At the prestige tasting on Sep 21 Philipson Wine had invited several of their suppliers to let us taste a selection of their wines. Some of the wines that we appreciated the most were: Sassicaia 2015, Bollinger Le Grand année 2007, Ch Cantemerle 2015, Ch Kirwan 2015, Ch Talbot 2015, Nyetimber Blanc de Blanc 2010 and Burmester Colheita 1955. Burmester was represented by Stefano Marello, who we also had the pleasure of meeting at our tour to Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia last June.
This year Theis annual Bordeaux tasting was bigger and better than ever. With 27 Medoc Grand Cru Classe and a total of about 100 of classified Bordeaux vintages (including St Emilion and Graves/Sauternes) it was impossible to try all the good wines served. As we focused on Bordeaux we did miss out on some of the other wines served.
Most Chateaux had 2017 and an older vintage to sample. 2017 is a fairly good year, but not a classic. For most of the Chateaux their older bottle was the better.
We were particularly impressed by Ch Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse de Lalande and Cos d’Estournel, both regarding their 2017 and their older vintage, 2010 and 2014 respectively. On the sweet side, there were some lovely Sauternes that really were superb, especially after sampling almost 80 young red tannic Bordeaux. Ch Suduiraut, Guiraud and Coutet were all fabulous. We are impressed by the outstanding collection of good wines that Theis had managed to set up at this wonderful tasting.
Today we celebrated Port Wine Day with a very nice old Tawny port. The bottle was one of very few bottles remaining from the great collection of Henry Cabot Lodge. There is no sign of the producer or age, but when sold at Sotheby’s more than 25 years ago they informed that the wine should originate from the 1870’s.
Sten, one of the authors on vintageport.se have been celebrating September 10th with port wine every year since 1976, the year he fell in love with the wonderful enjoyment port wine brings.
His celebration on this day is due to his birthday, this year celebrated for 75 years. We all hope you will have a nice glass of Vintage Port that day.
Celebration of the Port Wine Day is also celebrated on September 10th on the day when its designation of origin was created, in 1756.
On September 20 in Aarhus and 21 in Copenhagen, Philipson Wine are having their annual prestige wine tastings. The tasting program includes different types of wine, e.g. Bollinger, Chablisienne, Sassicaia, Allegrini, Altesino, Catena, Phelps, Pesquera and Burmester Porto. Tickets are available at www.philipsonwine.com
On September 4 Theis Vine arrange the annual 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, 2017, 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 June this year we visited Porto and Douro, starting with a few days in Vila Nova de Gaia and Porto and concluding with visits to some of the quintas in Douro. In Vila Nova de Gaia we had several fantastic and very well organized tours and tastings, but also a few drop by tastings at some lodges we had not booked in advance.
Symington is one of the leading Port companies and has several lodges in Gaia. We visited Graham’s and Cockburn’s. At Graham’s, that is one of the bigger lodges in Gaia, the tours are very professional and interesting and the tasting was very good.
Cockburn’s new lodge offers also a very good tour and tasting and includes a very interesting view into how the coopers make or renovate the pipes, barrels and vats.
At Barao de Vilar wine maker Alvaro van Zeller showed us their stock and bottling operation in Gaia. Barao de Vilar is much smaller as a company than the major port groups, but they are also one of the most creative. In order to make an impact they are making very clever packages and bottles, such as their 100 years tawny, consisting of four small bottles of 10+20+30+40 = 100 year tawny. Alvaro and his team also have a number of very old colheitas, of which we had the great honor to taste 1990, 1977, 1963 (Barao de Vilar vs Palmer), 1962, 1950, 1934 in addition to their vintage and white colheita. It was an absolutely amazing tasting which we will remember for a long time.
Sogevinus owns Cálem, Kopke, Burmester, Barros and some other brands. We visited the newly renovated and upgraded Cálem lodge that combines hi-tech presentation in combination with a traditional tour to provide a good experience. For example, they have a 5D-cinema experience. We had a very interesting tasting of their latest 2016 vintages as well as some fabulous older colheitas. We really appreciated to be able to taste their fine ports in the company of Sogevinus PR & communication manager Jose João Santos, Business manager Stefano Marello and winemaker Carlos Alves.
