Vintage Port Notes - Recent
Adrian Bridge, the Managing Director of the Fladgate Partnership which includes Taylor, Fonseca and Croft, came to the annual portfolio tasting of their distributors, Mentzendorff to present a selection of Vintage Ports.
Smith Woodhouse 1966 ****
Niepoort Ten Year Old Dry White ****
Deep straw in colour; pleasing, savoury, old fashioned, lanolin, musky-casky aromas with honey too, on the way to tawny in style; savoury-sweet flavours, honey and brazil nuts. Top notch, the best in a very small class of cask-aged white Ports. 18
Warre 1970 **** / *****
Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas 1961 **
This tasting includes all the wines missing from earlier tastings in London. For some reason none of the 2007s from Sogevinus appeared in the UK. I was surprised to find the wines from Cálem, Burmester, Barros and Kopke bottled with short corks. I have included Niepoort in this tasting again as a point of reference.
The 2007 Port Vintage is not comparable to any other that I have tasted in my career (I go back to the 1983 vintage, not that far but still far enough). The wines have a wonderful purity. The vibrant fruit that is so expressive of the Douro shines through clearly on the nose and palate.
Quinta do Noval, Colheita 1974 ****/*****
These wines were tasted at the joint launch of the 2007 vintage in London by the Symington family, the Fladgate Partnership and Quinta do Noval.
Niepoort Garrafeira 1977 ****
Quinta do Noval Colheita 1964 ****
Still quite deep, amber-red; closed initially, served very cold, milk chocolate, rich, still quite firm with a touch of peppery spice, rich and structured, very youthful for its age. 16
The Manchester Tennis and Racquet Club is one of the few places where you can play the game of Real Tennis in the UK. Not that I play, although I have tried. I am a member though and the club does have a very decent cellar, ably stocked and maintained by member Arnold Smith.
This is the tasting that spurred me into setting up my own website, a once in a lifetime event that wasn’t taken up widely by the UK press. Held at the Factory House in Oporto, we tasted a century of Vintage Port from two great houses, Taylor and Croft.
Croft, one of the oldest and most distinguished names in the Port trade, has had a chequered history in recent years. In 1911 the company was taken over by Gilbey Vintners which in turn became part of International Distillers and Vintners (IDV) then Diageo.
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