Author Archives: Stefan

Theis Bordeaux tasting in Copenhagen

Theis Bordeaux tasting in Copenhagen was this year truly massive. The number of cru classified wines at the fair was significantly larger this year compared to last time. An astonishing amount of good high class chateaux and some nice Champagne, Port and other wines. 

Bordeaux 2021 will most likely not be remembered as one of the greater vintages of the century. 2021 is rather medium quality. It is lighter in colour and lighter and fresher in taste than the last few years. Probably most of the wines will also mature quicker since they lack a bit of structure and body.

For Port lovers it was interesting to see that Niepoort presented some of their Ports but also some of theire other wines.

Niepoort has recently changed suppliers in Denmark, and is know imported by Theis Vine. Stefano Marello, Export Director at Niepoort Vinhos says that the change of distributors was made to support the sales of Niepoort’s growing portfolio of white and red wines and in order to get access to the best restaurants in Denmark, such as Geranium and Alchemist. 

As for many other Port wine companies the table wines have been growing in sales over the last couple of decades. Actually, for Niepoort, the table wine sales are bigger in both volume and value compared to Port wine.

Bordeaux 2021 – Theis Vine Prestigesmagning, Copenhagen, Denmark

On September 8, 2022, Theis Vine will arrange a Bordeaux tasting at the Stock Exchange in Copenhagen, Denmark. The main focus for the tasting is the great chateaux of Bordeaux, with both samples from the last vintage, 2021, as well as beads of older vintages directly from the producers’ own cellars. Furthermore, a selection of some other wines from the rest of the world are also available.

We will surely be visiting this tasting and you can expect our review of the event in September.

Tickets are available at www.theis-vine.dk

In addition, for all port wine lovers, we can reveal that Theis Vine will present their new partnership with Niepoort.

Portweinmesse in Leverkusen

The event started with an amazing Master Class with Sandeman’s Director of Oenology, Luis de Sottomayor. We were guided through a selection of six wines spanning six decades. We tasted 2018, 2011, 2000, 1997, 1977 and 1966. All wines were in very good condition but 1977 and 1966 was outstanding.

At the open tasting at the Portweinmesse we were offered more than 100 different vintage ports and a some tawnys. The fair is usually focused on the last vintage, but as the fair was canceled last year, the last three vintages, 2019, 2018 and 2017, all displayed about 25-30 vintages each. Of the three, 2017 is the best vintage.

Christmas ports

Sten is here writing some words about the Christmas celebrations within the family.

Last year one of my sons-in-law wrote about our Christmas ports during the last decades, and in 2020 we did not have any dinner or meeting in the family due to the pandemic. This year we decided to try in a strange way even if we had to deliver wine and some food to one of our daughter’s family. The great day in our family is the 23th of December. This is due to the fact that when the first son-in-law in spe wanted to celebrate Christmas with his fiance i.e. our daughter, that had to be on the 23rd because Christmas Eve he had to go to his parents, and so it continued when our next son-in-law appeared. From the first year we had a new kind of meat for dinner and so it has continued since 1998. It has been an exciting evening every year for our grandchildren to guess what new meat we will eat.

This year I was thinking of celebrating both 2020 and 2021. We started of course with champagne every evening. On the 23rd we had our new meat (Guineafowl) and Ch. Leoville-las Casas 1920 and Ch. Latour 1951 followed by the dessert with Ferreira Vintage Port 1820 and their Garrafeira Port 1830.

On Christmas Eve we had with the Stilton cheese a Tawny tasting: Noval 30 years Dry tawny bottled 1971, Feuerheerd Commendador ( 25 years) bottled 1965 and Dow’s VVO bottled by Silva e Cosens, a very old tawny indeed.

Schofields 1920 and Ramos Pinto 1921

Christmas day I had, due to something very strange, as red wines Latricieres-Chambertin 2006 and Ch. Lynch-Bages 1964 with the meat and to the Christmas pudding the Manchester wine-dealer Schofields Vintage Port 1920 and Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 1921.

Sandeman 1965 and 1959

On Boxing Day I took no French red wine, but Torre Gran Corona, Grand Reserve, Black Label and Brunello di Montalcino from Biondi Santi in Toscana both from 1971 and ended with Sandemans Vintage Ports 1959 and 1965.

Hope you all had a nice Christmas as well. 

Copenhagen Port Wine Festival at Børsen

We are very pleased that Henrik Oldenburg could again arrange the Port Wine festival in 2021, at the period between two waves of Covid-19. Especially as 2020 was cancelled due to the same pandemic virus.

