Port Wine Festival at Børsen in Copenhagen

It was with great expectations we went to this year’s Festival in Copenhagen. Not only because we were looking forward to taste some 2016 Vintage Ports, the latest generally declared Vintage, but also to learn more about the Colheitas from Andresen in a special tasting with the owner of Andresen, Carlos Flores dos Santos and their wine maker Alvaro van Zeller.

Andresen are producing both Colheita and Vintage Ports, but according to Carlos they have always considered themselves of being a Tawny and Colheita house. After participating in this tasting we can understand why. Vintage Port lovers as we are, we have of course tasted many of their Vintage Ports, and even if they are good they are not competing with the best in that category. Their Colheitas on the other hand are indeed very good and in this tasting we got the chance to taste two Colheitas from each decade all the way back to the 1960’s, and on top of that two older fantastic Colheitas. 1937 Colheita bottled already in 1980, meaning it had about the same time in wood as on bottle. This was a great wine, showing elegancy, complexity and a quite light body, but with a long lovely finish. The last wine was more recently bottled Colheita 1910; actually it was bottled when 100 years old in 2010. This wine has an enormous concentration and a fat lovely aftertaste which never seems to end. Indeed a top quality Colheita!

Carlos Flores dos Santos and Alvaro van Zeller

In the open tasting we focused on the Vintage Ports and we found some interesting new producers we never got the chance to taste before. Dona Otilia, Martha’s, Boeira and Lacrau were new to us and we also tasted Quinta da Oliveirinha from Alves de Sousa for the first time. The latest Vintage 2016 was quite well represented and some of them are very impressive, we especially liked Sandeman and Dow’s but there were others that also impressed on us like Churchill, Kopke, Barros and Quinta da Romaneira. Even if 2016 is generally declared and 2015 is not there are for sure some really good wines made from 2015 as well. One that we have been very impressed by since we tasted it the first time last year is Niepoort Vintage Port 2015, and once again it shows that the best from 2015 can match many of the 2016 Vintage Ports.

Overall this year’s Festival shows that port wine is more popular than ever in Denmark. There is a huge assortment of all kinds of port available from many devoted and passionate importers, many of them with great knowledge of Port in general and there is always something new to learn when talking to them over a glass of port. So a big thanks to all of you for all the generosity, both with wine and knowledge. We are also of course sending our compliments to Mr. Henrik Oldenburg for the great arrangements. This is indeed one of the highlights on the year for port lovers like us.

Two Great Tasting with George Sandeman

We have been lucky enough to participate in two Great Sandeman tastings together with George Sandeman in the last six months. The first one was in London in May at the Big Fortified Tasting where George Sandeman held a Masterclass tasting together with wine maker Luís Sottomayor. The following vintages from Sandeman were tasted:

Vintage 1963, 1968 (quite rare), 1977, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2016

George Sandeman and Luís Sottomayor

The second Sandeman Tasting was in September in Copenhagen organized by the excellent owners of www.vintageportvin.dk and the following wines were included

Vintage 1963, 1967, 1970, 1975, 1977, 1980, 2000, 2016, Vau 1999, Quinta do Seixo 2015,

10, 20 and 40 years Tawny, LBV 2011, Founders Reserve and Imperial Reserve Tawny.

Two brilliant and exclusive tastings guided by George. It was very interesting to hear his analysis of the development of Sandman’s Vintage Ports over the decades. These tastings showed that Sandeman is again making top quality Vintage Ports. It will be interesting to follow the latest Vintages from 2007, 2011 and 2016 and see if they develop into the same kind of fantastic wines as for instance the 1963 and 1970.

We are very thankful for the opportunities to taking part in these two wonderful tastings. Tasting notes are on our Sandeman page.

Philipson Prestige tasting in Copenhagen

At the prestige tasting on Sep 21 Philipson Wine had invited several of their suppliers to let us taste a selection of their wines. Some of the wines that we appreciated the most were: Sassicaia 2015, Bollinger Le Grand année 2007, Ch Cantemerle 2015, Ch Kirwan 2015, Ch Talbot 2015, Nyetimber Blanc de Blanc 2010 and Burmester Colheita 1955. Burmester was represented by Stefano Marello, who we also had the pleasure of meeting at our tour to Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia last June.

Theis Bordeaux Tasting

This year Theis annual Bordeaux tasting was bigger and better than ever. With 27 Medoc Grand Cru Classe and a total of about 100 of classified Bordeaux vintages (including St Emilion and Graves/Sauternes) it was impossible to try all the good wines served. As we focused on Bordeaux we did miss out on some of the other wines served.

