Category Archives: Tasted Vintage Port

Port Wine Festival with Niepoort

This year’s festival in Copenhagen on November 6 was a success with two sold out tasting sessions, a press tasting with Dirk Niepoort, some new participating importers and a super nice new Vintage, 2015, to taste from many of the port houses.Niepoort Tasting

The arranger of this festival, Forlaget Smag with Henrik Oldenburg, had invited Dirk Niepoort for a special tasting showing how traditions are maintained in the development of the Niepoort Company and its new products, all based on long experience in the business. Experience is something Dirk has a lot of, being the fifth generation in the family company, and the manager since 20 years. Dirk is a very well-known person in the port wine business, not only for the high quality of the wines coming out from Niepoort, but also for being one of the most charismatic persons with his own ways of doing things. He say he aims for perfection of the balance in the wines and talks about the importance of not trying to exaggerate the expression based on the assumption on what people may like and instead trust your own knowledge of what usually works. In his own words this gives wines with precision and elegance with a remarkable ageing potential.

The tasting showed us that Niepoort is a company that deliver not only high quality Port wine but also some of the finest table wines available from Douro. We got to taste both white and red wines with really good quality, especially interesting was the mature white Redoma Branco 1996 – showing the ageing potential in his wines, the red Poeirinho 2015 from Bairrada – a truly great red based on the Baga grape and the latest vintage, 2015, from his best red wines Batuta and Charme.

 

Dirk Niepoort

Dirk Niepoort

When it comes to Port Wines he presented the LBV 1981, an eye opener for anyone saying that LBV is for immediate consumption on release, this shows that those that are patient with wines will get a better experience. Then we got to taste two wonderful Garrafeiras, 1952 and 1977. Today, only Niepoort produces this type of Port Wine, so they are rare and sought after on the market – they are also worth looking for because they are of wonderful quality. Both of them are very elegant and complex, see tasting notes.

Finally we got to taste the Vintage Port 2015. A Vintage described by Dirk as perfect for Vintage Port and when tasting it we can only agree, because the result is very impressive, see tasting notes.

The rest of the festival we focused on the Vintage Ports, as usual, and not only Niepoort managed to deliver a great 2015, we were also very impressed by Cockburn and Quinta da Romaneira. Quinta Senhora da Ribeira and Palmer (new brand from Barão de Vilar) were also impressive. There were also some older Vintage Ports available for tasting that we liked; Warre’s Vintage 2000, Sandeman 1994 and 1975, Quinta da Cavadinha 2001, Graham’s Malvedos 2004, Quinta dos Canais 2010 and Quinta de Ervamoira 2009. There were also some nice ranges of Vintage Port from Quinta do Infantado, Quinta do Retiro Novo and Quinta da Romaneira that allowed you to see how Vintage Port develop in the bottle.

Miguels tasting Vintage 1960 – 2011

Just before summer we held a private tasting of Vintage Ports from the quite new port house Miguels.

Messias Miguel Valente, the owner of this house is related on his mother´s side to Messias Baptista who founded the house of Messias in 1926. After working several years at Messias, Miguel decided to create his own brand, Miguels in 2015. So if you haven’t heard about the producer before, there is a reason.

Miguels Vintage 1983 – 2011

Currently all Vintage Ports of Miguels are sourced from the Messias family stock. Miguels can therefore offer older Vintages as well, actually all the way back to 1960.

In the tasting we had almost all currently available Vintages from Miguels, only 2005 was missing (and 1965, but this is not available anymore).

It was very interesting to taste all of these at once, and there is for sure a consistent style, sweet with dried fruit, toffee, prunes and orange zest found in many of them. They also showed a quite distinguished acidity, especially in some of the older vintages.

Miguels Vintage 1960 – 1982

The winner, in the tasting group of 14 persons, was quite surprisingly the 1979 Vintage which was very generous on the nose and had a mature very balanced and elegant finish.

Please see here for full tasting notes and points.

