Est. 2011

Great Vintage Port Tasting


Axel Probst ( arranged a vertical of Calem on the 19th of November 2016 at the Bayer Gastronomie, Leverkusen, Germany. The tasting was over 24 wines and was served open, meaning that we knew which wine was in which glass. The oldest wine was a Colheita from 1927, the rest were Vintage Ports spanning from 1931 up to a cask sample of the 2015 Vintage. All wines, except Vintage 1985 which was volatile, were ok and in good condition. We found the wines to be generally very good and with an elegant, smooth style that were persistent through the different Vintages. It was hard to find the winner but some of out favourites were 1931, 1955, 1960, 1963 and 1966.

Calem is together with Quinta do Noval and Ferreira perhaps the leading Portuguese houses. It was founded 1859. Calem was by this time dedicated only to wine exports to Brazil in exchange of exotic woods but its main market has always been Portugal. It belonged to the Calem family until 1998 when Sogevinus bought it.

Flight 1

Flight 2

Tasting notes. Note that the points are for the actual bottle tasted. Read about how we set point on the page "How to understand our points valuations"

Sort on: Vintage Sten's rank Jörgen's rank Stefan's rank

ColourBeautiful yellow and amber in colour.
BouquetLovely bouquet of cacao, dark chocolate, coffee, gingerbread, cinnamon, old grocery shop and flowers in the nose.
TasteFull-bodied. Mature, peaking and absolutely on top! Quite sweet but balanced and very elegant. Cacao, dark chocolate, coffee, gingerbread, cinnamon and much more in taste. Very complex indeed with a marvellous and sensational finish which never seem to end. What a port!
SAI point17.75JB point17.40SS point17.25
SAI rank1JB rank2SS rank5
ColourYellow, mature almost tawny but very beautiful in colour.
BouquetOrange peel, toffee, mint, butter-scotch, vanilla, coffee and cacao in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Seem still to be on top! Unbelievable! Very, very elegant and still balanced. Attractive and complex finish which a just rolling in the mouth and never seems to end. A very impressive port indeed! Thank heaven for this port!
SAI point17.75JB point17.40SS point17.75
SAI rank1JB rank2SS rank1
HouseCheiras CalemVintage1931
ColourAlmost tawny in colour.
BouquetWonderful bouquet! Roses, spring flowers, crème caramel, toffee and much, much more in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Of course mature and peaking. Very tasty with roses, crème caramel, toffee and butter-scotch in taste. Sweet with balanced acidity. Very complex and an unbelievable finish which never end. Marvellous port indeed!
SAI point17.75JB point18.00SS point17.50
SAI rank1JB rank1SS rank2
CommentThis was a Vintage bottled a bit late, in 1937, but at that time there were no strict law that restricted allowed bottling times.
ColourYellow mature beautiful in colour but still rather dark.
BouquetWonderful complex old grocery shop, cinnamon, Christmas spiciness, coffee, butter-scotch, gingerbread and toffee bouquet.
TasteFull-bodied. Very tasty indeed. Mature and at its peak. Butter-scotch, gingerbread, toffee and crème caramel in taste. Complex, sweet, balanced and elegant with an enormous finish which never seems to end. Wonderful port! Just drink it, enjoy and you are near heaven!
SAI point17.50JB point17.40SS point17.50
SAI rank4JB rank2SS rank2
HouseQuinta da Foz CalemVintage1970
ColourMature, yellow very beautiful in colour.
BouquetToffee, coffee, butter-scotch, some fudge and crème caramel bouquet. Very complex and full nose.
TasteWonderful mature port and peaking. Crème caramel and toffee in taste. Balance with a hint of acidity but old balancing sweetness. Elegant with a complex, attractive and quite long finish. A wonderful port and probably at its best.
SAI point17.40JB point17.25SS point17.40
SAI rank5JB rank6SS rank4
HouseQuinta da Foz CalemVintage1960
ColourBeautiful yellow and amber I colour. Quite mature.
BouquetToffee, cacao, some coffee, dark chocolate and other things as spiciness in the nose
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Absolutely on top! Toffee, cacao and coffee in taste. Balance with lovely sweetness. Very complex and astonishing elegance with a wonderful finish. Will not be better but is marvellous now!
SAI point17.25JB point17.40SS point17.25
SAI rank6JB rank2SS rank5
HouseQuinta da Foz CalemVintage1935
ColourAlmost tawny in colour and quite pale.
BouquetDark chocolate, mushroom, toffee, cacao, roasted coffee beans in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking and even a little old. Cacao, mushroom and toffee in taste. Balanced and quite complex with a attractive and quite long finish
SAI point17.00JB point16.50SS point16.90
SAI rank7JB rank8SS rank8
ColourVery mature and yellow in colour.
BouquetGingerbread, cinnamon, dried fruit, toffee, some cacao and coffee in the nose.
TasteAlmost full-bodied. Mature and now peaking but still with some soft tannin. Gingerbread and toffee in taste. Balanced and quite sweet. A complex port very easy to drink and like today with a very attractive finish.
SAI point16.50JB point16.40SS point17.00
SAI rank8JB rank9SS rank7
HouseCalem ColheitaVintage1927
ColourTawny in colour.
BouquetButter-scotch, burned sugar and bonbons in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. An elegant and balanced port with butterscotch and bonbons in taste. A hint of burned sugar in the nice finish.
SAI point16.50JB point17.25SS point16.50
SAI rank8JB rank6SS rank10
CommentThis was a Colheita as it was stated ’Matured in wood’ on the label.
ColourStill very dark in colour but with a yellow edge.
BouquetCacao, coffee, dark chocolate, spring flowers and much more in the nose.
