Today we had our annual sport tasting. It's such a huge tasting that it really does feel more like sport than hedonism. But it's a fun event anyway and provides a useful way to get to glimpses into some nice wines.
Montez Champalimaud VP 2001
was like I recently reported on in Nevski's thread: dry, savoury, but balanced and gloriously fruity to counter the atypical dryness. A nice dessert in a style I very much like, but I can understand that this isn't for everyone.
Ferreira VP 1982
was pretty nice. It isn't complex, but it is starting to be fully mature and that in itself is a joy as it is a harmonious port despite being a touch simple. I like it.
Ferreira VP 1997
was rather shut down. It seems very sweet like F. usually is and strawberryish. Again, I think I'll like it when it awakes from its slumber - but the Ferreira style just isn't one that is most to my tastes. But I will gladly drink it if someone else pays!
Ferreira Duque de Bragança 20 YO
is a nice Tawny, perhaps the most to my taste of these Ferrieras on show. It has the typical orange/citrus nose and toffee but seems more fruity than a 20 YO to my imagination usually is - it's sort of like I'd expect a 15 YO Tawny to be. Very enjoyable.
Dow's Quinta de Bomfim 1996
was very much to my taste (as Dow usually is). A more savoury type of Port, in the typically slightly drier style of the producer. It has a lovely tannic structure, and it seems a bit rugged in style - but I like that!
Dow's VP 2000
was starting to close down, but what was visible was nice. It seems sweeter than Dow usually is.
Dow's VP 2003
is also sweeter than what I expected from Dow, but it is lovely. The nose also has darker toned fruit than expected from Dow, but is savoury despite the great sweetness. This is a lovely Port even though it is a bit of a stylistic surprise for the producer.
Warre's VP 2003
is for some odd reason a house I've never warmed up to. It is a nice port, with lots of raspberry and liquorice. It has admirable depth to the palate and seems to promise complexity with age. But I still find it a bit confected on the nose. It's a Port I can appreciate, but which I don't want to own.
Warre's Colheita 1986
was a fair effort. The nose was a bit shy, but the palate was typical: red toned fruit, toffeeish, not too complex but fine.
Warre's Quinta do Cavadinha 1995
was again a fair effort but for some reason just not a style I personally like: rather lifeless fruit, lacks complexity though has depth.
Taylor's VP 2003
was deep and dark toned on the nose, a monumental wine. It is big and very sweet with typical red toned Taylor's aromas, lots of tannins and fairly high acidity for the year. IMO the nose wasn't typical for the producer in being so dark toned, but the palate was typical for the producer. A bit odd in this respect, but it is a great wine. I like it very much.
Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas 1998
was of course simpler on the nose, but showed true Taylor's red fruit aromas and great sweetness. It has great balance and is a thoroughly enjoyable drink.
Smith-Woodhouse LBV 1995
is a very fine wine for the c.20€ that it costs (= very cheap for Finnish prices). A sweet and red toned nose, almost elegant in its berry aromas. The palate is very sweet, but well structured and well balanced. I like it.
Graham's 10 YO Tawny
was simple and true to type. Fine but a bit forgettable.
Graham's 30 YO Tawny
I found sublime. A little woody, but not too much as it has its fine fruit intact. It is very fresh and savoury, bright even. A delight.
Graham's VP 2003
is a fair wine, but frankly I have both times I've tasted thought it to be a bit of a disappointment considering the producer. The fruit is a bit simplistic and a bit dull and lifeless, and it doesn't seem terribly structured. I won't turn down a glass of this, but I will not buy it for myself.
Graham's Malvedos 1998
was a fine but a bit forgettable and with a lamentably short aftertaste.
Sandeman's Vau Vintage 1999
was simple and was all about the fruit and was frankly quite boring.
Sandeman's 10 YO Tawny
was very big on the fruit and was full bodied, but lacking in acidity which made it flabby.
Romariz 10 YO Tawny
was a terrible disappointment: it smelled like there is some dirty winemaking there.
Romariz LBV 2000
at least was clean, but was boring and even a bit dilute on entry - and that can't be said about many Ports!
Royal Oporto Colheita 1977
was quite a nice drop: toffee and oranges and genuine depth, though perhaps not a very complex drink. Thoroughly enjoyable, however.
Royal Oporto Tawny 10 YO
was simple, but oddly enough drier than the 20YO. It is a fine drink, but very simple.
Royal Oporto Tawny 20 YO
is very sweet, very primary and does not smell or taste like a 20 YO but rather a 10 YO. Fine but simple.
Ramos Pinto VP 1983
was bloody brilliant! Cigarry, dark toned nose, lovely balance, very liquorice-like palate. Lovely stuff.
Ramos Pinto Ervamoira 2002
is a light and elegant Port, and fine if you don't seek power and thickness. I rather liked it even though it was simple.
