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.
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.
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 Fladgate Partnership, the owner of Taylor and Fonseca, continues the trend of consolidation in the Port industry by buying the Port firm of Wiese & Krohn, previously owned and run by the Falcão Carneiro family. Wiese & Krohn was founded in 1865 by two Norwegian entrepreneurs and is the owner of Quinta do Retiro Novo. Wiese & Krohn is renowned for its Colheitas and old tawnies.
The deal includes Wiese & Krohn’s brand, stocks and vineyard holdings, including an estimated 5 million liters of port dating back to 1863. By acquiring Wiese & Krohn Taylor is taking a major step in strengthening its position in the tawny and colheita market.