Dow 1994

After 23 years (21 in bottle)  the 1994 vintage should be starting to drink well. For the Port trade this was something of a watershed year, following on from the rather patchy 1985s and an interesting split declaration in 1991-92. By 1994 we were all in need of a serious vintage. Dow certainly produced a serious wine and, I remember thinking at the time, that the drier house style suited the ripe year rather well. Having tasted the wine on a number of occasions,  at the Third Form Club in January I had the opportunity to drink the wine for the first time.

Dow 1994 ****/*****

Still deep and dark in colour, though this being the end of a dinner in subdued lighting it was not easy to see the wine well; open, characteristically ripe on the nose but still showing restraint with more to give; firm but not tight knit, sweet, ripe berry fruit backed by gritty tannins leading to a fresh vibrant finish. A lovely wine but better in another ten years. This is a keeper.  18.5  

    

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