1983 Warre

Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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Glenn E.
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
Posts: 3276
Joined: 22:27 Wed 09 Jul 2008
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

1983 Warre's Vintage Port

Post by Glenn E. » 00:37 Fri 25 Jul 2008

I'm cross-posting this from FTLOP in order to help populate the 'W' section of the index. :wink:

1983 Warre's Vintage Port
by Glenn E. on February 3rd, 2008, 12:43 pm

Fair warning - this is not only my first post of a tasting note, but it is also my first Vintage Port. So I'm a little inexperienced with this.

The bottle was double sealed with foil, but no wax. The top of the cork was very dirty and crusty with what might have one time been mold, but which was now just a hard & brittle mass. The cork was soaked through and disintegrated as I attempted to extract it. From what I have read here, I was starting to worry.

The color was in between a California Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot - dark, but not an absolutely inky purple. There is still a tint of red to it, though not much. In the decanter it looks purple, but if you hold it up and get some light you can see the red tint.

The aroma of blackberries poured into the room even as I struggled with the disintegrating cork, and was by far the dominant tone once the Port was in the decanter. There is also a faint hint of pipe tobacco hiding in there as well as something warm and spicy that I can't identify. Possibly cinnamon, but without the sweetness that I normally associate with cinnamon.

I overpoured slightly and ended up with some sediment in the decanter. I poured the last couple of ounces out of the bottle into a lowball and let it stand for an hour while I prepared some Soupas for later.

Soupas prepared, I came back to the lowball for a taste. WOW! I hereby swear off standard ruby port. I'll never be able to drink it again.

The blackberries carry over to the tongue, though the tobacco is missing. The warm spicy scent is also there... still unidentifiable but very pleasant. The Warre's is very sweet, but not too sweet. It is close to being grapey, but it's not quite there. I detect no alcohol on the nose or in my mouth, but you can sure feel it on the way down. It's not firely, though, just warm and comforting like a good fireplace on a cold winter day.

I plan to serve the Soupas at halftime of the Super Bowl, and then serve the Port. That will give it about 6 hours in the decanter. I'll follow up with additional notes if I notice any change.

Followup: +6 hours

We had an afternoon of football, fun, and food. I think the party went very well.

Oddly, I didn't think that the Port went very well with the Soupas. It wasn't bad, but it also didn't complement much at all. Since the stew is a rich, beefy extravaganza of flavor I thought that a bold wine like a Vintage Port would work well.

I was also surprised that this Port didn't go well with a 60% Ghiradelli dark chocolate. The chocolate was too sweet for the wine, and normally I find that dark chocolates go really well with Port. Of course, I'm normally pairing with 20-yr old Tawnies or Colheitas. It did go nicely with a chocolate kahlua bundt cake, though.

I noticed a couple of changes in the Port over the afternoon and right up until now (I have another glass of it by my side!). The most prominent is that the tannins are somehow stronger now than they were in that first glass. I can also now detect a hint of alcohol in both the nose and the taste, but it isn't strong and I probably wouldn't notice it if I wasn't trying so hard to find things to notice. The grapey flavor has backed off a bit, as has the blackberry nose, both becoming more mellow and integrated. The last change is that there is now more of a bite to the wine than there was before.

Most of this seems backwards to me - I would have thought that time in a decanter would soften and hide tannins, help cover up any alcohol smell and taste, and smooth out the bite.

I suspect that it is probably because I had not had anything to eat at all today when I first tasted this port this morning, but over the course of the day I have eaten a variety of food that has all affected my taste. The Soupas in particular is loaded with spices that might clash with wine - it contains a tablespoon of pickling spices which is made up of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, mace, and other aromatic spices.

One last note - the finish on the Port is lingering, warm, and pleasant. It slowly fades away over a very long time. I can still taste it changing after 30 seconds.
Glenn Elliott

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uncle tom
Dow 1980
Posts: 2734
Joined: 23:43 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Near Saffron Walden, England

Post by uncle tom » 12:57 Fri 25 Jul 2008

Interesting note.
a faint hint of pipe tobacco
I tend to notice this as a slightly smoky note on the mid palate - the most consistant Warre signature I can identify.

Rarely disappoints does Warre...!

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

Andy Velebil
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2396
Joined: 22:16 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Los Angeles, Ca USA
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Post by Andy Velebil » 14:35 Fri 25 Jul 2008

uncle tom wrote:
Rarely disappoints does Warre...!

Tom
I agree, this is a house that is vastly underrated for their VPs. Which I don't mind, as I can find them cheaper than just about everyone else here in the states.

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jdaw1
Taylor 1900
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Location: London
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Re: 1983 Warre's Vintage Port

Post by jdaw1 » 15:44 Fri 25 Jul 2008

Warre is solid great-value port. Rarely spectacular, typically very fine.
Glenn E. wrote:I came back to the lowball for a taste. WOW! I hereby swear off standard ruby port. I'll never be able to drink it again.
Ahh, yes, hello and welcome to the non-budget world of vintage port.

Glenn E.
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
Posts: 3276
Joined: 22:27 Wed 09 Jul 2008
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Re: 1983 Warre's Vintage Port

Post by Glenn E. » 18:07 Fri 25 Jul 2008

jdaw1 wrote:
Glenn E. wrote:I came back to the lowball for a taste. WOW! I hereby swear off standard ruby port. I'll never be able to drink it again.
Ahh, yes, hello and welcome to the non-budget world of vintage port.
Yeah, well that was 6 months ago. ;) I have since found a couple of rubies that serve well as "in between" bottles - I buy them in halves and open one of those when, for whatever reason, it doesn't make sense to open a full bottle.

Graham's Six Grapes and Broadbent Auction Reserve are both very nice, and serve to quench my thirst for the juice when I don't want to open something more expensive.

I tried several rubies a few years ago when I started drinking Port, but really didn't like any of them. I found (at the time) that Tawny Port is much more to my liking, and it still is to this day. But now that I've had a few good VPs (this Warre's was the first) I can enjoy them as well.
Glenn Elliott

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