Est. 2011

Semi-Great Vintage Port Tasting

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 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 (we want 20 to call it a 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.

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.

Some of the best wines were very expected, 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 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.

The bottles from the tasting.
1955 part1

1955 part2

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: Name Sten's rank Jörgen's rank Stefan's rank Group's rank

ColourMature tawny colour.
BouquetOld nose of pharmacy but also burned sugar and fudge. Still quite complex and enjoyable.
TasteMedium body. Fully mature and maybe a little old but still balanced with old acidity and quite complex. Attractive finish. Lovely old port anyhow!
SAI point15.25JB point16.00SS point15.50Group point16.29
SAI rank16JB rank14SS rank15Group rank9
ColourMature yellow almost tawny in colour.
BouquetElegant fudge, toffee, candy, Christmas raisin, burned sugar and liquorice in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and at its peak but with some old but balanced acidity. Quite sweet, attractive with candy and fudge in taste. Elegant port with a wonderful finish.
SAI point16.50JB point17.25SS point16.25Group point15.93
SAI rank9JB rank5SS rank12Group rank13
CommentThis bottle belongs to Gerda and Ole Vesterdal’s Private Collection.
ColourMature, yellow quite beautiful in colour.
BouquetComplex and attractive nose with toffee, Christmas spiciness, roses, violets, burned sugar and crème caramel.
TasteMedium-body. Mature and peaking. Quite sweet but balanced and very complex port. Crème caramel, roses and spiciness in flavour. Excellent port with a long, attractive and never ended finish.
SAI point17.50JB point17.25SS point16.50Group point16.32
SAI rank5JB rank5SS rank10Group rank8
CommentThis bottle belongs to Gerda and Ole Vesterdal’s Private Collection.
ColourYellow mature in colour.
BouquetRich complex toffee, crème caramel, cream candy, Christmas raisin, vanilla and liquorice in the nose.
TasteFull-bodied, complex, dry and delicious. Mature and peaking but balanced with some old and very elegant acidity. Toffee, vanilla and much more in taste. Wonderful finish. Will not be better but what a port!
SAI point17.00JB point17.40SS point17.75Group point16.61
SAI rank6JB rank2SS rank4Group rank6
CommentThis bottle belongs to Gerda and Ole Vesterdal’s Private Collection.
ColourStill quite dark but mature, yellow in colour.
BouquetTobaccos, violet, fudge but also toffee and Christmas raisin. Some thought that it was some cockiness in the nose
TasteAlmost full-bodied. Mature. Sweet with liquorice and fudge in the taste. Balanced and no cork in taste but not as elegant and balanced as we are used to. This bottle is not OK but no problem to enjoy and drink it anyhow! Astonishing finish.
SAI point15.00JB point15.40SS point12.00Group point13.71
SAI rank17JB rank17SS rank17Group rank17
CommentThis bottle belongs to Gerda and Ole Vesterdal’s Private Collection. This bottle was not OK. Some thought that it was corked and others something else wrong with the bouquet.
HouseGeorge ThienpontVintage1955
ColourYellow, mature in colour.
BouquetToffee, fudge, dried fruit, some spiciness and a hint of pharmacy in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Will not be better. Balanced and elegant with dried fruit and some spiciness I taste. Lovely but maybe a little short finish.
SAI point16.00JB point17.00SS point16.00Group point15.82
SAI rank14JB rank9SS rank13Group rank14
HouseGraham bottled 1957Vintage1955
ColourBeautiful mature, yellow in colour.
BouquetEucalyptus, liquorice, fudge, toffee, crème caramel, crème candy, lovely spiciness and old grocery shop in the nose. Wonderful bouquet!
TasteFull-bodied. Mature and at its peak. Toffee, crème caramel and a lot of wonderful tastes in the mouth. Complex, very elegant and balanced. Some elegant old acids and with a never ending finish. What a marvellous port!
SAI point18.75JB point17.25SS point18.75Group point17.39
SAI rank1JB rank5SS rank1Group rank1
CommentThis bottle belongs to Gerda and Ole Vesterdal’s Private Collection.
HouseGraham bottled 1958Vintage1955
ColourBeautiful mature, yellow in colour.
BouquetFudge, toffee, crème caramel, crème candy and some lovely spiciness but also a hint of pharmacy and old hospital.
TasteFull-bodied. Mature and at its peak. Toffee, crème caramel and a hint of old balanced acidity in the mouth. Complex, very elegant and balanced with a long and very attractive finish. Wonderful port indeed!
SAI point17.75JB point17.00SS point18.00Group point16.82
