Est. 2011

Great Vintage Port Tasting


Cockburn was founded in 1815. For the house history read what we had written on the Cockburn page. Cockburn is mostly a dry vintage port which we all three tasters in are very fond of so on the 12th of November 2009 we decided to have a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18% of 19 different vintages of Cockburn from 1904 to 1994, including the Cockburn's single quinta i.e. Quinta do Tua from 1987 and Quinta do Canais 1991.

We were 19 participants. The tasting was semi-blind i.e. we know which vintages who participate but not what we had in the glass.

The tasting was conducted over two flights.
First flight was Cockburn 1967, 1970, 1975, 1983, 1985, 1991 and 1994, Quinta do Tua 1987 and Quinta do Canais 1991.

Second flight was Cockburn 1904, 1908, 1927, 1935, 1947, 1950, 1955, 1960 and 1963

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 Group's rank

ColourMature tawny in colour.
BouquetA bit old, strange and soapy.
TasteMedium-bodied. Mature but fading a little. Still quite drinkable.
SAI point14.00JB point15.50SS point15.50Group point13.24
SAI rank15JB rank14SS rank13Group rank17
CommentDue to shortness of local brandy Cockburn used brandy from the Azores in this vintage.
ColourWonderful mature yellow in colour.
BouquetElegant, complex aromas from pharmacy, old grocery shop and much more.
TasteFull-bodied. Elegant magnificent, complex port with a wonderful finish of mint and liquorice. It seems never to end!!
SAI point17.90JB point15.50SS point17.75Group point16.11
SAI rank2JB rank6SS rank2Group rank4
ColourMature beautiful yellow in colour.
BouquetAromatic, plum, pharmacy but also coffee and cacao in the nose. Very complex and attractive.
TasteFull-bodied. Silky tannins. Flavour of burned sugar. Mature, wonderful with an everlasting finish. A really magnificent port.
SAI point18.00JB point17.90SS point15.90Group point15.92
SAI rank1JB rank2SS rank10Group rank5
ColourAmber in quite beautiful in colour
BouquetComplex bouquet of black current, blackberry and pharmacy.
TasteQuite full-bodied. Still sweet. Flavour of old hospital and much more. Very mature and maybe a little old but complex and with a delicious and quite long finish.
SAI point16.00JB point18.90SS point18.00Group point16.55
SAI rank12JB rank1SS rank1Group rank2
ColourMature beautiful amber in colour.
BouquetRich delicious crème caramel, coffee, cacao, hazelnuts and some chocolate in the nose.
TasteQuite full-bodied. Mature and maybe a little old in taste. Hazelnuts and fudge in taste. Harmonious, rich, balanced and elegant with a dry finish. This is port just to love and drink. Wonderful port indeed
SAI point17.00JB point15.75SS point17.25Group point16.79
SAI rank5JB rank13SS rank3Group rank1
ColourBeautiful amber in colour.
BouquetComplex bouquet of old grocery shop, crème caramel, toffee, candy, Christmas raisin, burned sugar and liquorice in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and at its peak. Sweet, attractive with candy and fudge in taste. Balanced and elegant port with a wonderful finish.
SAI point17.40JB point16.75SS point16.75Group point15.61
SAI rank3JB rank8SS rank5Group rank7
ColourMature amber and quite beautiful in colour.
BouquetElegant fudge, toffee, candy, Christmas raisin, burned sugar and liquorice in the nose. Generous and lovely.
TasteMedium body. Mature and at its peak. Dry and attractive with candy and fudge in taste. Balanced and elegant port with a wonderful and longl finish.
SAI point16.90JB point17.75SS point17.00Group point15.87
SAI rank7JB rank3SS rank4Group rank6
ColourMature very yellow but still lovely colour.
BouquetCrème caramel, fudge, toffee and burned sugar in the nose.
TasteMature and absolutely peaking now. Fairly sweet, lean and nutty. Elegant and balanced. A long, complex and attractive finish which hardly will end. Lovely port.
SAI point17.00JB point17.00SS point16.00Group point15.50
SAI rank5JB rank6SS rank9Group rank8
ColourAttractive mature yellow in colour.
BouquetWonderful complex bouquet of old grocery shop, coffee, fudge, toffee, tea, cacao, liquorice and much more.
