromas of a Tawny Port. The wine is exceptionally fresh with intense aromas of caramel, dried fruits, figs, and toffee. On the palate, there are citrus and nut flavors and the wine has marked acidity that is balanced by the richness and sweetness. This wine is utterly gorgeous with a long, elegant finish.
The C. da Silva Dalva 1963 Golden White Porto is a special wine that I had the privilege to enjoy and I will remember the sublime purity of this wine for a long time!