Monday 26 March 2012

Tasting of 1991 Vintage Port

Last week I went to Sverker for a VP tasting. Before we got to the port flight we were greated with a nice Riesling and two Burgundys together with a Boeuf Bourguignon. A great evening - as usual - thanks!

2009 Riesling, Willi Schaeffer
A pure, basic Riesling with nice notes of grey pears, lime peel, cap gun and some grassy notes. Young and fresh.
The taste is tight and restrained with fresh lemon and grapefruit fruit paired with green leafes and minerals. The acidity is of the perky kind, almost to verge of being fizzy. A very nice aperitif.
85p   (tasted 2012/03)

2004 Volnay Caillerets, Bouchard
A deep, cool nose with notes of lingonberries, rosehips, earth and dry leather. A commencing maturity. Cool, fresh fruit. Nothing green in this at all. A little restrained though. A nice depth.
The taste has more oomph about it, with sweet red currants and lingonberries plus nice notes of chocolate, earth and warm herbs. Feel younger in the mouth than on the nose. A fine cleansing acidity in the finish. No need to hurry to drink this although I wouldn´t wait for long either.
89p   (tasted 2012/03)

2004 Clos de la Roche Cuvée Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Ponsot
This is another creature altogether - deeper, broader, sweeter but also with more delicacy. The nose is big and sweet with notes of red cherries, rasberries, licorice and a gorgeous scent of pipe tobacco. Very deep. Dried mushrooms. The similarity with the previous wine is that it has started its road to maturedom. A tad animal after a while. Stunning.
The taste is tight, big and concentrated with lovely sweet fruit, soft tannins and a very long, warm finish. Red cherries, rosehips and rasberries. Very, very good. There is a touch of volatility at the end but that just adds to the complexity. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2012/03)

And then it was time for the ports. A flight of five bottles. Not to tout my own horn too much but I actually guessed the vintage correctly - even a blind chicken finds a corn once in a while...:-)
Tasted double blind.

1991 Taylor´s Quinta de Terra Feita Vintage Port
A still young nose with notes of dark chocolate, blueberries, sweet rosemary and banana peel. Very nice. There is a touch of band aid that comes and goes.
The taste is young, tight and intense with notes of dark chocolate, rosehips, nut pie and pickled ginger. Still there is a touch of alcohol in the finish. This still needs to be kept in the cellar. The fruit is fine, the structure is there and this has the potential to be something really fine in due course. Give it 10 more years - at least!
88p   (tasted 2012/03)

1991 Fonseca Guimaraens Vintage Port
A deep, powerful, young nose with notes of blackberries, raisins, wet earth, band aid and some musky aromas - maybe these were trod by foot... :-)Very, deep and sweet. Very good.
The taste is tight, fiery and concentrated with great creamt fruit and notes of milk chocolate, banana peel, pan fried nuts and warm herbs. Very, very good. A long, focused finish. This is beginning its drinkable phase, but I would wait at least 6-8 years before opening another bottle.
91p   (tasted 2012/03)

1991 Dow´s Vintage Port
A very deep, sweet and hedonistic nose with lovely notes of chocolate mousse, motor oil, rasberry truffles and the fresh scent of freshly washed clothes drying in the open air. Very, very good. Strawberries with muscovado sugar and balsamic vinegar. Deep. swet and utterly yummy. This is the most mature port so far in the line up. although its not fully mature yet.
The taste is pure, sweet and intense with great fruit, great structure and a long, long, sweet finish. Black cherries in liquor, raisins, dark chocolate and warm herbs. This is a great drinking port right now, but I would bet that it will be even better in 5-10 years time.
93p   (tasted 2012/03)

1992 Niepoort Quinta da Passadouro
Sadly, the 1991 Quinta de Vargellas was corked but Sverker had a back up bottle. The nose is lighter than the rest of the flight, with notes of  blueberries, assorted nuts, gravel, orange peel and dry tobacco. Nice all the same. There is a tiny volatile note, but not in a disturbing way.
The taste is bigger with sweet, mature fruit and notes of lingonberries, dry chocolate, pecan nuts and dried strawberries. A nice, long finish that ends semi dry. Good in a slightly foursquare way.
85p   (tasted 2012/03)

1991 Grahams Vintage Port
We saved the best for last. A stunningly complex, deep, penetrating scent greats you when you put your nose in the glass. Classy aromas of of cinnamon apples, butter fried nuts, chocolate covered rasberries and warm, wet forest floor notes. Very, very good. After a while some resin and dark fudge notes emerge. A stunning nose.
The taste is extremely tight, focused and intense with beautiful sweet, voluptuous fruit and notes of Valrhona chocolate, nut pie and mature banana peel. Ripe plums. The finish goes on for over a minute. Still on the young side but impossible to resist now. Great wine!
95p   (tasted 2012/03)


  1. Currently Madeira's winning the fortified battle, but that's just due to some serious lobbying! ;-) If there's a breach, I'll go for a port.

  2. Madeira is the desert island fortified wine for me, but some serious port is always nice! :-)