Before the start of the festival there was a press tasting featuring Dominic Symington. As Dominic became 65 years old in May 2020, he retired from the company management and the tasting held at the port wine festival in Copenhagen was his last official act. The theme of the tasting was “Vintages from my time” and he had selected a rare and exclusive selection, taken directly from Symington’s own stock. We had a wonderful selection of vintage ports, including the following: 1963 Dow and 1970 Graham, both selected because they were the first after Symington’s purchased Dow respectively Graham, 1977 Dow, 1980 Warre, 1985 Graham, 1994 Quinta do Vesuvio, 1995 Quinta da Cavadinha, 2000 Warre, 2007 Dow, 2011 Cockburn, 2011 Dow, and 2017 Graham. All bottles were in mint condition and performed very well. We are very grateful to Dominic for his fantastic guidance trough six decades of port and the “vintages from my time”.

Dominic Symington
Dominic Symington at the Port Wine festival in Copenhagen

The vintage ports featured at the port wine festival were mainly from 2017, 2018 and 2019, but also some older. Among the better newly released vintages were Quinta do Vesuvio 2018, Quinta do Seixo 2019 and Sandeman 2018. In addition to Dominic’s special tasting, we must mention that we very much appreciated that it was possible to sample a few older vintages, such as Churchill 1997, Quinta do Cachao 1983, Sandemans Vau 1999 and Sandeman 1980. On the tawny side there were several very good old tawny’s and colheitas, such as 1969 Quinta da Devesa Colheita Branco and Palmers 1962 white and 1970 Colheita.

As a general conclusion regarding the last vintages 2018 and 2019, none of these are up to the standard of the spectacular triplet vintages 2015-2017.

Christmas Vintage Ports

2020 is a very special year. It is now 45 years since Sten (co-founder of this web site) and his wife fell in love with Vintage port. Every Christmas since then, the family have enjoyed Vintage Port with Stilton cheese – great tradition! Many years have passed by and the two daughters in the family grew older, both getting married to beer and whisky lovers (sighs), none with experience of port wine (sighs again). Sten had at that time only been drinking beer just once in his life and did not fancy it at all. He thought whisky was drinkable and since then we in the family have enjoyed quite some decent whiskies together. The two sons-in-law, Jörgen and Stefan, learned to love Port Wine and in 2011 we started this web site together.

Christmas Ports in the family 2014

Christmas time also resulted in other traditions within the family. The whole family have been celebrating the 23rd of December together for 22 years now (giving the opportunity to celebrate with other family members over the coming days of Christmas), but of course we have often also celebrated the following days of Christmas together.

In 2003 Sten decided that his family, including sons-in-law, should taste some old Vintage Ports on the 23rd of December when the family was celebrating. We have been tasting some quite fantastic port wines since then on our Christmas gatherings and were looking forward to doing the same this year. This Christmas, with the Corona, we were not able to celebrate Christmas together as usual. We hope next Christmas gives us a few more days together so we can drink the Vintage Ports for both 2020 and 2021 together.

Often we tried to taste ports with an age of 100 years. This has been possible for some Vintages even if some of the years are very difficult (for Sten impossible) to find.

2019 December 23: Quinta do Junco 1908 and Ferreira 1908 (Junco a bit tawny-style but two lovely ports)

2019 December 25: Fonseca Guimaraens 1972 and Guimaraens 1919

2018 December 23: Barros 1958 and Taylor 1948 (Two lovely Vintage Ports!)

2018 December 25: Quinta do Noval Nacional 1983 and Quinta do Noval Nacional 1968 (Not so often seen Vintages from this legendary Quinta).

2018 December 26: Hankey Bannister 1935 and Fearon Block (probably Taylor) 1935 (George V’s Jubilee Vintage – a classic Vintage)

2017 December 23: Garnett’s Bros Vintage 1917 and Ramos Pinto 1917 (Not sure which house was bottled by Garnett, but lovely wines)

2016 December 23: Forrester 1926 and Cockburn 1916 (Forrester was most likely a Colheita but the Cockburn was fantastic.)

2016 December 25: Quinta do Panascal 1906 (George’s Imperial Crown Red) and an unknown vintage from 1901.

2015 December 23: Silva & Cosens 1915 and W.N. Starling 1887 (Starling is noted as a Taylor in several places and it most likely is a Taylor.).

