Category Archives: Wine tasting

The 2018 Port Wine Fair in Roskilde, Denmark

Once again this annual fair was a huge success with two sold out tasting rounds, a lot of representatives from the Producers and some really nice Port Wines to taste.

As usual the fair is focusing on quality port like Tawnies with age, Colheitas and of course Vintage Port. We are impressed by the many older Vintage Ports available on the Danish market and there was also a possibility to taste many fantastic examples of mature Vintage Ports. For example we very much enjoyed Sandeman 1967 and 1975, the later on Magnum! We also got to taste Dow’s Vintage Port 1975 on Magnum. Both 1975’s are of course mature, but you should remember that it ages a bit Sandeman 1967slower on Magnum, and often the best selection of the Vintage is bottled on the larger bottles. So both of these are really nice at the moment and will be so for some years to come.

It was also possible to taste mini-verticals of several producers.
Taylor: 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008 (Vargellas) and 2015 (Vargellas).
Warre’s: 1980, 1985, 2000, 2001 (Quinta da Cavadinha) and 2006 (Quinta da Cavadinha)
Sandeman: 1967, 1975, 1988 (Quinta do Vau) and 1999 (Sandeman Vau), 2013 (Quinta do Seixo)
Quinta da Romaneira: 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2015
Quinta das Lamelas: 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015
Portal: 2007, 2011, 2013 (Quinta dos Muros) and 2014 (Quinta dos Muros)

It was also the first time for us that we could taste Graham’s The Stone Terraces 2015 Vintage Port. A fantastic young Vintage Port that will be very interesting to follow during the coming decades.

Finally we also tasted some lovely old ports matured in wood, like Palmer 40 years Tawny, DR 50 years White and DR 70 years Tawny. Fantastic wines if you prefer port wines matured in wood.

Great Tasting of the Vintage 1955

The Wine Society 18% was founded in 1993. We started to hold what we call Great Tastings in 2005. In the Society we are 15 members and have 5 meetings every year, and then some extra now and then.  As we are only 15 members, we can have quite rare bottles i.e. 1 bottle of each wine is enough. The meetings are held in Malmö, Sweden. We have had the following Great Tastings so far, 1947 (Semi-Great), 1958 (Semi-Great), 1960, 1963 (twice), 1966, 1970, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982 and 1984 (Semi-Great), and 1988 (Semi-Great) and three times House Tastings which were Cockburn, Ferreira and Fonseca- Guimaraens.

We call it a Great Tasting if we have more than 20 different bottles, otherwise a Semi-Great. As you can understand it is almost impossible to find 20 different from some of the Vintages we have tasted.

For the 1955 Vintage we unfortunately only had 17 bottles, so let’s call it a Semi-Great Tasting. The 1955 growing season was excellent in nearly every way, spring and late summer was a bit warmer than normal. During harvest the weather was also warm and dry. The vintage was wonderfully balanced with rich fruit flavors and mellow tannins initially. The wine market in UK was in a quite depressed state during this time and it was hard to sell the wines.Graham's 1955

We were 17 participants in this tasting held on November 16 in 2017. We often have some guests and if you are visiting Malmö, please let us know and you can maybe participate. The tasting was semi-blind i.e. we know which houses that participate but not what we had in each glass. The vintage 1955 is today 62 years old but the wines were very good and elegant on the whole with a lot of old sweetness and balancing old acidity. They were very attractive in the finish and very easy to enjoy and to drink! They will not be better so it is definitely time to enjoy this vintage.

This vintage is a classic Vintage, and we know of 26 houses who had declared this vintage and we know of 48 brands from this year. According to Broadbent 26 shippers declared this vintage which indicates the most widely declared vintage since 1927. Broadbent gave this vintage ***** out of 5*, Suckling 94 points out of 100. We rated it as Outstanding Vintage and gave it 9 out of 10 points and had before this tasting enjoyed 21 houses and the tasting included 4 new houses so from now 25 houses have been tasted.

Offley Boa Vista 1955Some of the best wines were very expected to be in the top, like Graham’s, Dow’s, Quinta do Noval and Ramos Pinto, but there were also some fantastic wines from less expected houses like Hooper and Quinta do Sibio (Real Vinicola). Some of the normally good houses didn’t make it to the top, this is of course very dependent on the actual bottle, and when 62 years old the handling of the bottle during all years will affect the outcome. In this tasting we had one bottle that was not ok, unfortunately this was Fonseca, which cracked in the glass.

