Scotsman George Sandeman set up business in Tom's Coffee House in London in 1790, trading in Ports and Sherries. An agency in Cadiz soon followed, and then a Port Lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia and, by the beginning of the 20th Century, Sandeman Ports and Sherries were to be found all across the world. Seven generations down the line, another George Sandeman can be found at the helm of the House of Sandeman, although the family relinquished ownership in 1980. Sandeman are now owned by Sogrape. Sandeman's most widely admired products are their aged Tawny Ports.
Sandeman was founded in 1790 and has since established itself as one of the leading producers in the Douro. Chief winemaker Luís Sottomayer joined the winery in 1989 and now heads the winemaking team for all of the Douro wines in the Sogrape Vinhos group. Since Sogrape acquired Sandeman in 2002, there has been huge investment in both the vineyards and winemaking facilities.
Sandeman produces several expressions of Tawny Port, from 10year old to 40year old. The hand-harvested grapes begin fermentation before being halted by the carefully timed addition of grape spirit, leaving plenty of residual sugar and elevated alcohol levels from the spirit. The following spring, the wines are moved to Sandeman's lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia where they are aged in small oak cases for many years.
Aged Tawny is always measured as an average, and the wines in this 30year old example are between 25 and 40 years of age. Approximately 6,000 bottles of this Platinum winner are made annually. Decanter World Wine Awards 2017 (Jun 2017)