TasteQuite full-bodied. Quite mature and almost peaking but will probably be better. Balanced and quite complex. Dark chocolate and cacao in taste. An elegant port with an attractive finish.
SAI point16.40JB point16.40SS point16.75
SAI rank10JB rank9SS rank9
ColourStill rather dark but with a mature yellow colour.
BouquetVery intensive bouquet of dark chocolate, toffee, cacao, liquorice, gingerbread and candy in the nose.
TasteAlmost full-bodied. Mature and peaking. Sweet with cacao and gingerbread in taste. Balanced and quite elegant with a quite impressive and rather long finish.
SAI point16.40JB point16.00SS point16.25
SAI rank10JB rank11SS rank12
HouseQuinta da Foz CalemVintage1987
ColourStill quite dark but mature yellow in colour.
BouquetButter-scotch, dark chocolate roasted coffee beans and some cacao in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and now peaking. Elegant, easy to drink and to enjoy. Sweet but balance with an excellent finish.
SAI point16.25JB point16.00SS point16.40
SAI rank12JB rank11SS rank11
HouseQuinta da Foz CalemVintage1980
ColourYellow mature quite nice in colour.
BouquetToffee, butter-scotch, crème caramel and sweet candy in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Crème caramel and butter-scotch in taste. Elegant and balanced but quite sweet. An quite attractive port with a nice finish. Will not be better but enjoy it now!
SAI point16.00JB point15.50SS point16.25
SAI rank13JB rank14SS rank12
ColourDark blue in colour.
BouquetMulberry, dark cherry, vanilla, a hint of spiciness and oak in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Quite mature almost peaking but lots of soft tannin and will be better. Mulberry and vanilla in flavour. Very promising and very sweet. Lovely and promising finish. We think this will probably be a nice port.
SAI point15.75JB point15.50SS point16.00
SAI rank14JB rank14SS rank14
ColourDark but yellow mature in colour.
BouquetDark chocolate, cacao, Christmas raisin, old grocery shop and much more in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and now peaking. Cacao, dark chocolate and old grocery shop in flavour. Rather sweet. Complex and balanced with a rather long and attractive finish.
SAI point15.75JB point15.75SS point15.75
SAI rank14JB rank13SS rank16
HouseQuinta da Foz CalemVintage1996
ColourYellow mature in colour.
BouquetGingerbread, ginger and some spiciness in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Balanced with gingerbread, and some spiciness in taste. Will probably not be better. Quite nice finish and easy to drink and like.
SAI point15.50JB point14.90SS point15.90
SAI rank16JB rank20SS rank15
ColourStill rather dark but yellow mature in colour.
BouquetStill dark berry, mulberry and blue berry in the nose. Very generous.
TasteMedium body. Quite mature and probably peaking but still with some very soft tannin. Balanced and quite elegant with dark berry and mulberry in taste. Lovely port with a nice and rather attractive finish.
SAI point15.40JB point15.50SS point15.50
SAI rank17JB rank14SS rank17
ColourRather pale but mature yellow in colour.
BouquetBonbons, toffee, fudge, and candy in the nose.
TasteMedium body Mature and peaking with toffee and crème caramel in taste. Quite sweet and elegant port. Easy to drink and enjoy but will not be better so drink up.
SAI point15.40JB point15.50SS point15.25
SAI rank17JB rank14SS rank19
ColourDark blue in colour.
BouquetMulberry, dark cherry, blackberry, dark berry and fruit in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Loaded with fruit and mulberry and dark cherry in taste. Balanced and very easy to drink and enjoy. Modern style of port. Quite elegant and tasty with a nice and rather long finish but is not directly impressive.
SAI point15.25JB point15.00SS point15.40
SAI rank19JB rank19SS rank18
HouseQuinta da Foz CalemVintage1995
ColourStill quite dark but with a yellow mature edge in colour.
BouquetChristmas spiciness, cacao, overripe fruit and roasted coffee in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and probably peaking. Cacao, coffee and overripe fruit in taste. Balanced and interesting. Easy to drink and like with a nice finish.
SAI point15.25JB point15.40SS point14.50
SAI rank19JB rank18SS rank22
ColourDark blue in colour.
BouquetMulberry, blackberry, dark berry in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Loaded with fruit but not much tannin. Easy to drink and enjoy but no long runner. Blackberry and dark berry in taste. Balanced but a modern style of port with a rather short but nice finish.
SAI point14.40JB point14.40SS point15.00
SAI rank21JB rank21SS rank20
ColourDark blue in colour.
BouquetJuice, berry and fruit in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Not much tannin at all but loaded with fruit. Still juice and fruit in taste. Balance. Modern type of port with a rather short finish
SAI point14.00JB point14.40SS point15.00
SAI rank22JB rank21SS rank20
CommentThis was a cask sample
ColourYellow mature in colour.
BouquetPharmacy, old hospital and volatile acidity in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature but with quite a lot of volatile acidity. Not so enjoyable at all but maybe drinkable? The finish is acceptable.
SAI point12.00JB point13.00SS point11.00
SAI rank23JB rank23SS rank23
CommentThis bottle is defect

Last tasted:

6th July
Quinta do Panascal
Fonseca-Guimaraens 2008
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Berry Bros 1997
Fortum & Mason 2000
16th June
Gould Campbell 1991
15th June
Smith Woodhouse 1966
14th June
Messias 2011
12th June
Real Comp. Velha 2002
10th June
Sao Pedro das Aguias 2009
9th June
Quinta do Vesuvio 1998
5th June
Croft 2000


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