Port Wine Day enjoyed with Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas 1972 and 1976

We celebrated the Port Wine Day with our families with two rarely seen vintages from Quinta de Vargellas, 1972 and 1976. Both are actually very good and they are peaking now. If we have to choose one that was slightly better it would be the 1976. You can read our tasting notes here.

Vargellas1972_1976

Theis annual Bordeaux tasting in Copenhagen, Denmark

On September 7 Theis Vine opens its doors for the annual tasting at the Stock Exchange in Copenhagen, Denmark. The main focus for the tasting is the great chateaux of Bordeaux, with both samples from the last vintage, 2015, as well as beads of older vintages directly from the producers’ own cellars. Furthermore, a selection of some other wines from the rest of the world are also available.

The Big Fortified Tasting, London

On April 22 we visited The Big Fortified Tasting at Church House, Westminster, London. The venue was well planned and well organized. In addition to the general tasting we attended two Master Classes; Niepoort’s Bioma Vinha Velha and Madeira.

We had the opportunity to taste several new Vintage Port as well as some old colheita port, such as Kopke 1941. In addition to port there was an impressive selection of Vintage Madeira. D’Olivieira had the widest selection of Vintage Madeira with Boal 1987, Boal 1977, Verdelho 1981, Verdelho 1986, Terrantez 1977 and Sercial 1989. In addition Justinos and Blandy was also represented with some Vintage Madeira.

In addition to Port and Madeira there were Mosacatel de Setubal, Marsala and a vast selection of Sherry’s.

The Master class “Niepoort’s Bioma Vinha Velha” offered vertical tasting of the Pisca vineyard where Dirk Niepoort took us through all the vintages released so far. The first vintage was Pisca 2007. Due to name registration issues Niepoort had to change names to Bioma, which is the current name. The following wines were Bioma 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013. In addition Dirk Niepoort let us try cask samples of the two batches of port that will be mixed to make the coming vintage 2015.

The Madeira Master class “A Wide Range of Unique Wines” with The Madeira Wine Institute and Rui Falcao gave a very good overview of Madeira and the new legislation.

Author: Jörgen

A wonderful day in Porto

Figueira2007After a great day with good spring weather we decided to visit a Port wine lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia. We went in to the Porto Cruz lodge and decided to have a tasting, and as my friends were new to the wide world of port I decided to have a tasting with broad range of port to show that port is a very wide concept. We got seven port, starting with the dry white, continuing with a few tawnies and ending with Cruz Vintage 2011 and Dalva Golden White 1963. We all agreed that we did not prefer the dry white but the decision between the old white and vintage was more difficult. It is astonishing that white port can transform from a quite mediocre wine (new on release) to a very complex and fantastic wine with age. We also learned that La Martiniquaise, the owner of Porto Cruz has bought the stock of Vasconcellos port from Christies. The brand of Vasconcellos remains with Christie’s.
Figueira2011After the touristic Gaia lodges we decided to have a glas of nice vintage port in the fabulous port wine bar Vinologia. I was very disappointed to find that is was closed! On the outside everything looked at usual but looking through the window we say a pile of letters inside and that everything was abandoned. However, we were lucky to get directions to the new location. It is just 30 meters down the street towards the river but there were no signs to the new place. We entered the new location, Portologia, and I wanted to find a vintage port we had never tried before. As I was looking at bottle of Quinta de Lamelas Vintage 2010 I said half aloud to myself “I wounder if we have tried this vintage” and as a reply I heard “yes, you had that the last time your visited us”. You cannot imagine my surprise when Maria at Portologia told me that she often uses our web site and knew that we had this particular vintage in September 2014. I was deeply impressed. Few, if any, wine bars has such an amount of vintage port to offer and after some discussion we found a vintage we had not sampled before, Quinta de Val da Figueira Vintage 2007. It was very good. I also had the opportunity to try the 2011 of the same quinta. However, the 2007 was better. Maria really provided a spectacular service and made us feel very welcome. We do recommend that you visit the new Portologia at your next visit in Porto.
Author: Jörgen

Easter 2016

We started Easter 2016 with a visit at the restaurant ”P.M och Vänner” in Växjö with their Great Menu and Great Wine Menu. Their Great Wine Menu was the best we have had in around 100 visits in Guide Michelin star restaurants around the world. Even their Menu was quite good and the restaurant is worth a travel to visit.

EasterWines2016At home on Good Friday we started with champagne of course. This day it was Salon vintage 1988. This was followed by wild tureen with red onion marmalade. The wines were 1979 Chardonnay from St. Clement in Napa and Dom. de Chevalier Blanc from 2008 in Grave. After that we enjoyed filled partridges and wigeons accompanied by some wonderful wines such as La Tache’ 1984, Ch. Haut-Brion 1984 and a marvelous Ch. Latour 1953. This was followed by a truffle cake with Sandeman’s vintage Port from 1927 and 1908 which both were on the top with the meal and even without any meal. Just Heaven!