Cruz and Dalva are situated in the main square in Gaia, at Espaço Porto Cruz. Gran Cruz bought the company C. da Silva and their brand Dalva in 2007 and they are now both presented at Espaço Porto Cruz. At Grand Cruz you can have a meal in their restaurant or try a selection of their ports. We got a very good expose of Cruz and Dalva port including their fantastic white ports, Dalva Golden White, and Presidential Vintage 2011. Presidential is an alternative brand for Dalva used in some markets.
In addition, we stopped at some other lodges and had some ports in the bar at:
- Ramos Pintos,
- Quinta dos Corvos
- Portologia, port wine bar in Porto
Beginning of May we went to London to shop port wine and participate in some tastings. The shopping was somewhat disappointing; we can find far more Vintage Ports for sale in Copenhagen than we could in London! If the shopping wasn’t very successful the tastings were definitely so!
We have already written about the tasting arranged by The Port Forum held on May 8.
On May 9 we participated in the Big Fortified Tasting, the B.F.T. in Church House, central London. The B.F.T. is the single largest wine fair in the world which is solely dedicated to fortified wines. All kinds of fortified wines were served but we focused on Vintage Port and mature Madeira. Some producers offed the first tasting of Vintage 2016, and from the samples we had, we believe that 2016 is an even better vintage than the superb 2015. In addition to the last vintages, there were also some older vintages served, such as Dow’s 1985, Warre’s 1980, Fonseca’s 1985 and Taylor’s 1985. Some very well arranged master classes were also arranged as part of the B.F.T. We participated in the Master classes ‘The Golden Age of Taylor’s Tawny’, ‘Barbeito Madeira – New Challenges and Projects’ and ‘Sandeman Port presented by George Sandeman and Luís Sottomayor’, more about these will soon come on our site.
Finally we think it is worth mentioning the new era of White Port. The old saying ‘The first duty of Port is to be red’ (Ernest Cockburn), does not necessarily hold anymore. While most White Port is sold and consumed young, there are some excellent examples on the market showing the aging potential of White Port. Miguel Braga from Quinta do Murão severed a very good S. Leonardos 50 years old white port and a 90 years old white port. These are not only impressive in age, but also very impressive in taste. Both well worth to try for all of you who haven’t discovered the world of White Ports.
Overall, we think the fair was well organized and we hope to be able to come next year too.
The Port Forum is an internet forum as well as a devoted group of port wine lovers. We attended a “high-flying” tasting organized at the Royal Air Force Club in central London. The premises were very elegant and we were awed and could hear the sound of the Spitfire planes in our mind when we admired the hundreds of paintings of air crafts hanging on the walls.
With participants from Sweden, Germany, Portugal and Italy in addition to the U.K., we were a fairly international group. The theme was set to “Something nice from the 60s” and everybody brought a bottle of their own choosing to fit the theme.
The final selection became quite interesting. Two bottles were vintage port mixed by the importer- Harvey’s 1962 (Cockburn+Martinez) and Averys 1963 (Sandeman+Fonseca+Taylor). Three bottles pre 1963, 8 bottles of 1963 and three bottles of 1966.
- Croft 1960 – Fonseca 1960 – Harvey’s 1962
- Averys 1963 and it’s components – Sandeman 1963 – Fonseca’s 1963 – and Taylor 1963
- Warre 1963 – Dow 1963 – Feist 1963 – and Dalva Golden White Tawny 1963
- Fonseca 1966 – Taylor 1966 – Noval 1966
The tasting was a lovely experience. Most bottles were very good but a few were not at peak performance. This is the risk you have to take when you drink wine that is more than 50 years old. As a vintage, the legendary 1963 has peaked and some of the wines are beginning to deteriorate, but most are still very good and will stay on high level for many years to come. It is also noteworthy that 1966 is keeping very well in general, and some were perceived as quite young – at an age of 52 years. This was a great and quite wonderful tasting for us from Sweden and we hope we can go to London again at these occasions.
The Wine Society 18%, celebrating 25 year anniversary this year, had a tasting of the house Portal on March 15, 2018. Out of the 15 Vintage Ports released from Portal, we had 14 in this tasting. This includes some Single Quinta Vintages from Quinta do Portal and Quinta dos Muros.
Please read more about the tasting here. You will also find tasting notes and scores for all tasted wines.