1989 Quinta do Vesuvio

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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AHB
Fonseca 1970
Posts: 10656
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

1989 Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port

Post by AHB » 15:36 Wed 07 Nov 2007

A bottle that I decided to open since all the notes I have read say this should be drunk soon. Bottle number 29,742 out of the 37,822 produced for this vintage has now departed the world. Decanted cleanly and sparklingly clear off a mixture of sediment - some of the very fine sediment that seems to be typical of Vesuvio was still in the bottle but much of the sediment had formed into the "leaf-structure" type of deposit.

A note taken approximately 1 hour after decanting:

A mid-rose colour, no youth left in the appearance of the wine and there is definite bricking. A lovely lifted nose that can be picked up as you move the glass around to see the colour. Sweet bramble fruit, with some autumn morning dew and lots of cotton dust.

Quite an empty entry, but the mid-palate slowly builds up to reveal sweet and ripe blackberries. Rather delicious in the way the fruit keeps building up. A hint of tannins, but nothing obtrusive, most of the structure comes from the acidity. Swallowing realeases a burst of the cotton dust, a quick flash of heat and then a gentle aftertaste of mild chocolate cake with a raspberry coulis that lasts for absolutely ages and gradually changes into a mellow espresso.

On this first showing this is a much better bottle than we tried at Vesuvio and shows no signs of the Douro bake that I was expecting. This is very enjoyable.

More anon.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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DRT
Graham’s 1948
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Post by DRT » 16:05 Wed 07 Nov 2007

Farewell Bottle 24,742, we shall miss you.

Interesting that the Bake is missing from this bottle. Does this raise the old question of were all of them stored for some time in the Douro before shipping or did some escape immediately after bottling?

Derek

PS: I like the in depth description of sedimentary structure. This style should be used more often.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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AHB
Fonseca 1970
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Post by AHB » 17:22 Wed 07 Nov 2007

Three hours on the colour is unchanged but the nose has now become one of raspberry creme brulee, very pleasant. Still a little hollow on entry and the alcohol has become much more prominent on the aftertaste. But the length and complexity of the aftertaste is superb.

And still no sign of the bake.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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AHB
Fonseca 1970
Posts: 10656
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Post by AHB » 10:23 Thu 08 Nov 2007

I came back to this roughly 8½-9½ hours after decanting and it had changed substantially.

By now the colour was much deeper, still the same brick-red but now almost opaque at the centre. The nose had developed into a wonderful mix, blackcurrants coming out first and foremost but still with those dy blackberries in there as well.

However, the biggest change was in the mouth. Before, the wine had had rather a hollow entry. Not any more. Now the initial impact into the mouth was of a raspberry syrup, fruity, not overly sweet and with dusty tannins providing some structure in addition to the acidity. The mid-palate development was wonderful, filling the mouth with many layers of flavour.

There was a very noticeable burst of heat on first swallowing, but this was then followed by a long, loud and very impressive aftertaste.

This particular bottle really surprised me. It showed much better than the bottle we had a Vesuvio in 2005 and the only other review I have seen of this port (before Axel's recent post) was from Linden Wilkie's Vesuvio vertical in late 2004, where this wine was also reviewed quite poorly as "over the hill and falling apart rapidly". This bottle was the opposite. It was a lovely wine, at its peak of maturity and as far as I can tell it is not going to decline any time soon. I don't think it will improve with more time in the bottle but it is showing so well that if it had been served blind to me I would never have picked it as the 1989. Very impressive, just one of my top 15 ports of the year. 9/9 or 94/100.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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AHB
Fonseca 1970
Posts: 10656
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Post by AHB » 00:37 Sat 10 Nov 2007

Just a late note to say that I am drinking this again tonight (from a half bottle filled to the cork line and stored in the fridge). It is just as good and enjoyable as on the previous nights except that there is a surprising amount of tannin in the port now.

This is actually getting better and better.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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