Friday 23 December 2011

Pass the Port, please!

Clockwise! And that is precisely what we did. A couple of days ago we had the seasons last tasting in one of the tasting group I´m a member of. And that last tasting is always dedicated to fortified wines, just as the last tasting before the summer break is dedicated to Champagne.

This year (like last year when I recall) it was Mikke that was in charge of the wines - and what wines they were! 6 great Ports to set you up for Christmas. Thanks Mikke!
All tasted double blind.

1981 Quinta de Noval Colheita Old Tawny
This was bottled in 1997. A mature, rounded, creamy nose with notes of yellow raisins, milk chocolate, balsamic notes and dried rasberrys. Very good and yummy.
The taste is bigger than the nose suggest, with darker, dried fruit, darker chocolate and a nice, firm grip in the finish. Not that complex but very tasty. For drinking now, and that I would gladly do again.
88p   (tasted 2011/12)

1980 Dow´s Vintage Port
This was a curious one. Almost black, we all thought it was from the 90`s...
A deep, tight, dark nose with notes of chocolate covered banana (!), wet earth, assorted nuts and rasberries. Very much dark chocolate. Very deep, but a little withdrawn.
The taste is tight, hard and big with lots of black, sweet fruit, chcolate and, here lies a problem, big dollops of grain alcohol. The finish is long, big, sweet but with a alcohol punsch at the very end, which makes it somewhat unbalanced.
Couldn´t believe that this was a 1980. Wait another 20 year and see... For now it gets:
85p   (tasted 2011/12)

1977 Taylor´s Vintage Port
A fine, elegant, mature nose with notes of rasberry- and chocolate truffles, dades, figs and pecan nut pie. Just a stunning, multidimensionell aroma that flows up from the glass. Very deep and warm. Just lovely.
The taste is tight, fine and creamy with lots and lots of black cherries, rasberries and red currants. Very, very good. A point now. Very fresh. The finish goes on for over a minute.
Although this is a gorgeous specimen of Port, I was surprised when it turned out to be the 77 Taylor. My memory of this creature is that it has been, al least up to a few years back, a big brute that still needed 10 years. This bottle doesn´t.
94p   (tasted 2011/12)

1970 Sandeman Vintage Port
A fine, cool, mature nose with notes of milk chocolate, rubber/plastic, blueberries and a nicely perfumed note. After a while some spirits pushes through the fruit. Fully mature.
The taste is fiery and fruity with lots of red cherries marinated in brandy, dry chocolate and some balsamic notes. Medium long finish that ends semi dry. This has maybe just passed its zenit, but is still drinking fine.
87p   (tasted 2011/12)

1965 Taylor´s Quinta de Vargellas Vintage Port
A mature, medium sweet nose with notes of dried fruit - figs, daded and raisins, some dry chocolate, rubber boots and warm earth. Good but a tad foursquare.
The taste is warm, medium big and strong, with dry black fruit and a touch of alcohol in the finish. Good. It starts of fine but with air it looses its grip and nerve. Only good. Past its best
83p   (tasted 2011/12).

1963 Rebello Valente Vintage Port
Bottled by Berry Bros & Rudd. This is just stunning on the nose with warm, deep, powerful big black fruit, a lovely sweeetness and lots of black cherries in brandy, black raisins, dades, old expensive leather and sweet pipe tobacco. Very fresh. Lots of depth and character. Beautiful.
The taste is big, tight and at the same time elegant with lovely black fruit, melted tannins and a long, fresh, intense finish. This is still on the young side. Very, very fresh. The finish goes on for over a minute.  Lovely!
Another 1963 winner!
95p   (tasted 2011/12)

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