My birthday was last week and to celebrate, we always drink a 1977 vintage Port. I was born that year and every other wine producing region besides Portugal was terrible in 1977 (believe me, I've tried 'em). Not that I can complain. Apparently upon release, 1977 was heralded as the vintage of the century (for Port of course, but I'd like to think humankind as well
). Throughout the last couple of decades, the vintage has been described as 'eternally youthful', 'tannic beyond reproach', hard edged and incapable of finesse'. The overall consensus has been that the 'Vintage of the Century' will never quite live up to expectations. That is a lot for a bottle of Port to live down, to say nothing of a mere man. I would like to report that the 1977 Warres is finally softening a bit. Last year she was mere raspberries and razor-blades. The year before, even more so. But last weekend I dare say, the '77s have achieved what is damn close to balance. Fruit driven, elegant raspberry, rhubarb and flower-blossom. A little bit spicy, but the most revealing characteristic is the way the alcohol and fruit seamlessly marry and all menthol and heat has dissipated. The once rough tannins have aged gracefully and the porty sweet/tart, love/hate relationship has been reconciled. Was it blind wishful thinking? It was a wonderful night. But maybe these 1977s are starting to come around. If not, I've got a handful of wines from particularly and entirely bad vintages worldwide to sink into.