On January 2018 we had a vertical tasting of 12 Vintage Ports from the port wine house Delaforce. The tasting was held in Malmö, Sweden, in the wine society 18% celebrating 25 years in 2018.
The house of Delaforce is since 2009 owned by Silva Reis and is thereby connected to Real Companhia Velha. The tasted wines were of course older than that and the oldest, Vintage 1963, is from the time when Delaforce was still owned by the family. The company has since then been owned by IDV, International Distillers and Vintners (part of the Grand Metropolitan Group) and Taylor, before it was sold to Real Companhia Velha in 2009.
The older wines, on to 1977 and to some extent the 1985 Vintage, were made in a rich powerful style. These also got the highest scores. From the 1987 Vintage and through the 90’s the wines are made in a lighter style. This can be explained by the partnership with Croft, which was also part of IDV, and their ambition in the 80’s and 90’s to make Vintage Ports that would mature quicker. Luckily the youngest wines we tasted showed that this might no longer be the case, they showed a different structure with more body and tannic style compared to the wines from the 90’s and late 80’s.
Even if Delaforce is not recognized as a top producer, the older wines from the 60’s and 70’s can be well worth looking out for. And even if we did not reach any top scores on the wines from late 80’s and through the 90’s, all wines are still drinking well, even if some of them are peaking today.
Please read all our tasting notes and ranks here.
The Wine Society 18% has had a Great Tasting on 25 houses of the Vintage 1980. We think our Great Tasting is valuable to compare the different houses and also to get a good overview of the vintage as a whole. 1980 was, we think, overlooked by many port drinkers but not if you are a Port lover. The Symington group made the stars of the vintage – Dow, Graham, Warre and Smith Woodhouse, but also Taylor was excellent and maybe Noval Nacional. However a few major houses such as Croft, Martinez, Noval and Cockburn did not declared this vintage. You can read all the tasting notes and the ranking on the Great Tasting 1980 page.
The Port Wine Club est. 1981 in Copenhagen have during 2013 had some very interesting tastings, especially vintage tastings from 1963 and 1977. The new year started exciting with a tasting of 6 Vintages from Fonseca Guimaraens.
Even odd years from this house are wonderful. 1984 was peaking and lovely but the 1976 is still waiting to reach its peak. It is still very dark in colour and the question is if it will ever reach the mature and elegant state that the 1984 was displaying. We also tasted the 1988, 1991, 1995 and 1996 Vintages. See our tasting from March 5.
Forlaget Smag has announced the annual Port Wine Festival at Børsen in Copenhagen on November 4 this autumn. As usual the event will give Port lovers a chance to taste a lot of port wine available on the Danish market. This is also an opportunity to meet with wine makers and representatives from many of the port houses.
This year we hope to taste a lot of 2011 Vintage Port. Many producers report that this is one of the best Vintages in recent years and it is the first general declaration after the 2007 vintage. All top houses have declared.
Tickets are available at http://forlaget-smag.dk/
This is a list of declared 2011 Vintage Ports that we currently know about. If you know of any more, please let us know.
Alves de Sousa
C. da Silva
Quinta Casa Amarela
Q. do Crastro
Quinta do Noval:
- Q. do Noval
- Q. do Noval Nacional
Q. do Passadouro
Q. da Prelada
Q. da Romaneira
Q. de la Rosa
Q. Seara d’Ordens
Q. da Senhora do Convento
Q. do Tedo
Q. do Vale Dona Maria
Q. Valle Longo
Q. do Vale Meao
Q. do Vallado
Real Comp. Velha:
- Quinta das Carvalhas
- Real Velha
- Royal Oporto
- Q. do Grifo
- Q. do Pego
- Quinta do Sagrado
- Graham’s The Stone Terrace
- Quinta do Vesuvio
- Capela da Q. do Vesuvio
- Smith Woodhouse
- Special Blend for The Wine Society
- Quinta de Roriz
Tanners (BOB, UK)
- Vargellas Vinha Velha
Viera de Souza
Vinho Comp. De Vinhos:
- Quinta Dona Matilde
- Barao de Vilar
Wiese & Krohn:
The Wine Society 18% arranged the second Jubilee tasting celebrating the 20th year anniversary on the 18th of April. We had our first Jubilee tasting in February with the Semi-Great Tasting of the Vintage 1979. This time we had a tasting of the magnificent Vintage 1947. Even if the expectations were high on a Vintage like that, we were very surprised to find that all 8 Vintage Ports were still very good and very complex.
For the evening we were able to set up a really strong set up with 8 Vintages, some of them from top producers.
The following Vintage Ports were in the tasting, in this order:
- Rebello Valente
- Quinta do Roncao
We were surprised to see that all bottles were still fresh, and none of the wines had tendencies to crack although Messias was slightly tired. They were all rather pale red, almost tawny in the colour. Fonseca, and also Sandeman were a bit more colourful than the others.
Overall we thought the Vintage 1947 lived up to its reputation and we hope we can taste even more Vintage Port from 1947 this year.
You find more information about the tasting and also tasting notes here.
During Easter we tasted the Vintage 1942. It is a very rare Vintage for us, just one of us had tasted this year before. The two bottles we tasted were excellent and much better than we had believed. It was Sandeman and Graham’s we tasted and especially the Graham’s developed in a fantastic way in the glass but they were both equally good. Have any of you enjoyed a 1942 recently? Please inform us about your opinion.
In addition, we tasted Quinta do Jordao for the very first time. The quinta is better known as Quinta do Sibio, and under that name we have tasted it four times in the past. We had managed to get hold of two different vintages, 1950 and 1958, of Quinta do Jordao, and they were astonishingly good.