Most Chateaux had 2017 and an older vintage to sample. 2017 is a fairly good year, but not a classic. For most of the Chateaux their older bottle was the better.
We were particularly impressed by Ch Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse de Lalande and Cos d’Estournel, both regarding their 2017 and their older vintage, 2010 and 2014 respectively. On the sweet side, there were some lovely Sauternes that really were superb, especially after sampling almost 80 young red tannic Bordeaux. Ch Suduiraut, Guiraud and Coutet were all fabulous. We are impressed by the outstanding collection of good wines that Theis had managed to set up at this wonderful tasting.

Port Wine Day – September 10th

Sten, one of the authors on vintageport.se have been celebrating September 10th with port wine every year since 1976, the year he fell in love with the wonderful enjoyment port wine brings.
His celebration on this day is due to his birthday, this year celebrated for 75 years. We all hope you will have a nice glass of Vintage Port that day.

Celebration of the Port Wine Day is also celebrated on September 10th on the day when its designation of origin was created, in 1756.

Philipson’s annual prestige wine tasting in Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark

On September 20 in Aarhus and 21 in Copenhagen, Philipson Wine are having their annual prestige wine tastings. The tasting program includes different types of wine, e.g. Bollinger, Chablisienne, Sassicaia, Allegrini, Altesino, Catena, Phelps, Pesquera and Burmester Porto.  Tickets are available at www.philipsonwine.com

Bordeaux 2017 – Theis Vine Prestige tasting, Copenhagen, Denmark

On September 4 Theis Vine arrange 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, 2017, 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.

We will surely be visiting this tasting and you can expect our review of the event in September.

Tickets are available at www.theis-vine.dk

Visit to Vila Nova de Gaia and Porto

In June this year we visited Porto and Douro, starting with a few days in Vila Nova de Gaia and Porto and concluding with visits to some of the quintas in Douro. In Vila Nova de Gaia we had several fantastic and very well organized tours and tastings, but also a few drop by tastings at some lodges we had not booked in advance.

Symington is one of the leading Port companies and has several lodges in Gaia. We visited Graham’s and Cockburn’s. At Graham’s, that is one of the bigger lodges in Gaia, the tours are very professional and interesting and the tasting was very good.

Tasting at Cockburn’s

Coopers at work in Cockburn’s lodge

Cockburn’s new lodge offers also a very good tour and tasting and includes a very interesting view into how the coopers make or renovate the pipes, barrels and vats.

Alvaro van Zeller in the Barao de Vilar lodge

Barao de Vilar Colheitas

 

 

 

At Barao de Vilar wine maker Alvaro van Zeller showed us their stock and bottling operation in Gaia. Barao de Vilar is much smaller as a company than the major port groups, but they are also one of the most creative. In order to make an impact they are making very clever packages and bottles, such as their 100 years tawny, consisting of four small bottles of 10+20+30+40 = 100 year tawny. Alvaro and his team also have a number of very old colheitas, of which we had the great honor to taste 1990, 1977, 1963 (Barao de Vilar vs Palmer), 1962, 1950, 1934 in addition to their vintage and white colheita. It was an absolutely amazing tasting which we will remember for a long time.

2016 Vintage Ports tasted at the Calem lodge

Sogevinus owns Cálem, Kopke, Burmester, Barros and some other brands. We visited the newly renovated and upgraded Cálem lodge that combines hi-tech presentation in combination with a traditional tour to provide a good experience. For example, they have a 5D-cinema experience. We had a very interesting tasting of their latest 2016 vintages as well as some fabulous older colheitas. We really appreciated to be able to taste their fine ports in the company of Sogevinus PR & communication manager Jose João Santos, Business manager Stefano Marello and winemaker Carlos Alves.

Beautiful colours of Dalva and Cruz port wines.

Cruz and Dalva are situated in the main square in Gaia, at Espaço Porto Cruz. Gran Cruz bought the company C. da Silva and their brand Dalva in 2007 and they are now both presented at Espaço Porto Cruz. At Grand Cruz you can have a meal in their restaurant or try a selection of their ports. We got a very good expose of Cruz and Dalva port including their fantastic white ports, Dalva Golden White, and Presidential Vintage 2011. Presidential is an alternative brand for Dalva used in some markets.

In addition, we stopped at some other lodges and had some ports in the bar at:

  • Ramos Pintos,
  • Quinta dos Corvos
  • Augusto´s
  • Portologia, port wine bar in Porto