1985 Martinez

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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Fonseca 1980
Posts: 1770
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007

1985 Martinez VP

Post by Conky » 00:12 Tue 09 Oct 2007


For those that dont know me, I have a soft spot for this Port, and will be expecting to like it. I will of course try to be independent, but thought it worth mentioning. I'm also going in for an Angiogram tomorrow. That's were they shove a tube up the main artery of your thigh, and let it go into your heart. They release a dye and check your artery walls for angina.
I was a bit disturbed to see on the Net that this procedure had a 1 in a thousand mortality rate. I'm sure that's more your very aged, very ill typres, but unlike Tom, I thought I'm buggered if I'm leaving 4 bottles of Martinez 85 for those I may leave behind. They can jolly well do with 3!

So with that waffle out of the way,

2130hrs, took off the foil. Disturbed to see moisture, and what appeared to be a sodden cork top. No distinctive smell. Struggled manfully with the cork, but yet again only released two-thirds of it. Was chuffed to see the middle of the cork was bone dry and healthy, before the bottom third was literally stuck to the side of the bottle, and soaked in Port. No noticable smell! Why? Slight blackcurrant, but just not there.
Decanted and looked in amazement at the thickness and quantity of the sediment! Started to ponder if I'd lost an extra glass due to it all, but also hoped it was a good sign.
First pour. Light coloured, very limited nose. Tears are remarkable. The last ones fall ever so slowly down the glass. I do it a few times, because it seems so pronouced.
Taste. Oh dear. Weak and watery. How can the tears be so indictive of substance, but the taste so ordinary? Oh dear. Stare at the glass for a few minutes...this is going to be an anti-climax.

Over the next half hour, I start to gentley sip it. And to be fair, within 20 minutes, I'm definitely tasting something different. There's no heat. And yes, yes I can definitely taste some sort of mouthfeel developing. It's as though it was hidden, but is now emerging.

I'm not vastly experienced, but I am used to Ports calming down to taste great. Intergration, loss of heat, reduction of powerful flavours. This is the opposite. As I continue into the second hour, it is emerging, the nose is now subtley fruity. I'm rubbish at recognising them, but there's a few, and they dance on the tongue. The watery feel has gone. How can that happen? It's now as the tears suggested, creamy and lightly rich.
You're not quite there yet. Not the full hit of my most favourite Port...but I'm now sure I'm dealing with the same beast. Thank you.

It's now midnight (2 and a half hours). This is a beautiful Port. If I was to say that a Fonseca 63 hits hard and demands respect, but is pure quality, well this is the other end of the scale. It is also pure quality, but the rich mouthfeel is accompanied by sensual fairies dancing on your tongue. This doesn't slap you, it's an elusive will o' the wisp, that you want to grab and keep, but keeps you just out of reach. I'm going to spend a few more hours enjoying this. And if I'm here tomorrow night, as I expect to be, I'll finish of the other half-ish of the decanter, I intend to leave to aid recovery and convelesence.


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