Great Tasting – Vintage 1983

The Wine Society 18%, Malmö Sweden, had a Great Tasting on the 16th and 18th March 2017 of 31 different 1983 Vintage Ports. As always for these Great Tastings the expectations were high, especially for a Vintage like 1983 that has been praised by wine critics and experts. To be honest, this time the truth did not meet our expectations. There were too many wines that were over the hill and showed volatile acidity or oxidation. Unfortunately there were also some that we classified as defect due to bad corks. We have had several other Great Tastings of older Vintages but we have never had so many bad or poor wines. On the other hand some of the wines are really good, you just need to know which they are, and avoid the others.

As always both Taylor and Fonseca are good, even if some in the group did not fully appreciate the Fonseca. Both are quite mature, the Taylor looks surprisingly light in colour but it is as always very generous in the bouquet and wonderfully delicate on the palate with raisins, orange zest, dark chocolate and cacao. It is a full bodied wine and has a long attractive finish.

Some of the absolute best wines from the Vintage are from the Symington’s. When looking at the total ranking from the total tasting group they actually took the four top places! The top scorer of the night was Quarles Harris followed by Gould Campbell, Grahams and then Smith Woodhouse. The Quarles Harris is still quite dark in colour but with a mature yellow rim. It shows all the attributes of a Vintage Port on its peak, with coffee, tea, cacao and much more in the bouquet, On the palate the wine seems to remain forever in the mouth – truly a perfectly balanced port wine.

Please read all of the tasting notes and all our scores and ranking under Great Tasting 1983.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Another year has passed by and we have tasted a lot of fantastic Vintage Ports during this last year. We now have tasting notes for more than 1,500 different Vintage Ports.

We also reached the milestone of 150,000 visitors to our web site since we started it five years ago. Thank you all for visiting our site and thank you all for the kind words we here from you.

Warres1958Among the all the tastings we had during this last year there are now some new added to our section of Great Tastings. We have had tasting on both Vintage 1988 and Vintage 1958, and we also have a report from the fantastic vertical on Calem, arranged by Axel Probst, that we participated in. So please enjoy reading about these tastings.

We hope that 2017 will bring many more fantastic tastings and events. See you all next year!

 

Copenhagen Port Wine Festival 2016

festival2016_1

Dominic Symington and Gustavo Devesas

The annual port wine festival in Copenhagen, arranged by Henrik Oldenburg, was this year visited by well-known Dominic Symington from the Symington Family Estates. Dominic arranged, with help from Gustavo Devesas (Market Manager at the Symingtons) a tasting to show that the terroir and micro climate of the quintas in the Douro valley are very different. By tasting six of the Symington Single Quintas we could all see the difference between Quinta da Cavadinha, Quinta do Bomfim, Quinta dos Malvedos, Quinta dos Canais, Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira and Quinta do Vesuvio. To understand the differences better we tasted all of these quintas from both 2001 and 2010 to also see the maturation aspect of the different terroirs. Dominic talked about the work the Symingtons are doing to improve the quality in all of the quintas using modern technology combined with their long experience. The harvest can for instance be done in a more optimal way by investigating how strong the vines are throughout the quinta and then harvest different parts of the quintas at different days for perfect grapes.

festival2016_2In the open tasting we could as usual taste quite a lot of interesting Vintage Ports. There were several mature Vintage Ports from some of the importers. We were as usual impressed by the range of mature Vintage Ports from Vintageportvin.dk, and we could taste a lot of mature Vintage Ports from the Symington houses Smith Woodhouse and Gould Campbell from the vintages 1977, 1980, 1985 and 2000 and also Quarles Harris from 1977. From these the 1977, 1980 and 1985 are really impressive and peaking today and the 2000 is also nice today but it is a perfect investment for the cellar. We could also taste Warre’s Vintage Port from both 1980 and 2000 at the Kjaer Sommerfeldt table, both really good.

We would like to thank Henrk Oldenburg, Dominic Symington, Gustavo Devesas and all Danish importers for an enjoyable festival and hope to see you all again soon.

