Last week I opened two bottles of Andresen Colheita 1970, one being bottled in 1995 and one straight from the cask on courtesy of Carlos Flores dos Santos:
Colourwise as you can see the 95 bottling showed more cloudy and was optically less fresh in appearance whereas the 2011 bottling was brilliant. On the nose the early bottling showed not too much, some almonds, toffee and sweet marzipan, where the late bottling had an extremely fresh bouquet with lots of flowery and vegetal notes. On the palate they were getting much more similar with an overlaying marzipan and honey note. The 95 bottling was much rounder and more gently with the acidity much better integrated. The 11 bottling on the other hand was more agressive with lots of acidity.
Very interesting and lesson learned is that an early bottling does not essentially mean that it is bad. I came up with a rule of thumb that a colheita (and an aged tawny) - if it is of decent quality - could easily spend half the time in the bottle that it spent in the pipa.
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