1985 Churchill

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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SushiNorth
Morgan 1991
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1985 Churchill

Post by SushiNorth » 16:24 Mon 17 Oct 2011

Opened up a few days ago and it nosed VERY heavily of varnish. This eventually tamed itself (24 hrs), and resulted in a pretty average VP that tasted like "Vintage Port" without any real distinguishing nuances -- a little fruity, a little caramel. It had a nice retro-nasal smell, with a more caramel, smoke and depth.
SushiNorth
Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Re: 1985 Churchill

Post by RAYC » 19:28 Mon 17 Oct 2011

A pity - does not sound like a typical bottle. This is a QPR favourite of mine - last opened one prior to the Matrix tasting last week for the decanting team: at the end of the evening I actually thought it had held its own very well against many of the more "distinguished" ports we later tasted.
Rob C.

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SushiNorth
Morgan 1991
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Re: 1985 Churchill

Post by SushiNorth » 20:21 Mon 17 Oct 2011

RAYC wrote:A pity - does not sound like a typical bottle. This is a QPR favourite of mine - last opened one prior to the Matrix tasting last week for the decanting team: at the end of the evening I actually thought it had held its own very well against many of the more "distinguished" ports we later tasted.
I have been working my way through a case of it, and in general it's been a decent but not stellar port. The bottles are not damaged, they are simply not amazing.
SushiNorth
Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Re: 1985 Churchill

Post by RAYC » 20:30 Mon 17 Oct 2011

SushiNorth wrote:in general it's been a decent but not stellar port
Yes - i'd agree that it is not stellar, in the way that a F70, G66, G45 might be. But i'd probably put it somewhere above decent and definitely in my top quartile this year, to use Uncle T terminology.
Rob C.

PhilW
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Re: 1985 Churchill

Post by PhilW » 08:10 Tue 18 Oct 2011

Agree with Rob - sounds like you had an unlucky bottle; I've been pretty impressed with the Ch85 I've had so far (enough to share a case purchase) and would rate it as a very good "pleasant drinking" VP; Not as good as F70, W77, G66 etc (can't comment on the G/Cr45 sadly) but very drinkable. Would be my 80s current drinking and *available* value for money choice at the moment (the Calem 85 would be my top choice with the same criteria if only it were more available).

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SushiNorth
Morgan 1991
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Re: 1985 Churchill

Post by SushiNorth » 13:54 Tue 18 Oct 2011

PhilW wrote:Agree with Rob - sounds like you had an unlucky bottle; I've been pretty impressed with the Ch85 I've had so far (enough to share a case purchase) and would rate it as a very good "pleasant drinking" VP; Not as good as F70, W77, G66 etc (can't comment on the G/Cr45 sadly) but very drinkable. Would be my 80s current drinking and *available* value for money choice at the moment (the Calem 85 would be my top choice with the same criteria if only it were more available).
What do you each like in it? How long is your ideal decant?
SushiNorth
Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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RAYC
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Re: 1985 Churchill

Post by RAYC » 15:24 Tue 18 Oct 2011

big spicy entry, good fruit and flavour profile/structure seems to be in the youthful stages of maturity (which i prefer to the "mature end of maturity" or a port being simply "youthful"), relatively sweet but with acidity to balance, tasty finish. Very moreish. An easy 90pter [edit: probably 91, whereas by comparison, the best btls of G/F85 i have had might be 92/93]

My last few bottles have had a great room-filling bouquet even on opening - it was the "varnish" in your TN that made me think yours might have been an off bottle as that is not something i recognise from my bottles. Each decanted between 6-8 hours so nothing crazy. I've never tested one over 24 hours. Have had 5 bottles of my case and i think one was faintly corked (by no means undrinkable, but muted), but other than that consistently good.
Rob C.

PhilW
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Re: 1985 Churchill

Post by PhilW » 17:05 Tue 18 Oct 2011

:lol: If I say "I agree with Rob" again, do I sound like a politician? ;) His tasting note above is about the same as mine, though I've only had it three times so far, two of which were Rob's bottles :lol: I'd add that it's slightly softer than the more heavyweight such as F85, and slightly sweet, but overall has been delicious each time; more-ish was the right word. For the one I decanted myself, normally it's 8-12hr; I have also done the +24hr re-taste and it was just as good, if not slightly better (even smoother, well balanced) - but then I think I've mostly convinced myself that the majority of bottles would benefit from the +24hr decant time, if I could leave them alone long enough!

Glenn E.
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
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Re: 1985 Churchill

Post by Glenn E. » 05:48 Mon 24 Oct 2011

I managed to acquire a case of 1985 Churchill for $26.50/bottle, which in the US is an amazing price for a 25-yr old VP. I would never have purchased the case had JDAW1 not served the Port to me and my family when we visited him in Paris in 2008. That bottle was excellent. A couple of subsequent bottles from the case I purchased were merely very good, though the last bottle I opened was again excellent.

TN from my last bottle:
1985 Churchill Vintage Port
Color: Dark red with a decent amount of purple remaining. Very close to, but not quite opaque.
Nose: Blackberry, faint blueberry, soft raspberry, dust, and minerals. Some alcohol, but it's behind the fruit.
Palate: Blackberry and mulberry, backed by good tannins and decent acidity. Some of the fruit still has a tart edge, which combines with the acidity to give it a nice depth. Medium full body and neutral sweetness, though at times it has tended toward medium sweet.
Finish: Nice tannic grip followed by echos of the palate and just enough heat to remind you that it is alcoholic. Some mild woody stem. Fades quickly but still manages medium length. Tail is like an apple core.
92 points

When you get a good bottle, it's right up there in quality. No one will confuse it for a Dow, Fonseca, or Graham from 1985 (which I typically rate in the 93-95 range) but you also won't have paid the same price. I rated the "down" bottles that I've opened 87-88 points.
Glenn Elliott

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RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Re: 1985 Churchill

Post by RAYC » 06:11 Mon 24 Oct 2011

Bargain price!
Glenn E. wrote:No one will confuse it for a Dow, Fonseca, or Graham from 1985 (which I typically rate in the 93-95 range)
Although interestingly enough, two very experienced tasters (naming no names) did guess it as the F85 and G85 last time round....and here it was guessed as F77 or F83. So a good bottle can compete well irrespective of price/QPR.
Rob C.

Glenn E.
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
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Re: 1985 Churchill

Post by Glenn E. » 18:12 Mon 24 Oct 2011

Oh by the way, that last bottle had a 30-hour decant by the time I took the tasting note. I originally gave it a 5-hour decant before trying it, but didn't drink much of it that first night. The second night it was several points better, so I agree with Phil that a 24-hour decant is necessary for this Port to show its best.
Glenn Elliott

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