SAI rank4JB rank9SS rank3Group rank4
CommentThis bottle belongs to Gerda and Ole Vesterdal’s Private Collection.
ColourStill quite dark but with a wonderful mature yellow colour.
BouquetToffee, crème caramel, cream candy, and much more in the nose. Lovely indeed!
TasteQuite full-bodied. Mature and peaking. Balanced and elegant. Very tasty with lots of cream candy, crème caramel and toffee in the mouth. Lovely port and easy to enjoy and love with an elegant and long, attractive finish. Port is wonderful when old and mature!
SAI point18.25JB point17.50SS point18.40Group point17.36
SAI rank2JB rank1SS rank2Group rank2
CommentThis bottle belongs to Gerda and Ole Vesterdal’s Private Collection.
ColourAlmost tawny but quite nice in colour.
BouquetButter-scotch, cream candy but also a hint of pharmacy and hospital in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking and even a little old but still quite balanced and very attractive. Butter-scotch and burned sugar in taste with a nice finish. Will not be better so better drink it up!
SAI point16.25JB point16.00SS point16.00Group point15.50
SAI rank13JB rank14SS rank13Group rank15
HouseOffley Boa VistaVintage1955
ColourMature almost tawny colour.
BouquetCrème caramel, Christmas raisin, butter scotch, some vanilla, zest of oranges and burned sugar in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature, peaking and sweet. Crème caramel, butter scotch and a hint of vanilla in flavour. An elegant and complex finish. Lovely and enjoyable port.
SAI point15.90JB point16.00SS point15.40Group point16.21
SAI rank15JB rank14SS rank16Group rank10
CommentThis bottle belongs to Gerda and Ole Vesterdal’s Private Collection..
HouseQuinta do NovalVintage1955
ColourMature yellow and very beautiful in colour.
BouquetCinnamon, toffee, gingerbread, cacao, dark chocolate, old grocery shop, zest of an orange, crème caramel in the nose.
TasteFull-bodied. Mature and peaking. Lovely flavour of gingerbread, toffee, cacao and mature peached. Sweet. Elegant and balanced with a wonderful, quite long and attractive finish. Just drink it and be in love!
SAI point16.40JB point16.90SS point17.25Group point16.54
SAI rank12JB rank12SS rank5Group rank7
HouseQuinta do Sibio Real VinicolaVintage1955
ColourMature, almost tawny in colour.
BouquetCinnamon, ginger, some toffee and Christmas raisin in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and on top. Sweet and balance. Some old acidity but quite enjoyable. Easy to drink and to love. Toffee and Christmas raisin in taste. Delicious and balanced with a lovely finish.
SAI point16.75JB point17.40SS point16.90Group point17.14
SAI rank8JB rank2SS rank8Group rank3
HouseRamos PintoVintage1955
ColourMature yellow but quite dark and wonderful in colour.
BouquetCrème caramel, fudge, toffee, Christmas spiciness, ginger and much more in the nose. Exciting bouquet.
TasteFull-body. Mature and at its peak with crème caramel, ginger and toffee in flavour. Maybe a hint of old but completely balanced acidity. Sweet. Lovely complexity and a generous and very long attractive finish. Delicious port. This is a wonderful port! It is time to enjoy it now!
SAI point17.00JB point17.40SS point17.00Group point16.71
SAI rank6JB rank2SS rank6Group rank5
CommentThis bottle belongs to Gerda and Ole Vesterdal’s Private Collection.
ColourStill quite dark but yellow, mature in colour.
BouquetZest of oranges, spiciness, roses, cacao and gingerbread in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Will not be better. Balanced. Elegant and very complex port with zest of oranges, roses and ginger bread and much more in taste. Easy to drink and enjoy with a nice and long finish.
SAI point16.50JB point16.50SS point16.40Group point14.96
SAI rank9JB rank13SS rank11Group rank16
ColourStill a little dark but yellow mature in colour.
BouquetCacao, chocolate, menthol, cream candy, vanilla and toffee in the nose.
TasteFull-bodied. Mature and at its peak. Balanced and quite excellent and complex port with vanilla and menthol in flavour and a long wonderful finish. Easy to drink and enjoy.
SAI point17.90JB point17.00SS point16.75Group point16.14
SAI rank3JB rank9SS rank9Group rank12
HouseTuke Holdsworth Hunt, Roope & Co.Vintage1955
ColourYellow, mature in colour.
BouquetChristmas raisins, Christmas spiciness and dried fruit in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking with some old balanced acidity. Quite elegant and complex with fudge and Christmas raisin in taste.. Easy to drink and like with a nice and very attractive finish.
SAI point16.50JB point17.25SS point17.00Group point16.18
SAI rank9JB rank5SS rank6Group rank11

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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