SandemanVintagePorts19271908After a new Salon, this time it was vintage 1996, Easter Evening started with three minor starters i.e. yellow gazpacho, duck liver pâté and onion pie with salmon to which we drank Vendage 25 Octobre 1990 Sancerre from Lucien Crochet and Ch. Grillet 1985 from Rhone.

To the lamb we had Petrus 1973 and 1969. The 1973 was astonishing and a great surprise indeed for all of us and the 1969 very good also but not as great as the 1973. As dessert we had white chocolate ice-cream with Eitelsbacher Karthäufer Hofberger auslese 1959 from Ruwer and Ch. dÝquem from 1977 which closed our Easter celebration.

A new Port Wine Book which should be included in your library

christopher-pfaff-das-douro-talA new Port Wine book “Das Douro-Tal” (ISBN: 9783739215143) written by Christopher Pfaff. The book is a nearly 200 pages tourist travel guide about the Douro valley (sorry only in German language) with several colour photos. Of course all major Port Quintas, most of the Quintas who can be visited by tourists and Quintas where an overnight stay for tourists is possible are included. Moreover the guides include information about sightseeing and recommended restaurants and hotels. This is the first German book about this region ever. The price in Germany for the book is 13.99 € and it is also available in international markets like US and UK.

Queen Elisabeth’s Celebration

In week 14th it has been announced that Graham will honor Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday with a special Port Wine. The wine is a blend of 40% tawny from 1935, 20% of a tawny from 1824 and 40% of a tawny from 1912 which means an average aged of 90 years, i.e. the same age as the Queen in 2016. The Queen is one of the greatest ambassadors for Port in the world as she always in every official dinner at Windsor Castle and at Buckingham Palace will serve Port with the dessert.
There has been some problem with these bottles as the wines are neither colheita nor tawnies according to the law. Only one of the years has the Port Wines Institute’s registration and that is the 1935 due to the Port Wines Institute’s legalization was not until 1933. Symington, who own Graham, has got a special authorization to offer the wines to the market. The prices will be around 700 pounds+ shipping.

Some very interesting and unusual ports

At the last tasting in our wine society 18% we tasted some very interesting and virtually unknown ports. In total we tried 11 ports, all new to the wine club and most of them new to us too. With seven new vintage ports, new houses/quintas and some other special port we did have a nice evening.
The first house we had was Vasconcellos, which is a very small and almost unknown house. In the past they had very close connections to Gonzalez Byass and Butler Nephew. Suckling (1992) writes that he has never had a Vasconcellos and that he tried in vain to contact the company. 1965 is the oldest known vintage port Vasconcellos produced. Vasconcellos is owned by the British family Christie, who sold the company’s port warehouse to Sandeman in 1989 but kept the brand. Since 2000 Christies har resurected Vasconcellos again and started to sell the port under the brand Vasconcellos, and in addition they have restored the Butler Nephew brand. Both are now produced by CCVP – Companhia Comercial de Vinhos do Porto. Gonzalez Byass has however had other owners and do not belong to Christie.
At the tasting we tried all the Vintage ports we know Vasconcellos has made, and a more than 40 year old tawny:
  • Vasconcellos Vintage Port 2003 (CCVP)
  • Vasconcellos Vintage Port 2000 (CCVP)
  • Vasconcellos Vintage Port 1989 (CCVP)
  • Vasconcellos Vintage Port 1965 (Vasconcellos Oporto & Cia)
  • Vasconcellos More than 40 years old Tawny (CCVP), bottled 2006
The line up of the tasting.

The line up of the tasting.

According to several sources on the web, Vasconcellos ‘More than 40 years old Tawny’ is composed of a blend of 1902 and 1942, but if this is true we do not know.
The second brand we tried was Maia. Maia is a brand that was sold as BOB (Buyers Own Brand) by Barros Almeida. Maia has been bottled under several of the houses former included in the Barros Group. The wine we had was Maia Vintage port 1987 that was bottled by Hutcheson-Feuerheerd.
The third brand was Quinta de Sant’Ana Vintage Port 1982, bottled by Feist. This was a quinta none of us at the tasting had ever heard about. Following the vintage of 1982 we had a Colheita 1975 (bottled 1984) of the same quinta.
Finally we had a Feist Colheita 1966 (bottled 1984), a Feuerheerd Colheita 1987 (bottled 2001), and Commendador (bottled by Feuerheerd).
Commendador is a very special port made by Feuerheerd and served on George VI’s state visit to France on July 19, 1938. At the banquet at the Palais de L’Elysée was served the following wines: Ch Yquem 1923, Ch Haut-Brion 1924, Chambertin 1923, Pommery Brut 1928 and Porto Commendador. The port we tasted had survived most of the participants on the banquet in 1938.