Four Ports

I tasted the following Ports at the Wine Society’s London tasting and thought my albeit rather brief notes were worth recording:

Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira 1999 ****

Deep, youthful and demure on the nose, yet rich, fresh and vibrant on the palate, intense, seemingly quite sweet (for Dow), with layers of ripe tannin and a firm finish. Only just ready to drink and will be good for another 15 years at least.  18 

Quinta do Vesúvio 1998 ****

From a small harvest that turned out to be a great year in the Douro Superior: still deep and opaque in colour; open, fragrant with lovely purity of fruit, still young and spicy but fully ready to drink. 17.5 

Fonseca Guimarens 1998 ***

Not nearly as expressive as the Vesúvio, restrained almost minerally, firm and spicy, peppery, leaner but with a lovely long, linear finish. Ready now but may benefit from a bit more time in bottle.  16

Taylor 1980 ****

Mid-deep in colour; open, fragrant, characteristically floral, now gentle with bottle age; sweet and peppery not much flesh but very elegant with  rapier-like focus to the finish. Lovely now and over the next ten years or so.  17.5

Scoring

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