Bottled in a pleasingly light green glass, easy to see through and easy to decant from. Cork came out intact and in surprisingly sound condition given that it was in the bottle for 19 years; branded "1988 Quinta da Sta Madalena Smith Woodhouse vintage port" - the longest branding I have ever seen! Decanted cleanly from a modest amount of large lumps of sediment.
A pleasing intense ruby colour, still plenty of pigmentation but the centre is easily transparent. A nose of warm cherries, stewed plums and sweet capiscum. Quite thick texture; intense flavours with the fruit dominating. Lots of complexity and lovely development, with layers of flavour coming one after the other. Absolutely delicious. The aftertaste is very long and complex, big enough to fill the mouth but not as big as some other fine ports - and just doesn't stop with its flavours!
Overall, this is a very impressive port and one which is easy to drink now and will remain that way for the next 10+ years. Not likely to improve with more patience. 93/100. Drunk on 23 August 2009 after 24 hours decanting time.
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