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.
Our wine club ‘The Wine Society 18%’ celebrates its 23rd anniversary this year and we have during these 23 years tasted quite a lot of vintage port. It has been altogether 612 different vintage ports ranging from 1873 to 1999 and of course we have tasted a lot from the 21st century too. Unfortunately we have only tasted 3 vintage ports from the 19th century. 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 is enough. The meetings are in Malmö, Sweden. In November every year we have a Great Tasting of either a Vintage or a House. We have so far tasted 1947 (semi-Great), 1960, 1963 (twice), 1966, 1970, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984 (semi-Great) and once also just a House which was Cockburn from 18 different vintages from 1904 to 1994.
This year we wanted to do a new house tasting, even if this is much more difficult than a vintage tasting. Still we were lucky enough to find quite a lot of Guimaraens, so we enjoyed 18 different 20th century Vintages from Guimaraens in the range 1944-1998.
We thank you for a wonderful and, for us, inspiring year with now more than 55.000 visitors from more than 130 countries. It has been very stimulating for us. Please read about our Great Tasting of the magnificent vintage year 1963. They are still wonderful to drink and enjoy. Some are maybe a little old but the best are marvelous. This is the second time we have a 1963 tasting and this time we had only 38 houses, but in 2005 we had 39 houses. Both tastings included a joker which was Quinta do Noval Nacional 1962 and both times it was Best in Show! Marvelous!
As usual we had an interesting Christmas Tasting in the Wine Society 18% and especially the comparison between 1976 Fonseca Guimaraens and Malvedos was worth-wile. Guimaraens is still very young, incredibly dark in colour, and we think this will be better with some more years in the cellar, but the Malvedos is wonderful today, much paler in colour and fully matured, maybe even a little old. Very interesting and a quite good vintage.
Grahams Malvedos 1976
Christmas the whole family spent in London and we did of course eat in some really marvelous restaurants and we also got the chance to taste a lot of Vintage Ports.