1985 Martinez

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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Ghandih
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1985 Martinez (Harveys?) VP

Post by Ghandih » 22:04 Mon 30 Jul 2007

Hope I've got the format right in the title. No doubt someone will helpfully point out any errors.

So, I've managed to get round to typing the notes in again. This time, they're on a notepad so nothing should go wrong.

I think it's useful to get the context of the port tasting, so you've got some additional notes about the meal that went with the port; you may find the food comments distracting but the meal was important inasmuch as it affected the tastes we experienced. Here we go:

On Bank Holiday Sunday, May 2007, my wife and I had a fillet steak dinner with fab new English asparagus fresh from the field, mustard mash and mushrooms in cream. We'd also treated ourselves to a splendid platter of cheese (my wife is an amateur cheese officinado, which we may discuss another time) consisting of:
Mull of Kintyre cheddar (a quintessential cheddar, even though made miles from Somerset);
Cropwell Bishop stilton (Cropwell Bishop is the King of Stilton, if you like it creamy rather than salty, as we do - this one was non-organic, because we really can't tell any difference between the two);
Applewood Smoked cheddar (fantastically smokey flavour); and
Wigmore Ewe's cheese (one of the best soft cheeses in the world, if at the right maturity).

The main meal went so well we decided the cheese deserved something fitting, so headed into the cellar (aka cupboard under the stairs) to seek out the Martinez 1985. At some auction or other, JDAW and I had bought a case, of which I took ten and he took two (the finances were balanced to reflect this). As an aside, the 1985 was earmarked for Julian's 1985 horizontal tasting (which I would say you could read more about 'here' if I had the first clue how to embed links - as it is, you'll just have to find it yourselves, or wait a few days for JDAW to supply the link himself), but he ended up with so many ports that it was dropped from the line-up. As it happens, I think this was a great shame, as it turns out to be triffic port...

Anyway, the port was dragged horizontal from the cellar -- it ought to have stood for a while but we decanted it straight away. The cork was encased in wax; cleaning it off, there was a distinct smell of 'old ' -- perhaps a bit like a damp cellar? It was decanted immediately and poured for drinking. Not the best of etiquette, but necessary at the time.

The first thing that struck us about the port was a really big chocolatey smell. Its colour was a very pale ruby through candlelight. On putting the main light on, it was still lightly coloured, but looked just a bit cloudy.

We were very happy with the flavour, dominated by caramel. It made our tongues tingle (the tannins?), and the flavour stayed in the mouth long after swallowing the port. It was rich and velvety, luxuriant and smooth, with an alcoholic kick.

My wife tried it with the stilton, and remarked how it brought out a blue creamy flavour in the Cropwell Bishop. It reminded her of a facet of stilton's flavour that she had forgotten, like a mould or mildew flavour -- like the 'old' smell I had on the cork. It was a particular characteristic of stilton she had forgotten, but the port brought out of what was a routine but good Cropwell Bishop. I tried to recreate the experience with a mouthful of port and then Stilton, and thought I got the blueness exaggerated as well. Fascinating.

Back to the port, its flavour continue to be dominated by a big caravel aroma, but we got liquorice, too, and some spiciness heading towards ginger, and a bit of pepperiness. After sucking lots of air through the port, it had a warming sensation on the throat, like a good-quality cough mixture. We tried really hard to get some berries in the flavour, but couldn't find them.

All in all, this was a fantastic port. We've got loads more in the cellar, and there's no hurry to drink it - I reckon it's got some legs yet.


Ghandih

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DRT
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Re: 1985 Martinez (Harveys?) VP

Post by DRT » 23:57 Mon 30 Jul 2007

Gandi[hhh],

A very comprehensive note. I have to say you were starting to lose me until you said this...
Ghandih wrote:We've got loads more in the cellar
Exactly how many is "loads" ?

