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VIP Wines Newsletter. For International and local wine makers, wine agents, and wine connoisseurs

The Wine

Maynard's Port Encyclopedia Vol. II

95 points - Matt Steeves

Port, the storied fortified wine from Portugal, is loved by many around the world for its rich and refreshing characteristics that are simply perfect when enjoyed after a fine meal in the company of great friends. Like wine, Port comes in many different styles, each with unique characteristics that make them best suited for specific purposes whether that be with main dishes, desserts, or simply enjoying by the fire.

Maynard's Port Wine Encyclopedia Volume II includes a flight of six different Ports, including a White Port, Ruby Port, 2012 Late Bottled Vintage Port, and 10, 20, and 30 year old Tawny Ports, all beautifully presented in a (hollowed-out) hard cover encyclopedia case that would totally go undiscovered in anyone's library, or shelf at work...

Rare is it to have six different styles of any beverage to sample in one package, but Maynard's delivers style and function with this educational and entertaining set of Ports that is by the way totally delicious as you sample your way through six tasty Ports. Complete with encyclopedia-like information on each of the styles, this is a tutored-tasting in a box. Impress your friends, family, or colleagues with your knowledge and lead them on a tasting and sensory journey with this Port Encyclopedia.

Especially unique are the Ports that book-end this flight, from a somewhat rarely seen (in the Canadian market) White Port to the very expensive 30 year old Tawny Port (that's right, the juice in that bottle is on average 30 years old making is so incredibly nutty, smooth, and complex). The flight of six Ports are packaged in individual glass 60ml bottles that enable a few tasters to sample each, or one lucky taster to taste them a few times over a period of time.

If you're looking for a great holiday gift for that special wine/Port lover in your life, this may be the best gift you could get, especially for the price and the experience that comes with it. Highly recommended. Tasted December 2016. 95 points.

90 points - Dean Tudor

"This is a great introduction for tasting port, a sort-of tutorial. And very useful for a Christmas gift at that price range. Here are six of the Barao de Vilar's fine Ports for this sampling set...Just perfect for 2 - 3 persons....The first three may not seem much like a bargain (white, ruby, LBV 2012) but the latter three are bargains in this context (10-, 20, 30-year old tawnies)...My fave, of course, was the 20-year old tawny, with its complicated nose and dried fruit tones on the palate. Quality/Price rating of the package is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures."

Margaret Swaine

Maynard’s Port Encyclopedia is a gift tailor made for the budding oenophile: open the ‘book’ and inside are six port categories in 60mL tubes, namely white, ruby, Late Bottle Vintage (LBV), 10-Year-Old, 20-Year-Old and 30-Year-Old. Selling at $54.95 (LCBO 464917), it’s both festive and informative.

Michael Pinkus

… Port can be some of the best wine in the world, perfect with a cigar, stinky cheese or just as an after dinner drink, but it is also one of the most confusing and misunderstood wine in the world; well now Maynard’s is making it easy on you. Packaged to look like a book but with a surprise inside, once you open the front cover: 6 test tubes for you to sample from.  This gorgeous gift set is for the Port-lover in all of us (and yes it is there, you just have to find it) but also for those that want to help give the bug to others who may not be as fortunate to have bitten by it yet. This is one way to teach others why Port is so revered and so captivating to so many.  With the 6 tasting samples inside (60ml each, with screwcap closure) and a description about each, Maynard’s Port Encyclopedia makes it easy, fun and tasty to find your Port and help you fall in love with one of the world’s great wines. 

Maynard's 10 Years Old Tawny Port


90 points - Roger Voss

“Rich, full-bodied wine is flavored with dry molasses as well as raisins. Cut with acidity, it has a mature feel that is both ripe and, at the end, dry, with a fragrant aftertaste.” - Wine Enthusiast magazine


AWARD – Gold Medal Vinalies Internationales 2012

The Background

Consider these facts:

  • The Wine Spectator in 1999 selected Quinta do Noval Nacional 1931 as one of the two best wines of the 20th century


  • Alvaro Van Zeller’s began his winemaking career and crafted his skills at Quinta do Noval


  • Fernando and Alvaro’s grandfather, Luis de Vasconcellos Porto was one of the most innovative and key figures in the worldwide acceptance of Port


  • a natural marketer, Vasconcellos launched the 1954 LBV (Late Bottle Vintage), a new category of Port that was soon copied by every other house (he was also first to do stenciled labels)


  • Fernando and Alvaro’s father, Fernando Luis Van Zeller took over Quinta do Noval in 1963 and sold it in 1993


After the sale, the sons were given a small stock of wine in 1996 which the Van Zeller brothers have successfully grown in only 20 years into an up and coming Port producer and exporter reaching the position of #6 worldwide. Of course, if you have over 230 years of Port winemaking and marketing in your DNA, it does give you a little leg up on the competition. The Port Encyclopedia is a result of Fernando’s natural marketing skills and Alvaro’s well-honed winemaking skills.

Maynard’s is the flagship brand of Fernando and Alvaro Van Zeller’s Vinihold’s company. The Van Zeller name is synonymous with Port in Portugal, by virtue of two facts: (1) they are the oldest existing family in Portugal’s wine business, counting 16 continuous generations since 1780, and (2) the Van Zellers forebears were the owners of the iconic brand Quinta do Noval brand which was purchased in 1894. 
Quinta do Noval some would argue is the greatest Port House…

Robert Parker puts it among the three he calls greatest.


Fernando and Alvaro would be interested to know what you think. Please email us with the form on our Contact page with the subject: Maynards

The Reviews

Ports rated 90 points or better, MAYNARD’S - Portugal’s most dynamic Port House - offers you a sensational Gift Pack that is sure to delight any Port aficionado or any wine lover.


Adult Edu-tainment…sure to delight every Port aficionado or wine lover!  

Taste and compare 6 different categories of Port from the regular to the rare: 60 mL tubes of Tawny Port, Ruby Port, LBV 2012, 10 Year Old, 20 Year Old, 30 Year Old Plus a History of Port in a Gift Pack

LCBO # 464917


(excellent value)

Maynard’s Port Encyclopedia Volume II

“Great gift idea.”

LCBO Store Manager

90 points Wine Enthusiast  & 91 points WineAlign

Fernando, with his beautiful daughter-in-law Mariana Van Zeller who covers  administration & marketing, keeping the ongoing family tradition of succeeding generations. Fernando oversees exports to 15 countries, often holding, as per this London Sunday Times event, daylong workshops… as in “I work and my wife shops”

Released: November 7, 2016

Maynard's 20 Years Old Tawny Port

91 points - Michael Godel

“Tawny Port from an average age of 20 big in caramel, nuts and dried figs. This is a refined, elegant and sprightly sweet Tawny with a long, long finish. Second thoughts go out to orange peel, anise and the right honourable oxidative notes of brilliant old wine. A cup of coffee in a halava shop while swinging in a rattan bassonette. Holidays in a glass. Drink 2015-2030.”

Tasted December 2015. WineAlign

91 points - David Lawrason

“This is a fairly deeply coloured tawny - very bright and almost glowing with a fire ember centre. The nose is intense with quite rich, lifted aromas of coffee, dried dates, walnut and toffee.  It's full bodied, sweet and hot, with some wood tannin and considerable coffee bean bitterness on the finish. Wanted a bit more elegance but it has loads of flavour. Excellent to outstanding length.”

Tasted December 2015. WineAlign         


Alvaro, oversees the winemaking of five company brands, and is recognized as one of Portugal’s most outstanding winemakers and twice awarded Portugal’s Best Fortified Wine Winemaker (2011 & 2015)