Owen Barritt (hmmm_tea) wrote,
Owen Barritt

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Port Tasting - Part II

OK the an actual port post rather than a the last one...

As I said I helped out with Godfrey's port tasting last Tuesday evening.

Portonic: Taylor's "Chip Dry" White Port & Tonic
Hadn't tried this before Taylor's Chip Dry is fairly foul stuff by itself, but with Tonic it was actually quite refreshing. Certainly recommended as a refreshing summers drink.

Cockburn's Fine Ruby (£7.79 - Widely Available)
Basic Ruby Port, lots of fruit, but fairly spirity

Cockburn's Special Reserve (£8.89 - Widely Available)
Cockburn's higher quality Ruby, described by Richard Mayson as "Ruby port with bells on". Deeper, fruitier and less spirity then the fine ruby with a lot more spice and complexity. Definitely worth the extra pound...

Cockburn LBV 2000 (£10.00 - Asda/Sainsbury's/Tesco)
Moving from the Rubys onto a couple of LBVs. There is a noticable colour change moving more to a Garnet colour. On the nose the wine is much less spirity and much fruitier.

Noval Unfiltered LBV 1999 (£10.99 - Oddbins)
Filtering port as well as removing sediment, etc will obviously remove other constituents of the wine. It would have been interesting to see Filtered and Unfiltered examples from the same house. The colour here is much deeper and purple, and the aromas are much stronger with lots of dark berries and liquorice. If you're looking for relatively inexpensive Christmas Port - I'd recommend this

Cockburns Vintage 2003 (£35.00 - contact ADUK for stockists)
Being 2 years old, the '03s are just being declared/released. I tried the Taylor's the other week and would have been fascinated to try them side by side. As a very young vintage, it's not yet ready to drink. The colour is very deep purple. It's incredibly pungent on the nose with lots of fruit, liquorice and spice. On the palate it's very harsh with high acid and tannin. It will be interesting to see how it ages.

Noval 10 year old Tawny (£14.99 - Waitrose)
Moving onto the Tawny's, we obviously move to a more tawny colour. The 10 year old still has a lot of ruby notes to the colour though. Intensely nutty with strong fruit notes.

Noval 20 year old Tawny (£34.99 - Unwins)
No sign of those Ruby notes here. Strong aromas of christmas, spiced nuts with hints of fruit.

Taylor's Quinta da Vargellas 1996 Vintage (£20.00 - contact Mentzendorff for stockists)
Neary 10 and still young and agressive (but not to the extent of the '03). Drinking well now, very fruity.

Croft Quinta da Roeda 1987 Vintage (£13.99 - Majestic)
Garnet/tawny colour with very fruit biscuit, raisiny aromas of an aged port. Was made Mechanically rather than with lagas which may explain it's quick aging. Drinking well now, but definitely on it's way out. Majestic have an offer if you buy two at the moment in order to get rid of the stuff - if you want vintage port for Christmas without it costing you an arm and a leg here's your oportunity...

Taylor's 1985 Vintage (£55.00 - contact Mentzendorff for stockists)
A port we show on our courses. At 20 years old, it's still very youthful. Colour is very ruby and there's a lot of fruit on the nose and palate. Probably the best port of the evening.

Cockburn's 1955 Vintage (£180-$200 approx value)
Didn't get a lot of sediment from this when we decanted it as most of it was stuck in the bottle. Cork crumbled on attempting to remove it (hence the requirement for cork tongs I suppose...). Deep tawny in colour. Has aged well and would certainly not say no to a glass. It's on the decline though, so if you have any drink it now it's not going to get any better.


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