Having had a bad experience with the 1985 Cockburn at the Cockburn vertical in October, I decided to open another one to see how this bottle performed.
Good, deep red colour, barely transparent at the centre and holding right into the rim. Dusty plums on the nose, with some sweet basil underneath, perhaps slightly cloying. Dry in the mouth, plenty of fruit but very acidic and not well balanced. Aftertaste is strong, big and very enjoyable with lots of bitter cherries everywhere. Certainly the best feature of this port. Better than the VA spoiled bottle drunk at the Cockburn vertical but not a great bottle of port. 86/100 after 10 hours in the decanter. Drunk 14/12/08.
Interestingly, I only drank a couple of glasses of this the night I took the tasting note and left the decanter standing in the cellar at about 10ÂºC. Over the next couple of night this port showed better than it did the evening that I opened it - that would be 34 and 58 hours of decanting. With this additional time in the decanter, the port shook off most of the stewed or cloying notes and pulled itself into much better balance. The fruit was foremost, but the wine was thick and dry with the tannins clearly showing but not dominating. At its peak, I would score this at 89/100 with something in the region of 36-48 hours of decanting time needed to reach this peak.
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- Quinta do Noval Nacional 1962
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- Location: Berkshire, UK