Taken by Amtrak
to Bostonâ€™s South Station on Saturday 14th July 2007, I was collected by Sean C.
and Moses Botbol
and taken to the home of the former. They had decanted Graham 1955, Fonseca 1966, Warre 1977, there was a half bottle of Ramos Pinto 1985, and I had brought Cockburn 1963 and Dow 1963, as well as a pair of vintage-1999 Partagas Lusitanias. Neither a horizontal, nor a vertical, nor a diagonal: just an evening of drinking vintage port and smoking cigars.
But before that their guest started complaining. We cannot do such an evening with two glasses each, occasionally rinsing them to switch beverage! My host (SC) was marched off to Crate and Barrel
, wherein he purchased two dozen of their small wine glasses
. Via a pizza, we returned to wash and use the new glasses.
Readers will understand my pausing to admire the fridge-size humidor, andâ€”even betterâ€”the wine-fridge full of pre-Great War bottles. Very fine.
So, to the notes taken between 7pm and 8Â½pm-ish.
From the fine cellars of Sean C.
, and decanted at 13:30. A perfect colour, lightly brown at the edge and the centre a glorious red. Mixed berries to the nose, no one that I could separately distinguish. To the palate very softâ€”perfectly agedâ€”and very long. Again mixed berries, and very very long. A great port, and one of the best few I have sampled this year. UncleTomScore = 9-8.
Also from the collection of Sean C.
, and also decanted at 13:30. Brown-red at centre, perhaps brick-red, though noticeably paler than the G55. Despite being eleven years younger, it looks half a decade older (which probably says more about the Graham). The nose revealed different things at different times to different people, I initially finding white chocolate, then MB locatingâ€”to general agreementâ€”caramel, and SCâ€”with MB concurringâ€”maple. The palate was like the nose (white chocolate again for me), though with a slight roughness, which might perhaps have been imperfect decanting. UncleTomScore = 7-6.
Both the Dow and the Cockburn were part of a mixed lot of port bought by jdaw1 at auction in New York in December 2005, and were decanted at about 5pm. Slightly cloudy, and paler than the previous two bottles; red-brown. Huge alcohol nose, behind the ethanol being lychee. The mouthfeel very heavy, smooth and viscous, with a tasteâ€”perhaps the finishing tasteâ€”being banana! The finish alas short-to-medium in length, and lacking in weight (â€œthinâ€, said somebody). UncleTomScore = 6-5.
Part of the same mixed lot as the Dow, bought 1Â½ years previously by jdaw1. Decanted at about 5pm. Pale, brown throughout, and slightly cloudy. To the nose brown sugar, â€œmustyâ€ said MB. Maybe lightly-cooked sugar. (Madeira? Oxidisation? Maybe.) The same to taste: maraschino cherry (agreeing with my opinion after the Cockburn vertical held in March 2007
), and predominantly sugar. Disappointing: UncleTomScore = 4-4.
From the Boston collection of Moses Botbol
, and decanted at 11:00. Pink! The colour was pink. And the nose of spearmint, with SCâ€”who is presumably more expert in this matter than meâ€”saying â€œWrigley
â€. In the mouth lightly sugary, a mint ending, and good length. Great value for $70! UncleTomScore = 6-6 (though in a head-to-head now, everybody preferred the Dow 1963).
Ramos Pinto 1985
had opened this bottle a week previously, put half of it into a half-bottle which had been stored in his wine fridge (hence the absence of bottle from picture). Dark purple: not black, but with much more blue and dark than a simple red. The nose slightly off: cheddar, or a Burgundy-style cheese nose, and alcohol. To taste peppery, viscous, heavy, though a short ending. Nothing like as good a bottle as that consumed in March 2007
, nor that enjoyed in June 2007
. A week is too long a decanting time.
Later in the evening I was given a Montecristo A: a very fine cigar, extremely smooth, and long (9Â½″). A great smoke, but I think that my preference is for something a little shorter with more bite.
Individual TN threads: 1955 Graham
; 1966 Fonseca
; 1963 Dow
; 1963 Cockburn
; 1977 Warre
; 1985 Ramos Pinto