Birthday Wines Part III

Cossart Gordon Bual 1961 ****

 I discovered this wine by accident whilst taking a tour behind the scenes at the Blandy wine lodge earlier this year. There are all too few fortified ‘61s (1261 bottles of this) so I bought a few bottles for future birthdays. Bottled in March 2004, this wine spent 43 years in wood: deep amber-mahogany in colour with a burnt nose, characteristic rancio with a touch of dried fig and prune (Francisco Albuquerque, wine maker for the Madeira Wine Company) describes finds ‘vanilla’ and ‘curry’ on the nose); lovely singed flavours, dried apricots and prunes with the natural richness and concentration offset by acidity. A bit coarse though in the company of some very distinguished Claret and Port (see Birthday Wines Part I and Part II). 17.5  


19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)

17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)

15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)

13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)

10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)

8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)

Below 8 Faulty