Saturday 17th March 2007: again chez mon père, a 1985 horizontal, consisting mostly of houses new to me (paperwork
, more fancy-schmancy than that used the previous evening
). Notes are even briefer: my enthusiasm for note-taking had clearly diminished. Present: JDAW MAW RAW APPW JRW RKA JFH MF SRG
, and sort-of SVW.
• Noval Nacional 1985
Alas a bad bottle. This can be excellent (thread
), but not this one. Plenty of liquorice, but the longer it sat in the glass the fouler it became. SRG’s worst port of the evening.
• Noval 1985
Supplied by the good offices of uncle tom
following discussion in the thread entitled Wanted: 1985s
. A fine bottle from this not-always excellent house-vintage pair, with flowers and mouth-filling length.
• Churchill’s 1985
Excepting an impressive sip of their 2003, this bottle from a low-cost case was my first go at Churchill’s. Dark dark red, a fine colour, nosing of cheese?, of fig? and (RAW) “cherries”. Very large, soft, long round berry fruit. Excellent mouth-feel. After much discussion MF correctly identified the fruit as lychee. An excellent port, of which — hurray! — I have another eleven bottles.
• Ramos Pinto 1985
Another maiden for me, also with the dark-red colour. A better nose than the Churchill’s, well-balanced fudge and cherries, and thick chocolate mouth-feel. Better nose than Churchill’s, marginally less excellent mouth-feel.
• Calem 1985
Smells of mint liqueur! Doesn’t smell of port at all. Tastes refreshingly minty, though later I wrote “annoyingly minty”. Maybe a VP for a summer afternoon?
• Royal Oporto 1985
More novelty: pinky, and pale for its age. Smelt of a chemistry lab, and tasted terrible. RAW: “thin, acid, sour, awful”, and he wasn’t wrong. My other bottle was moved to my step-mother’s cooking rack.
• Smith Woodhouse 1985
Red, slightly pink, smelling of leaves or (JFH) “grass”. Rather weak, but not short. Nicely described by RAW as “clean, well balanced, weak”.
• Warre 1985
Mid-red, with a smell of strawberry (not quite ripe strawberry perhaps). Great length, large, though still tight and need more time. I liked JFH’s word “thorough”.
• Dow 1985
Dark red, with a lot of alcohol then a lot of fruit. Imperfectly melded. A hint of mint (it is Dow), JFH suggesting “salty”.
• Sandeman 1985
Mid-red, long and full, though with a slightly sour ending that became more prominent with the passage of time.
• Andresen 1985
Alcoholic, and little else. Thin; sugar; quick; harmless.
• Messias 1985
Known throughout the evening as “Naughty Boy” (do you really have to ask? Messias = Messiah = “Now, you listen here! He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!”). My notes said only that the aroma was terrible, but that the taste wasn’t as bad as advertised (as the “worst port” in the thread entitled Messias 85
• KWV 1985 (Ko-öperatiewe Wijnbouwers Vereniging of South Africa)
Rough. Rough. Someone said “the back end of sellotape”, presumably meaning the sticky side.
• Napa Valley Port Cellars 1985
As with my previous TN
of this Californian, not liked.
1. Fourteen is too many, especially on the third consecutive evening of port tastings.
2. Taylor (from the previous day), Churchill, Warre, Dow, Ramos Pinto and (surprisingly) Noval: yes.
Links to TNs of 1985 Nacional
, Ramos Pinto
, Royal Oporto
, Smith Woodhouse
, Napa Valley Port Cellars
; and, for completeness, the previous day