2014 December 23: Quinta do Noval Vintage 1934, A. J. da Silva Colheita 1934 and No 1 Especial Vinho Velha Quinta de Romariz 1834 (A.J. da Silva were Noval at that time. This time the Noval Vintage Port was the clear winner.)

2014 December 25: Taylor 1935 (bottled by Fearon Block) and Croft 1914 (This bottle of Crofts 1914 vintage Port was shipped by pipe and bottled at Chester’s Brewery Co, Ardwick for the manager Mr George Smith Thomson’s personal use. It has not been rebottled./ G. Hoban 1989)

2012 December 23: Quinta do Sibio 1900 (José Duate d’Oliviera) and Gilbey 1900

2011 December 23: Hooper 1951 and Cockburn 1911 (This bottle has belonged to Jorge Guillermo who was married to one of the Dutch princesses and sold his wine cellar at Christie´s when they divorced, but no label on the bottle, just a Cockburn label around the neck where Cockburn 1911 was written.)

2010 December 23: Sandeman 1943 and Harvey 1887

2009 December 23: Martinez 1922 and Quinta de Zimbro 1922

2008 December 23: Graham’s 1948 and van Zellers 1933

2007 December 23: Dow’s 1946 and Sandeman 1946

2006 December 23: Constantino 1941 and Quinta do Corval 1941 (Real Companhia Velha)

2005 December 23: Quinta de Roriz 1920 and Warre’s 1920

2004 December 23: Gozalez-Byass 1960 and Ferreira 1960

2003 December 23: Charlie & Co. 1924 and Graham’s 1924

Vintage Port 1985 Tasting

Despite all cancelled tastings, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we managed to hold a Great Tasting of Vintage Port 1985 in our Wine club in Malmö, Sweden in September. 1985 is ranked as the best Vintage in the 1980s and expectations were of course high with. We had managed to collect 59 different Vintage Ports, a quite complete setup with all the big houses represented.

Vintage Port 1985, still quite dark ruby in the colour

At an age of 35 years the Vintage should now show its full potential and it certainly did. There were many wonderful wines and some of them are actually still appearing as young with impressive tannins and great structure. Fonseca was the winner of the tasting. Dow’s and Taylor’s were not so far behind. All three are wonderful today and will remain so for several years.

Fonseca 1985
Quinta Dona Matilde 1985

You can read all about the tasting, results and tasting notes on our page dedicated to the tasting.

The “new” Quinta da Côrte

We got the chance to evaluate the Vintage Ports from this newcomer in the port wine business. Newcomer? Is that true, you might think. Well, most of you, who know your Vintage Ports, and the port wine quintas, have probably heard about or even tasted Quinta da Côrte under the Delaforce label which has been produced since the 1970’s. The last Vintage Port under the Delaforce label was however made in 2004.

Vintage Port 2017 and 2015 from Quinta da Côrte

In 2013 Quinta da Côrte was bought by Philippe Austruy most known for his career in the health care sector, but also owner of Commanderie de Peyrassol in Côtes de Provence and the Château Malescasse in Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux. After restoring both the vineyards and the main buildings the first wine was released in 2013, a Douro red table wine. Today the Quinta, located in the Cima Corgo, in the Douro Valley, is offering visitors wine tastings, dining possibilities and a guest accommodation.

Together with the Quinta the wine stock in the cellars were included and this made it possible to also start producing and selling port wine. Currently the port wine portfolio is made up of a 10 years Tawny, a 20 years Tawny, LBV’s from 2014 and 2015 and Vintage Ports from 2015 and 2017.

Dark nice ruby colour.

Back to the Vintage Ports. The first Vintage Port under the new management, and from wine maker Marta Casanova, was the 2015 Vintage Port. This is today still very young and dark ruby in colour. The bouquet provides a rich fruity and powerful touch of dark berries like mulberries, blueberries, black currant and dark cherries. Still of course young in taste with loads of dark berries and massive but lovely tannins. Although we like it today, this would definitively improve even more with some years in the cellar.

The 2017 is the latest Vintage Port from the Quinta. The style is recognized, with very dark ruby colour and dark berries in the bouquet. This time the bouquet is accomplished with some peppery notes and fresh herbal notes. The Port is very fresh in the mouth and provides a long very balanced taste with soft but noticeable tannins. The tannins appear a bit more rounded than in the 2015 but there is definitely ageing potential for this youngster as well.

Vintage Port 2017

Tasting notes are also found under our page about Quinta da Côrte.

For being a new producer in the business the Port Wines are very promising and well worth trying for any Port Wine lover.