TasteFull-bodied. Mature and at its peak. Vanilla, toffee, fudge, liquorice and chocolate in taste. Dry but balanced. Long finish. Easy to drink and love. An attractive port indeed.
SAI point17.40JB point17.50SS point15.50Group point15.50
SAI rank3JB rank4SS rank13Group rank8
ColourYellow almost tawny in colour.
BouquetQuite intensive plum, chocolate, coffee and old grocery shop in the nose.
TasteMedium-body. Complex and attractive. Cacao and much more in flavour. Mature and on top. Lovely and balanced finish. Good mature port.
SAI point16.25JB point16.25SS point12.50Group point14.35
SAI rank10JB rank10SS rank16Group rank16
ColourYellow mature in colour.
BouquetComplex delicious spicy bouquet of liquorice, nuts, coffee, toffee and marzipan.
TasteFull-bodied. Mature and peaking. Liquorice and toffee in flavour. Quite dry. Complex and elegant port. Balanced and a solid and long wonderful finish. Delicious port.
SAI point16.90JB point16.75SS point16.50Group point15.37
SAI rank7JB rank8SS rank6Group rank12
ColourMature almost fair tawny in colour.
BouquetQuite old bouquet with some burned sugar, dried apricot and dried figs in the nose.
TasteMedium bodied. Mature and even quite far beyond its peak but quite elegant and balanced. Burned sugar and dried apricot in taste. Dry but very easy to drink and like with an elegant finish. Drink up, will not be better!
SAI point15.75JB point17.50SS point15.90Group point15.14
SAI rank14JB rank4SS rank10Group rank13
ColourDark blue in colour with a yellow rim.
BouquetThis bottled was cocked and not good in the nose
TasteFull bodied. Still tannic but the taste of chocked got through and the port was not enjoyable.
SAI point13.00JB point11.00SS point10.00Group point12.61
SAI rank16JB rank17SS rank17Group rank18
CommentThis vintage has globally shown a high incidence of cork defects. The former winemaker of Cockburn, Miguel Corte-Real has admitted that there was a “significant problem” with this vintage.
ColourStill very dark but mature yellow in colour.
BouquetTerrible nose of ether. Defect bouquet
TasteFull bodied but ether and old unclean hospital in taste. Terrible indeed
SAI point10.00JB point10.50SS point9.00Group point11.25
SAI rank18JB rank18SS rank18Group rank18
CommentThis vintage has also shown a high incidence of defect bottles but when it is good – it is marvellous.
HouseQuinta do Tua CockburnVintage1987
ColourQuite dark blue in colour with a yellow rim.
BouquetNice bouquet of cinnamon, ginger and old grocery shop in the nose.
TasteQuite full-bodied. Mature but still some soft tannin. Cinnamon and ginger in taste. Balanced and attractive port. Long and complex finish.
SAI point16.40JB point16.00SS point16.40Group point15.42
SAI rank9JB rank12SS rank8Group rank11
ColourDark blue in colour with just a hint of yellow edge.
BouquetStill some dark berry but cream candy, fudge and toffee in the nose.
TasteFull-bodied. Still lots of tannin of course and will develop a lot. Cream candy and toffee in taste. Balanced and attractive with a long and very promising finish but easy to enjoy already now.
SAI point16.25JB point16.25SS point16.50Group point16.26
SAI rank10JB rank10SS rank6Group rank3
HouseQuinta do Canais CockburnVintage1991
ColourDark blue with a yellow rim.
BouquetFruit and burned sugar in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Still some tannin but rather mature. Balanced with burned sugar in flavour. Promising finish.
SAI point14.00JB point14.90SS point14.50Group point15.11
SAI rank15JB rank16SS rank15Group rank14
ColourStill quite dark but yellow mature in colour.
BouquetDark berry, blackthorn and blue berry in the nose.
TasteFull-bodies. Quite mature but with still some tannin. Gingerbread and dark berry in taste. Will be better. Interesting and quite attractive finish.
SAI point15.90JB point15.50SS point15.75Group point14.87
SAI rank13JB rank14SS rank12Group rank15

Last tasted:

20th April
Rozes 2006
19th April
Graham 1991
13th April
Ramos Pinto 2004
10th April
Fonseca 1977
Fonseca 2017
Quinta de Vargellas
Taylor 2005
Taylor 1977
Taylor 1997
Taylor 2017
1st April
Graham’s Malvedos 1987


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