Review: Quady’s NV Starboard Batch 88 and Vintage 2006
Madera, California-based Quady is one of the most venerable names in U.S. dessert wines, its history dating back to 1975.
Quady’s still at it, with a collection of vintage Port-like wines which it cheekily refers to as Starboards — although they are made with traditional Portuguese grape varieties grown in Amador County.
Today we look at the two primary bottlings of Quady’s Starboard you’ll find on the market.
NV Quady’s Starboard Batch 88 – Nonvintage. Aggressively fruity and a bit pruny, with hardcore raisin notes hinted just so with orange blossoms. Give it some time and it opens up on the palate, revealing layers of chocolate underneath the fruit. Simple but approachable. B / $21
2006 Quady’s Starboard Vintage – A rare vintage offering, aged two years in barrel before bottling. This is a more elevated expression, to be sure, melding notes of dried fruits — and plenty of raisins — with hints of tea leaf, cocoa powder, vanilla, and some modest spice notes. Much more complex and, critically, less overwhelmingly sweet. Worth the upgrade. A- / $38