Category Archives: Travel

Trip to London and the B.F.T.

Beginning of May we went to London to shop port wine and participate in some tastings. The shopping was somewhat disappointing; we can find far more Vintage Ports for sale in Copenhagen than we could in London! If the shopping wasn’t very successful the tastings were definitely so!

We have already written about the tasting arranged by The Port Forum held on May 8.

The B.F.T.On May 9 we participated in the Big Fortified Tasting, the B.F.T. in Church House, central London.  The B.F.T. is the single largest wine fair in the world which is solely dedicated to fortified wines. All kinds of fortified wines were served but we focused on Vintage Port and mature Madeira. Some producers offed the first tasting of Vintage 2016, and from the samples we had, we believe that 2016 is an even better vintage than the superb 2015. In addition to the last vintages, there were also some older vintages served, such as Dow’s 1985, Warre’s 1980, Fonseca’s 1985 and Taylor’s 1985. Some very well arranged master classes were also arranged as part of the B.F.T. We participated in the Master classes ‘The Golden Age of Taylor’s Tawny’, ‘Barbeito Madeira – New Challenges and Projects’ and  ‘Sandeman Port presented by George Sandeman and Luís Sottomayor’, more about these will soon come on our site.Symington

Finally we think it is worth mentioning the new era of White Port. The old saying ‘The first duty of Port is to be red’ (Ernest Cockburn), does not necessarily hold anymore. While most White Port is sold and consumed young, there are some excellent examples on the market showing the aging potential of White Port. Miguel Braga from Quinta do Murão severed a very good S. Leonardos 50 years old white port and a 90 years old white port. These are not only impressive in age, but also very impressive in taste. Both well worth to try for all of you who haven’t discovered the world of White Ports.Fladgates

 

Overall, we think the fair was well organized and we hope to be able to come next year too.

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

Great vacation wines

Due to a Birthday within the family we went to Skagen, Denmark to celebrate. We started already at home, 3 days before with Reichsrat von Buhl’s Forster Ziegler Riesling Auslese 1945 as aperitif which was delicious indeed. After that Grand Cru Moenchberg Riesling from Guy Wach, Alsace to the first course, followed by Ch. Latour 1987, Ch. Haut Brion 1975 and Ch. La Misson Haut Brion to the main course. La Misson was outstanding indeed. A marvelous wine after 40 years to enjoy today and it will keep for some years more. To the dessert we followed up with F. Martin’s vintage 1977 and 1982.

BollingerWhen we arrived in Skagen we started the celebration with Bollinger Vielles Vignes Francaises, Blanc de Noir 2005 because we dared not to take too old wines with us in the car. It was a truly marvelous champagne and the first time we drank it. After that, before eating, we had another Champagne, 2004 Brut, Grand Cru from Petit-Lebrun just to make sure to feel that celebration week had started. To the first course we had Moutonne Grand Cru 2003 from Dom. Long-Depaquit, Chablis. The wine was elegant as always. After that Ch. La Misson Haut Brion 1997 and Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru 1998 from Vicent Girardin, Morey St. Denis and ended up with a dessert and Silval Vintage 1999 from Noval and Calem Vintage 1960.

Next day the evening started with a new lovely and elegant Champagne from Bollinger; their R.D. Extra Brut 1996. We continued with a Riesling 2012 Grand Cru Frankstein, Dom. Mersiol from Alsace and a white Ch. Latour Martillac 2011, Grand Cru Classe from Grave. To the meat we enjoyed Corton – Clos de la Vigne au Saint 2006 Grand Cru from Louis Latour, and Ch. Palmer 1985 and ended the evening with Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 1945 and a Madeira, Bual Solera Centenary 1845 from Cossart Gordon. Both wonderful wines.

The next day we started with Henriot champagne vintage 1996 (excellent) and continued with Riesling, Grand Cru Wineck-Schlossberg 2008 from Albert Schoech, Alsace and Les Fourneaux Prem. Cru 2011 from Louis Moreau, Chablis. The meat was enjoyed with Corton -Le Rognet Grand Cru 2006 from Maison Ambroise and Ch. Beychevelle 1975 both really mature and exciting. This evening we ended with Wiese-Krohn Vintage port from 1967 and 1965.

The 4th of August we started the evening with a wonderful champagne from Michel Gonet, Vintage 1996 and the paté was enjoyed with a marvelous Ch. d’Yquem 1973. To the grilled salmon we had Riesling Grand Cru Altenberg de Wolxheim 2013 from Arthur Metz, Alsace and Gewurtztraminer Grand Cru Kirchberg de Barr 2004 from Dom. Hering, Alsace. The ports this evening were Messias’ Quinta do Cachao Vintage 1966 and 1976.

