Est. 2011

Semi-Great Vintage Port Tasting

Vintage 1979

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Wine Society 18%, we had decided to have some extra tasting 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. 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.

The Wine Society 18% had a Semi-Great Tasting 28 February 2013 of the Vintage 1979. 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. (These are not included below since we focus on the Vintages.)

Vintage 1979

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 yellow in colour.
BouquetElegant nose of nuts, mint and old hospital.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking, but maybe a bit old. Still elegant and balanced port with an attractive and harmonic finish. Delicious!
SAI point15.75JB point15.75SS point15.50Group point15.84
SAI rank7JB rank8SS rank7Group rank5
ColourYellow, mature almost tawny in colour.
BouquetNot so intensive bouquet and maybe not quite clean? Ether, old hospital and some pharmacy in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Some orange in the taste. Mature but not so tasty and balanced. Quite long but maybe not attractive finish
SAI point15.40JB point16.00SS point14.00Group point15.66
SAI rank8JB rank4SS rank9Group rank6
CommentJB and SS had a split ranking SS: To me this showed hints of a defect cork.
ColourMature yellow almost tawny in colour.
BouquetFudge, candy and some pharmacy in the nose. Quite attractive.
TasteMedium body. Fudge in taste. Mature and peaking and maybe just a little old. Balanced and elegant port with a long and attractive finish.
SAI point15.90JB point16.25SS point16.00Group point15.41
SAI rank6JB rank3SS rank4Group rank7
HouseQuinta dos Malvedos - GrahamVintage1979
ColourStill quite dark but yellow mature in colour.
BouquetComplex and quite generous bouquet with fudge, toffee, coffee, tea and much more in the nose.
TasteQuite full-bodied. Mature and peaking. Crème caramel in the taste. Elegant and balanced port with a generous and delicious finish. Quite extraordinary for the vintage.
SAI point16.75JB point16.75SS point16.50Group point16.34
SAI rank1JB rank1SS rank2Group rank1
CommentSS had a split ranking
ColourPale and tawny in colour.
BouquetThis port is not harmonic and cracked. Terrible nose.
TasteMedium body. Not balanced and quite hard to swallow.
SAI point11.00JB point11.00SS point11.00Group point13.13
SAI rank11JB rank11SS rank11Group rank11
ColourMature yellow in colour.
BouquetCrème caramel, old grocery shop, coffee and tea in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Crème caramel in the taste. An elegant port with a long and balanced finish. Very good indeed.
SAI point16.00JB point15.90SS point15.90Group point15.91
SAI rank4JB rank7SS rank5Group rank4
CommentSAI had a split ranking
HouseQuinta do Bomfim - DowVintage1979
ColourMature yellow in colour.
BouquetCrème caramel, toffee, old grocery shop in the generous and lovely bouquet.
TasteAlmost full bodied. Mature and peaking. Toffee and crème caramel in the taste. Elegant and balanced with a long, attractive and quite wonderful finish.
SAI point16.50JB point16.50SS point16.75Group point16.25
SAI rank2JB rank2SS rank1Group rank2
HouseQuinta do Cachao - MessiasVintage1979
ColourPale but yellow mature in colour.
BouquetCacao, old grocery shop and dark chocolate in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Lovely cacao in taste. Balanced and elegant port. Honey in the finish, which is quite long and attractive.
SAI point16.00JB point16.00SS point16.50Group point15.31
SAI rank4JB rank4SS rank2Group rank8
CommentSAI, JB and SS had a split ranking
HouseQuinta da Cavadinha - WarreVintage1979
ColourStill rather dark but yellow mature in colour.
BouquetCherry, nuts, plum and fruit in a generous bouquet.
TasteMedium body. Nuts and fruit in the taste. Mature and peaking. Balanced and elegant with a long, complex and attractive finish.
SAI point16.40JB point15.50SS point15.00Group point15.94
SAI rank3JB rank9SS rank8Group rank3
CommentSS: Odd bouquet with tropical fruit, not quite what I expected. Taste ok.
HouseReal VinicolaVintage1979
ColourAlmost tawny in colour.
BouquetSome toffee but also ether and old hospital.
TasteMedium body. Some unbalanced with acidity. Quite old and passed its peak but drinkable and with a rather long but not quite harmonic finish. Should have been enjoyed some years ago.
SAI point13.00JB point11.50SS point14.00Group point13.34
SAI rank10JB rank10SS rank9Group rank10
CommentSS had a split ranking This bottle was unbalanced with acidic acid. SS: At first ok with elegancy, flowers and ether but cracking in the glass, maybe too high points from me. JB: unattractive tones of acetic acid in the bouquet as well as the taste
ColourPale, mature yellow, almost tawny in colour.
BouquetRather shy in the nose but with some toffee. Fudge and nuts
TasteMedium body. Mature and a bit more. Have been better. Fudge in taste. Still knit together and balanced and quite good finish. Still very enjoyable and interesting.
SAI point14.50JB point16.00SS point15.75Group point14.88
SAI rank9JB rank4SS rank6Group rank9
CommentJB had a split ranking

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Berry Bros 1970
Factory House 1977
Fonseca-Guimaraens 1976
Fonseca-Guimaraens 1978
Fonseca-Guimaraens 1988
Kopke 1974
Kopke 1989
Offley Boa Vista 1982
Osborne 1970
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Dow 1986
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Fonseca-Guimaraens 1984


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