At the Port wine festival in Copenhagen last November we visited both the port wine fair and a separate master class. The master class was focused on tawny port and led by Miguel Braga from Quinta do Mourao.
He led us through the 10-20-30-40- and 50 years old white, as well as “60” and “90” that is not official categories. The two last ones are not official categories but nevertheless both old and excellent! The “90” is actually 1927 white Colheita and was 95 years rather than 90. In addition we also had a chance to sample their new 50 year old tawny. All wines were very well made and we must say that Miguel Braga and Quinta do Mourao makes very good mature colheita and tawny and is one of the best producers for white port. They produce wine under the brands S. Leonardo and Rio Bom.
In the open tasting we focused on Vintage Ports and got the chance to taste some Ports we had never tasted before.
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”.
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.
It was with great expectations we went to this year’s Festival in Copenhagen. Not only because we were looking forward to taste some 2016 Vintage Ports, the latest generally declared Vintage, but also to learn more about the Colheitas from Andresen in a special tasting with the owner of Andresen, Carlos Flores dos Santos and their wine maker Alvaro van Zeller.
Andresen are producing both Colheita and Vintage Ports, but according to Carlos they have always considered themselves of being a Tawny and Colheita house. After participating in this tasting we can understand why. Vintage Port lovers as we are, we have of course tasted many of their Vintage Ports, and even if they are good they are not competing with the best in that category. Their Colheitas on the other hand are indeed very good and in this tasting we got the chance to taste two Colheitas from each decade all the way back to the 1960’s, and on top of that two older fantastic Colheitas. 1937 Colheita bottled already in 1980, meaning it had about the same time in wood as on bottle. This was a great wine, showing elegancy, complexity and a quite light body, but with a long lovely finish. The last wine was more recently bottled Colheita 1910; actually it was bottled when 100 years old in 2010. This wine has an enormous concentration and a fat lovely aftertaste which never seems to end. Indeed a top quality Colheita!
Carlos Flores dos Santos and Alvaro van Zeller
In the open tasting we focused on the Vintage Ports and we found some interesting new producers we never got the chance to taste before. Dona Otilia, Martha’s, Boeira and Lacrau were new to us and we also tasted Quinta da Oliveirinha from Alves de Sousa for the first time. The latest Vintage 2016 was quite well represented and some of them are very impressive, we especially liked Sandeman and Dow’s but there were others that also impressed on us like Churchill, Kopke, Barros and Quinta da Romaneira. Even if 2016 is generally declared and 2015 is not there are for sure some really good wines made from 2015 as well. One that we have been very impressed by since we tasted it the first time last year is Niepoort Vintage Port 2015, and once again it shows that the best from 2015 can match many of the 2016 Vintage Ports.
Overall this year’s Festival shows that port wine is more popular than ever in Denmark. There is a huge assortment of all kinds of port available from many devoted and passionate importers, many of them with great knowledge of Port in general and there is always something new to learn when talking to them over a glass of port. So a big thanks to all of you for all the generosity, both with wine and knowledge. We are also of course sending our compliments to Mr. Henrik Oldenburg for the great arrangements. This is indeed one of the highlights on the year for port lovers like us.
Henrik Oldenburg has written a new book after his outstanding ‘Port wine’. The new one is called ‘Portvin i glasset’ (‘Port wine in the glass’). Both are available only in Danish but easy to read for both Swedes and Norwegians. In the new book he promotes port wine by saying that Port wine can be enjoyed nearly every day and not just at Christmas. The book is a good introduction to Port wine and he tells you almost everything about this wonderful wine; description of the various types of port, best vintages, what kind of glass to use, how to decant and in which decanters and of course his own favorite port wines. It is indeed a wonderful wine, and sitting in an arm chair reading the book while sipping on a glass of port, just enjoying life, is also wonderful.
The new book will only cost 70 Danish Krone, and it will be available when the Port Wine Festival is taking place on November 6 in Copenhagen. See you all there!
Forlaget Smag is arranging the annual Port Wine Festival at Børsen, Copenhagen on Monday November 6. Henrik Oldenburg is as usual the man behind the Festival and we have been informed that Dirk Niepoort will be this years special guest.
There will as usual also be many more representatives from port producers during the festival.
If you have not already bought your ticket, now is the time to do so, as they are selling out fast! Find all information about participating importers and producers and buy tickets on http://forlaget-smag.dk/
The annual port wine festival in Copenhagen, arranged by Henrik Oldenburg, was this year visited by well-known Dominic Symington from the Symington Family Estates. Dominic arranged, with help from Gustavo Devesas (Market Manager at the Symingtons) a tasting to show that the terroir and micro climate of the quintas in the Douro valley are very different. By tasting six of the Symington Single Quintas we could all see the difference between Quinta da Cavadinha, Quinta do Bomfim, Quinta dos Malvedos, Quinta dos Canais, Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira and Quinta do Vesuvio. To understand the differences better we tasted all of these quintas from both 2001 and 2010 to also see the maturation aspect of the different terroirs. Dominic talked about the work the Symingtons are doing to improve the quality in all of the quintas using modern technology combined with their long experience. The harvest can for instance be done in a more optimal way by investigating how strong the vines are throughout the quinta and then harvest different parts of the quintas at different days for perfect grapes.
In the open tasting we could as usual taste quite a lot of interesting Vintage Ports. There were several mature Vintage Ports from some of the importers. We were as usual impressed by the range of mature Vintage Ports from Vintageportvin.dk, and we could taste a lot of mature Vintage Ports from the Symington houses Smith Woodhouse and Gould Campbell from the vintages 1977, 1980, 1985 and 2000 and also Quarles Harris from 1977. From these the 1977, 1980 and 1985 are really impressive and peaking today and the 2000 is also nice today but it is a perfect investment for the cellar. We could also taste Warre’s Vintage Port from both 1980 and 2000 at the Kjaer Sommerfeldt table, both really good.
We would like to thank Henrk Oldenburg, Dominic Symington, Gustavo Devesas and all Danish importers for an enjoyable festival and hope to see you all again soon.
The port wine festival in Copenhagen is coming up, and so is the new port wine book from Henrik Oldenburg, the organizer of the festival. The book is the 4th edition of “Portvin” (port wine in danish) and it will be released at the port wine festival on November 7. It is said to be the biggest book in the world about port wine. The book will have 520 pages and include information about more than 100 port producers.