Have you tasted this Quinta or do you know of any other vintages from this Quinta? We do not!
At the Wine Society 18% we arranged a tasting on the 21st of March of the oldest port house – Kopke. Kopke is perhaps more known for their Tawnies and cheaper ports but they have been producing Vintage Port since the 19th century.
We started the evening with the 300 years jubilee dry tawny (1638 – 1938). It was a very typical nice tawny with a very dry style. It was probably not meant to be kept for another 75 years but it was still a very decent and fresh wine.
For the tasting we had set up eleven, what we thought would be, mature and nice Vintages. The oldest from 1970 and the youngest from 1997.
The following Vintage Ports were in the tasting:
- Vintage 1997
- Vintage 1996
- Vintage 1995
- Vintage 1994
- Vintage 1991
- Vintage 1987 Quinta Sao Luiz
- Vintage 1985
- Vintage 1979 Quinta Sao Luiz
- Vintage 1979
- Vintage 1974
- Vintage 1970
The first three were still very young. Both Vintages 1997 and 1996 still have some juicy fruit and the 1996 showed a very impressive concentration in the fruit.
Vintage 1994 was a disappointment, perhaps it was because it was served from half-bottles (they normally mature faster). If the 1994 was disappointing the 1991 was more as expected from a Vintage port just over twenty years. It was perfectly mature with nice soft tannins and a very good balance. The 1985 Vintage was very similar to the 1991 but with a larger body and in fact a bit more to go. The 1987 Quinta Sao Luiz was not quite ok, it had a strange and not so attractive bouquet, some kind of defect in this particular bottle.
All four Vintages from the 1970’s were very elegant and nice. It was interesting to taste both the ordinary Kopke and the Single Quinta from Sao Luiz from the same Vintage – 1979. We actually had the Kopke 1979 in a tasting of the 1979 Vintage last month and it showed the exact same elegancy and long soft style this time. The Quinta Sao Luiz was actually a bit better, with some more complexity, even if they were very similar. The 1974 was very mature and over its peak, but still ok.
Finally we had the Vintage 1970. This is a fantastic perfectly mature Vintage Port. It shows all the elegancy and complexity a mature Vintage Port can have and it was the outstanding top scorer of the evening.
For points and tasting notes see our Kopke page and Quinta Sao Luiz page.
First we would like to announce that after about 18 months this web site has now reached 25,000 visitors!! We are of course very happy and proud to see the great interest from all over the world.
Last week we were all participating in the first of several planned 20th anniversary tastings of the Wine Society 18%. We have decided to hold some extra tastings during the year 2013 and we started our celebration with a Vintage tasting of 1979.
This Vintage was an off vintage, and was judge as Average. The large producers did not declare, they instead declared their Single Quinta Vintages like Quinta do Bomfim (Dow’s) and Quinta da Cavadinha (Warre’s). According to the Port Wine Institute only 13 houses declared. Michael Broadbent gave this vintage ** out of 5*, Suckling gave it 74 points out of 100 points.
We call it Semi-Great because we had only 11 Vintages and not 20 Vintages which is our limit for calling it a Great Tasting. In addition to the 11 Vintages we had two extra ports from 1979, LBV 1979 from Smith-Woodhouse, bottled in 1984 and Colheita 1979 from Niepoort, bottled in 1988. Both extra wines were included in the tasting and were given points. The Smith-Woodhouse LBV had Group points 15.63 and Group Ranking 7 and Niepoort’s Colheita 1979 had Group Points 14.7 and Group Ranking 11.
Most of the Vintage Ports showed a very mature pale tawny like colour, but they were surprisingly fresh in the glass and many of them showed a nice elegancy even if they were a bit over their peak. Two of eleven bottles were unfortunately too old.
As usual the Vintages from the Symingtons (Quinta da Cavadinha, Quinta do Bomfim and Grahams Malvedos) were very well preserved, being a bit darker in colour and still some fruit in the taste. We agreed that Quinta do Bomfim and Grahams Malvedos were the best.
Read more, also tasting notes, here…
Few weeks ago we had a bottle of 1960 Vintage Port bottled by a Danish wine merchant – Fredriksberg Vinimport A/S. As you can see from the picture there was no indication of the producer on the label or anywhere else on the bottle. Since it was imported on barrel and bottled in Denmark by Fredriksberg Vinimport the cork did not reveal the secret either.
The quality of the Port was really nice and it turned out to be perfectly mature and still holding a rich rather sweet bouquet of toffee and fudge. This was followed by a soft elegant taste, perhaps not as long lasting in the mouth as the best 1960 Vintage Ports but still very lovely.
Do any of our Danish visitors know which house Fredriksberg Vinimport used to bottle at this time? The current owners of the Fredriksberg Vinimport Company have kindly responded that they do not have any records from that time.
When it comes to the certificate on the label it is stating ‘Certificado de Origem de Vinho Do Porto. No. 11193’, we have never seen this on any Vintage Port before. What does it mean? It does not even say who has certified the wine, it is just a number. The normal way to guarantee a Vintage Port today is by using the slip label over the cork, but this seems to be something completely different. Do any of our many Portuguese visitors know what the certificate is saying? We have tried to get information about the certificate but nobody seems to know about it?
Please also note that we have a page titled Help needed. Unfortunately we have not got any help at all during the years. We are sure that some of you could actually help us finding the truth about some of these questions we have. For instance we have not found any information about some of the producers we have seen and even tasted. Please check the page and see if you can help making this web site even better.