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Decanted easily off a lot of very fine - almost crystalline - sediment. A dark red in colour, with a mahogany brown rim. Plenty of raspberry fruit on the nose, mixed with lavender perfume. A little bland initially in the mouth; sweet, but balanced acidity; fruit, but very restrained; tannic, but they are mellowing. There is plenty of flavour, but nothing stands out from the blend. The aftertaste is very impressive and reveals what this port is likely to offer in a few more years - full of apples and raspberries, but with such a long and flavoursome finish that just goes on for ages. This will be an excellent every day port in 5 years, or so. 92/100. Drunk 17 August 2009 after 24 hours decanting.
A footnote to report that after 48 hours of being stood in a decanter kept at cellar temperature, this was just delicious. The perfect balance for a youthful port between fruit, tannins and acidity. Rather tasty and worth buying if at a sensible price (this was £22).
This is the first bottle of vintage port I ever bought and I still have it in my cellar. I've wondered from time to time when I will drink it, and now I will wait at least a few more years. Thanks for the note. Bill
I like the 1996 version slightly better than Alex (by maybe a point) but I'm splitting hairs here. For my palate, I find it is the next best Port of the vintage, after the very solid Nacional -- at the apex of what '96 delivered. I also enjoy the Malvedos tremendously from this vintage, but not as much as the Vesuvio. Alex mentions "5 years" in his brilliant TN, although I assume, that is when he believes this Vesuvio will be starting to deliver even more pleasure. The 1996 Vesuvio DEFINITELY has the structural components in place to reach its 30th birthday without any decline and may possibly plateau for a decade longer, but I won't commit to that until I see how it evolves and specifically, how the tannin integrity shows when it reaches 20 years old. Then I am happy to go further out on the limb.
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