Derek

PS: Alan - ha, ha, ha - I got in first so you'll have to wait in line :lol: :lol: :lol: :wink:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Post by Conky » 00:03 Tue 31 Jul 2007

Well like a wise man once told me, what you need to do is organise to buy/swap/aquire one next time you see him, and well, if other friends happen to be there...

Alan :D

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Ghandih
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Relatively speaking

Post by Ghandih » 08:54 Tue 31 Jul 2007

It's all relative, I reckon. Kylie is _relatively_ pretty, but the wife is obviously gorgeouser (she may be reading this).

I have loads of Martinez 1985 in the cellar, relative to every other port I have. I'll tell you about the wedding list another day, but the bottom line is that eight bottles of the Martinez 1985 remain in the cellar, and that is relatively loads.

I sense horse trading heading my direction, so I think I should set out my starting point, just so we know where we are. Let's say you said, "Ghandihhhh, how 'bout swapping one of yer Martinez '85s for one of my Noval '63s?" I'm not sure you'd necessary get the immediate trade you'd expect, cos I really liked that Martinez, and the Novals are just a bit light IMHO.

Not, I should stress, that I wouldn't like a taste of a Nacional '31 if one came my way, but my expectation is that it wouldn't be as good as a good Taylor's, with the bigger fruity flavours. I know that's probably sacrilege and blasphemy, but I'm only being honest to my taste buds, and I know they appreciate it.

But please feel free to prove me wrong some time. Please.


HGhandi

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KillerB
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Post by KillerB » 09:03 Tue 31 Jul 2007

I like Cropwell Bishop but prefer Colston Basset. Such is taste.

However, I am with the majority on really liking this port, relatively, and even in the company of non-relatives. I think we need to find a source and buy a case or two between us before the off-line.
Port is basically a red drink

Conky
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Post by Conky » 09:16 Tue 31 Jul 2007

Good Thinking. Count me in. :D

Alan.

I wonder if Gandih plays snooker and I can install a table in the back garden in time...
I seem to remember a previous Off-Line. Then at 3 in the morning, I could casually suggest an unusual bet, say half a case of Martinez...hmmm.

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KillerB
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Post by KillerB » 11:22 Tue 31 Jul 2007

I've managed to get hold of 11 at 25.85 each plus £10 delivery. I baggsy four.
Port is basically a red drink

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jdaw1
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M85

Post by jdaw1 » 13:04 Tue 31 Jul 2007

That 1985 horizontal. (Gandi: press the quote button, and my original text, with its link will automagically appear. Then you should be able to deduce how to do links yourself.)

A case of the M85 came from Bonham’s auction on 28 February, and cost £212.32 all-in. I took a brace; Gandi minimum double-digits.

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Post by Conky » 14:29 Tue 31 Jul 2007

Alex,

Well done. If there's only me and Derek, I'll have 4 as well. If there's more interest, I'll reduce accordingly.
I shouldn't say this, as it may reduces my numbers, but if you haven't tried it, it worth trying a bottle...BUT NO MORE!!! :D

Alan

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KillerB
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Post by KillerB » 15:31 Tue 31 Jul 2007

That should leave Derek with three for being a slow-coach.
Port is basically a red drink

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KillerB
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Post by KillerB » 10:25 Wed 01 Aug 2007

They are now sitting in front of me. They have a 'Wine Society' label on them but who cares?
Port is basically a red drink

Conky
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Post by Conky » 15:21 Wed 01 Aug 2007

Treat them gently. I suppose we'll have to try one when your all round at mine. Just to see if they're as good as we remember. Do you think you can hang on until then? It will be tempting.

Alan.

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KillerB
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Post by KillerB » 15:26 Wed 01 Aug 2007

My four have been snaffled away, the other seven are sitting around looking quizzical.
Port is basically a red drink

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DRT
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Post by DRT » 02:30 Fri 03 Aug 2007

KillerB,

I would be happy for you to pop one of Alan's 4 bottles and bring it along on 1 Sep 88)

Derek
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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