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

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

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.

Christmas greetings

As you may have read during the year, most port we enjoy are at home with the family. At Christmas the family is of course joining at home and enjoying food and wine together. This year we started early, on the 19th of December. We started the evening with a vintage 2000 champagne, Cuvee Nicholas from Billecart-Salmon and after that lobster together with Les Lys Prem. Cru  2013 from Chablis and to the elk entrecôte a Ch. Cheval Blanc 1976. On the 20th we started in the afternoon with a bottle of O-Port-Unidade Vintage Port 2013 that we very kindly got from Axel Probst. Krug88We started the evening with Krug’s vintage champagne from 1988 which was delicious and then we had scallop, duck liver and pâté from shell fish together with Montrachet, Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru from Joeseph Drouhin and Ch. Haut Brion Blanc, Grave both from 1990 and wonderful with the course. As main course we had yak (yes a bit strange, but we always try to eat something special during one dinner the days before Christmas, and the yak was delicious) and this was accompanied by Ch. Latour 1945 and Ch. Mouton Rotschild 1955 both unbelievable and wonderful. As dessert we had saffron ice cream with figs and chest nuts from Baskien together with port wine; Silva & Cosens vintage 1915 and Starling vintage 1887, probably from Taylor, both were delicious.

The 21st of December our dinner was first pâté from roe-deer with Ch. Daise-Daene 2005 and after that Ch. La Lagune 1982 to filé of a deer?

On the 24th of December, to the stilton, we had Royal Oporto vintage from 1977 and Constantino’s vintage from 1950.SilvaCosens1915

On the 25th we started with Alfred Gratien Brut Champagne, an old bottle, and after that we ate spare-ribs with Ch. Montrose 1970, and to the cheese-cake we had a bottle of Feist vintage 1995

The next day we started with Belle Epoque 1990 Champagne and to the first course, a pâté of salmon, we had Beauregard Prem. Cru from Chablis 2014 from Fournier and Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Mambourg 2012 from Dom. Weinbach, Alsace. To the main course was filé of elk and we enjoyed Ch. Lafite Rotschild and Ch. Latour both from 1983. An intermission port i.e. a Bicentenary Crusted Port from Fonseca bottled 2008 was needed before the Christmas pudding and Kopke’s vintage from 1935 and Chaplin’s vintage from 1945.Constantino1950

On the 30th   we just had a glass of Calem’s Quinta da Foz 1996 on the afternoon and on the 31 st we started the day on the afternoon with a vintage champagne 2006, Grand Cru from Mailly and as always on the last day of the year an old “dead” German wine, this year it was a 1945 Mettenheim from Rheingau. In the evening as usual lobster together with A. Bergère’s Cuvee Prestige vintage champagne from 2000. To the rein-deer we had Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtessa from 1989 and ended with Quinta do Noval 1960 to the dessert which was soufflé of French plums.

The Christmas celebration for the family ended on the 5th of January. This day we started with Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru Champagne Cuvée St-Vincent 1996 from R.L. Legras mature and lovely. To the terrine from pheasant we had a Vendage Tardive Pinot Gris, Grand Cru Brand 1988, Alsace. The main course was entrecôte of deer accompanied with Reserva 904 1973 and 1970 from La Rioja Alta and to the dessert which was glace au four we enjoyed Borges & Irmao’s  vintage and their Quinta do Junco vintage both from 1960. As we are already longing for next Christmas we ended the day with Bual vintage 1878 from Christopher’s. No better way to end two lovely weeks.

During our web-site existence 2012-2015 we have now passed 125.000 visitors and during the last 3 years we have had approximately 35.000 visitors per year. Now we have had 170 different countries visiting our web-site. Amazing we think, and we are very proud indeed. This year we have added or updated more than 175 tasting notes, which are quite a lot we think. Hope to see you and receive more mail from you during next year. Please do not forget to read our “Help needed” so we can give you as much information as possible.