Please read all tasting notes here.

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.

Philipson Wine Prestige Tasting

This autumn Philipson’s Wine held their 30th Prestige tasting. As usual the best wine available for tasting was Sassicaia from Tenuta San Guido, this time from year 2014 and we also loved Château Cantemerle from 2013. Also among the best were the Grand Cru and Premier Cru Chablis from La Chablisienne and of course we very much enjoyed several Colheitas from Burmester, such as 1957, 1985 and 2000. They were all very elegant and enjoyable. As usual a lot of people wanted to participate and had a lovely time with some excellent wines.

Theis Vine Bordeaux tasting at Børsen in Copenhagen

September 6, Theis Vine held the annual Bordeaux tasting at The stock exchange (Børsen) in Copenhagen. This is a really good tasting with the opportunity to try the last vintage of Bordeaux before buying them “en primeur”. It was with excitement that we tasted the new Bordeaux 2016 Vintage, which has already been praised by some wine journalists. The 2014 were good and 2015 even better. In our opinion the general quality of the 2016s were as high as for 2015. Perhaps the top wines of 2015 are better, time will tell. In general we found lots of nice, rather silky fruit and with quite high acidity. The tannins are also quite massive in most examples. We recommend all of you with a wine cellar to invest in many cases of the 2016 for the future. We also tasted some Bordeaux’s from earlier vintages, mostly from 2011 and 2012 which were a bit weaker vintages when it comes to ageing potential. Many of the examples tasted were already showing some maturity, they are actually quite drinkable at the moment, while the 2016s probably will benefit from 10 years or more in the cellar.

In addition to top quality Bordeaux wines the tasting has as usual some high quality Burgundy, Champagnes from Billecart-Salmon, many good Italian and Spanish wines.

If you missed the tasting this year we do recommend you to go next year.

Port Wine Festival, Copenhagen

Forlaget Smag is arranging the annual Port Wine Festival at Børsen, Copenhagen on Monday November 6. Henrik Oldenburg is as usual the man behind the Festival and we have been informed that Dirk Niepoort will be this years special guest.

There will as usual also be many more representatives from port producers during the festival.

If you have not already bought your ticket, now is the time to do so, as they are selling out fast! Find all information about participating importers and producers and buy tickets on http://forlaget-smag.dk/

Theis Wine annual prestige tasting in Copenhagen, Denmark

On September 6 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, 2016, 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.

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

On September 28 in Aarhus and 29-30 in Copenhagen, Philipson Wine are having their annual prestige wine tastings. The tasting program includes different types of wine, e.g. Bollinger, Guigal, Chablisienne, Sassicaia, Allegrini, Altesino, Argiano, Catena, Phelps, Pesquera and Burmester Porto.  The price is Dkk 449 and tickets are available at http://www.philipsonwine.com/vin/prestigesmagning-pw-tour

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.

Portvinsmessen – The annual portwine event in Roskilde

On March 4 we were participating in the annual event in Roskilde, Denmark, called ‘Portvinsmessen’ (The port wine fair). As usual many Danish importers were represented and several of them were backed up by representatives from the port producers.

Both tasting periods of the event were sold out and it is apparent that Denmark continues being a big market for quality port. Focus was on quality ports like Tawny with age, Colheitas and Vintage Ports. As usual our focus was on the Vintage Ports and we provide tasting notes for all of them here on the site.

We were especially impressed by some of the more mature Vintage Ports available, like the range of Warre’s Vintages with 1980, 1985 and 2000 also accompanied by their single quinta Cavadinha from 1998 and 2001. All provided by Kjaer Sommerfeldt.

We also of course liked the Taylor Vintages from 1997, 2003, 2007 and 2009. All very impressive, and best of them was the 2007. These are available from Portvinsyd.

Last but not least, the brothers from Vintageportvin.dk, showed there wide range of mature quality Vintage Ports. This year they had extended there offering with a range of Romaneira Vintages and also with Sandeman. From Sandeman we could try some of the Vau Vintages, from the very first, 1988 (the only one called Quinta da Vau) to 1997 and 1999. Best of the Sandeman Vintages was the astonishing Vintage 1970 which is a fantastic port wine showing what this producer is capable of when it makes it best. For us, this was the best Vintage Port of the day.

We also tasted a fantastic old Colheita-blend  simply called Porto 201, a blend of 1843, 1870 and 1888 (43+70+88=201) from Maynard, very kindly offered to us by Alvaro van Zeller.