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A bottle given to me by an antique-collecting friend. The cork was sound but branded only with "Vintage 1987". The bottle had no punt, but a surprising amount of sediment had settled in the bottom of the bottle - a good sign for the drinking to come. The colour of the port as it was decanting was a pale, rose colour. It made me think that in 20 years time it will appear a very pale brown, similar to the 1963 Royal Oporto that we have drunk from time to time.
What a pleasant surprise! A mid-red colour, light in colour and with a pale orange rim. A colour which reminds me very much of the mature '63s. A very developed nose, very mature with sweet red licorice and leather over just a hint of bottle stink. In the mouth this is fully mature - the most advanced of any of the 1987 vintage ports I have tasted - but is held together by a strong acidic core. The strength of this acidity is overwhelming with only 1½ hours in the decanter and it may integrate better with a little more time. The flavours in the mouth are of soft red fruits, cooked in light syrup until they have fallen apart and integrated together. There is a very pleasant meaty tone. Up until this point, this port has been perfectly acceptable, if a little simple and one-dimensional and spoiled by the streak of acidity, but when you swallow the wine the aftertaste is fantastic. It is huge, dominating and lasts for ages - but not just one aftertaste, there are three or four entwined together and as one fades out the next comes into sharp focus. Quite extraordinary. Not a great wine, but one to hunt out and try for the aftertase alone. 88/100. Drunk 1/1/09.
4 hours after decanting and the acidity has fully integrated to leave a mature port that is absolutely ready for drinking and is extremely enjoyable. It has hit that spot in its maturity profile where it is just perfect for drinking - elegant yet still with lots of fruit and structure. So perfect, in fact, that there's only one glass left in the decanter. I can recommend this for anyone looking to buy a bottle to drink soon. Now 89/100.