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.
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.
As you may have read, most ports enjoyed by us are at home with the family. At Christmas of course the family is joining at home and we always enjoy a lot of great food and great wine together. This year we started at the 21st of December with vintage Brut 2000 Cuvee Nicholas from Bilcart-Salmon and after that duck liver mousse together with Suduiraut 2006.
On the 22nd we ate warm goat cheese with honey together with Gewürztraminer Trockenbeerenauslese Selection 1980 from Lenz Moser in Rust, Austria and after that warm smoked salmon together with L’Homme Mort Prem. Cru from F.Gueguen in Chablis and then dessert with a port i.e. Vintage Quinta Vale D. Maria 2001.
On the 23rd we started with Champagne, vintage 1983 Salon. After that a breast and terrine of teal together with Ch. Corton Grancey from Louis Latour, then filé of red deer together with DRC’s Richbourg 1984 and Ch. Mouton Rotschild 1943 and as dessert orange cheese cake with dulce de leche together with Vintage Port Quinta do Noval 1934 and No 1 Especial Vinha Velha 1834 from Quinta de Romariz.
On Christmas Eve we had traditional Swedish Christmas food and ended with Malvedos 1988 from Graham and before bed-time our Christmas wine which is a Ruländer Trockenbeerenauslese from Jakob Neumer in Rheinhessen which has received both Grosse Preis and Goldener Kammaer Preis.
On the 25th we started with Champagne Brut Vintage 1989 Grand Année from Bollinger. Then we enjoyed a terrine of salmon with a sauce of gewürztraminer from Alsace together with Chablis 1er cru Vaulignot from Louis Moreau and Alsace Riseling Grand Cru Wiebelsberg from Kreydenweiss, after that springbok and sauce from morels with Ch. Mouton Rorschild 1964 and Ch. Lafite Rotschild 1950 and ended with a Christmas pudding an stilton together with Vintage Port Taylor 1955 and Croft 1914.
We in the family had a wonderful Christmas!