Ramos Pinto VP 2003
was of a rather unique style. It smelled more like a table wine than a fortified sweet wine: vegetal, herbal, earthy and even (dare I say it?) a little bretty! I love the nose. The palate is fine also, a little green and vegetal, but ripe so these green elements (to me) bring in freshness - I don't consider them flaws at all. But I can well understand that this style of port is not favoured by many.
Ramos Pinto VP 2004
was better than the 2004 with the greenness and vegetality in better balance with the sweetness and fruit. A lovely, elegant and savoury style of port. I like it very much.
Ramos Pinto Tawny 20 YO
was complex and lovable and typical Tawny, except not at all woody (= good thing). Very good.
Ramos Pinto Tawny 30 YO
was even more complex and elegant and lovable. Great wine.
Quinta do Ventozelo VP 2000
is a wonderful wine. I hadn't heard of this producer before this tasting, but I love this wine. The nose is floral, has blue toned fruit and rather reminds me of Fonseca's style. The palate is superbly balanced if perhaps a little smooth.
Quinta do Ventozelo VP 2003
was another great wine. Darker toned fruit than in the 2000 with great depth and promises complexity with age. This is very full bodied and tannic and cannot be faulted for smoothness! These two VPs made a deep impression.
Quinta do Ventozelo Tawny 10 YO
wasn't on the same level: simple and too sweet for the structure.
Quinta do Noval Colheita 1986
was also a bit simple - but pleasurable. I'm not sure I'd go out and buy it, but won't turn down a glass of it.
Quinta do Noval Silval VP 1995
was a lovable wine. It had a rather unique profile on the nose: peach stones and flowers. It was fresh and lifted rather than weighty and sweet. A really enjoyable, elegant Port.
Niepoort Colheita 1988
was an incredibly complex and lovable and impressive port. This is exactly what I hope to find in a Colheita.
Quinta do Portal Moscatel do Douro Reserva 1996
was a fun thing to have, as I've never had a MdoD before. The nose is as typical Muscat as can be in its sweet, floral aromas, but it did have a toffeed quality to it. The palate is fresh and lifted rather than ponderous and overly sweet (though it is very, very sweet!). Lovely.
Quinta do Portal 10 YO Tawny
was deep and complex for this type of wine and was rather dark toned. Nice.
Quinta do Portal LBV 2000
was thick and big and savoury but a bit too smooth on the palate. Nice.
Quinta do Portal VP 2003
was black. I've never seen a Port this colour: totally black. The nose was black in its fruit also and very complex and deep. The palate is complex and deep and very, very impressive also, but the entry is a bit too smooth. The structure comes into the picture with a little delay compared to the fruit. But this is a minor point: this is a superb, "modern" styled Port.
Offley Boa Vista VP 2003
wasn't showing as well as the bottle I recently reported on, but was fine. Still, it is IMO much better than what Roy reported
Offley Boa Vista VP 1987
was lovely, however. It had a rather unique flavour profile of peach stones and a petrolly note that I find in Rieslings usually! Lovely nose. The palate was perfectly balanced also and though may not have great complexity, it is just a delight to drink.
Vista Alegre Tawny 10 YO
was nice and suprisingly complex for a 10 YO.
Vista Alegre Tawny 20 YO
had much nice, typical orange and toffee aromas, but frankly was a bit too woody for my tastes.
Vista Alegre Tawny 30 YO
was great however. Much more fresh smelling than the 20 YO, complex and balanced. Lovely.
Vista Alegre Tawny 40 YO
was sublime: not at all woody, fruity and sweet and lovable, yet complex and restrained - and, above all, fresh.
Vista Alegre VP 2003
was nice, with that lovely aroma of flowers and peaches and it had good structure. A very fine Port.
Vista Alegre LBV 2000
was also a nice drop, and more complex and deep than expected of LBV (I'm sorry, I just don't usually get this style of Port no matter how much I try...).
Rozès VP 1991
was drinking nicely and had a nice peachy and cigarry nose. The palate wasn't on the level of the nose, but wasn't at all bad. A fair port, I'd gladly drink again.
Poças LBV 2000
ok for an LBV, rather deep - I'm sure for those who appreciate this style more, this will be a very adequate drop.
Poças Director's Choice VP 2003
is nice and deep and rather "old style" in that the structure is very evident (not a bad thing IMO), but the fruit and sugar hold up very well.
Poças VP 1997
was quite impressive! Fully open on the nose unlike most '97s I've recently had, complex, peachy fruit with darker overtones of chocolate - but the whole is very fresh and lifted. Good structure. Very nice.
Poças Colheita 1991
was a very fair effort, well balanced, a joy to drink, but just does not have the effortless grace or complexity of Niepoort's Colheitas. But that doesn't matter as it is great fun anyway.
Poças Tawny 10 YO
was ok, but simple and sweet and forgettable.
Poças Tawny 20 YO
was brilliant and had all the typical 20 YO suspects of orange, toffee, complexity, freshness and lift yet unctuous sweetness. Nice stuff!
It was a rather nice way to spend an afternoon!
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.