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A bit nervous about this one as the last bottle a few years ago was a pale spiritous monster. What a difference. On opening it was moderately opaque red with pale rim. A nose of blackberries with icing that I get in Grahams. Sweet and viscous on the palate without any heat. Long finish. 4 hours on and it has developed a chlorophyll note on the mid-palate that did not appeal at all although the better half thought nothing amiss. 30 hours after opening and the vegetal note has integrated and although it is still full of forest fruit it has taken on a savoury edge with some cocoa/bitter chocolate and green moss. Still quite sweet however so well balanced in all. A completely different proposition to the previous experience. Was this vintage blended before bottling or had more than one bottling run? Or was it in an awkward place a few years ago and is finally coming around?
"...a pale spiritous monster..." sounds like a bad bottle - probably a bottle damaged by extended exposure to light. Were these two bottles both bought from the same source and stored in the same way?
Different purchases in different countries so it could well be poor storage. When you aren't buying from the source on release that is always a concern. Having said that, there seems to be a difference in opinion on this port. Some people have written tasting notes noting the disjointed alcohol in particular.