RamosPinto1945The next day we started with two champagnes. The first bottle was Cuvee Cleo Blanc de Blanc from Esterlin which was followed with the Vintage 1996 Cuvee Fleur de Champagne from Duval-Leroy. How lucky we were! The wine to the first meal was Riesling Grand Cru Rangen 2008 from Wolfberger, Alsace and the entrecôte was enjoyed with Ch. Leoville Barton 1980 and Ch. Leoville Poyferre’ 1962, both wonderful and mature. Now we had no more port left so to the dessert Ch. Doisy Daëne 2007 and Bernkasteler Doktoren, Riesling, Beerenauslese 1976 from Lauenburg was drinking well.

On the 6th of August the champagne was vintage 2008 from Louis Roederer. The paté was enjoyed with Riesling Auslese Steinberger 1976, Staatsweingut and Ch. Suduiraut 1990. The meat was accompanied with Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Reserva 1999 and “Les Crais” Prem. Cru 2009 from Camille Giroud, Gevry-Chambertin. Due to weight increase no dessert wines this evening.

The last day in Skagen the champagne was Huré Frères Blanc de Blanc from 1996. We continued with a Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Prelatenberg 2012, Alsace and Rauenthaler Baiken’s Riesling Auslese from 1976, Staatsweingut. The meat was enjoyed with Clos de Mouches 1986, Prem. Cru from Joseph Drouhin, Beaune and Cabernet Sauvignon Bella Oak vineyard 1982 from Heitz, Napa Valley. Both wines perfect mature and wonderful to drink. The day was lucky for us because we found a cheap Rozes Vintage Port in Skagen and the 2010 was a perfect ending of an unforgettable week.

Summer with no Port

Stefan and Sten at Schloss Gobelsburg.

Stefan and Sten at Schloss Gobelsburg.

We have terrible summer weather in Sweden this year and we also have a new record in the family. We were not drinking Vintage Port for a whole month exactly! The reason is simple. We have been on vacation in Franken, Germany and Niederösterreich (Lower Austria), Austria. We had some very nice tastings in Würzburg at the Burgerspital, Juliusspital and Staatlicher Hofkeller. In Austria we were at tastings in Winzer Krems, Aufreiter’s, Schloss Gobelsburg Schlosskellerei, Domäne Wachau and a few others. The tastings were especially good at Gobelsburg and Domäne Wachau. We were very surprised to see some Vintage Ports from Niepoort for sale at Schloss Gobelsburg. It turns out that Dirk Niepoort is a friend to the manager of Schloss Gobelsburg. We tasted Wonderful wines of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling but also some red table wines. However, we also found an Austrian “port wine” in a wine shop in Salzburg, which we just had to taste and it was terrible indeed!

Some Smaragd quality wines tasted at Domäne Wachau

Some Smaragd quality wines tasted at Domäne Wachau

The last couple of weeks have been more normal for us, with some new Vintage Ports tasted and added to the page. Now we are going to Skagen in Denmark for a celebration week and we will write about the wines we taste there in about 2 weeks. Hope you have better weather than we have!

Trip to Oporto and Douro

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View from Quinta do Noval (Photo: Jörgen Bergengrip)

The Port Wine Club est. 1981 from Copenhagen went for its 6th trip to Douro and Oporto in September this year. It was a wonderful and interesting trip where we had a few unforgettable old white Ports. Maybe a Ports first duty no longer is to be red. We also had several tawny, colheita and some vintage during the trip. We visited the following houses: Conceito, Pocas, Quinta Santa Eufemia, Q. do Pego, Q. da Pacheca, Q. do Noval, Q. do Tedo, Bulas, Q. do Vesuvio, Q. do Crasto, Q. do Vallado, Gran Cruz, Dalva, Croft, Krohn, Kopke, Graham and Ferreira. You can see which vintages we tasted under each house.

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Quinta do Noval Nacional
(Photo: Jörgen Bergengrip)

We also had a marvelous dinner at Rui Paula’s Restaurant DOC on the road between Régua and Pinhão. In addition we visited Vinologia Bar in Oporto where we enjoyed seven vintages we have never had before, such as Quinta das Lamelas, Quinta da Prelada and Quinta da Revolta and in Vila Nova de Gaia we also enjoyed Gilberts.