1994 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
Quinta do Noval Nacional 1962
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Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

1994 Vesuvio Vintage Port

Post by AHB » 23:29 Fri 07 Dec 2007

Bottle number 24,668 (out of 76 pipes or about 51,000 bottles) was a leaker that I discovered in a re-racking exercise that I had to do after moving house. Once opened, the cork was inspected and gave no clue as to why this should have been leaking. The cork appeared to be in perfect condition, pale in colour and with a slight bulge in the centre. Although short for a vintage port cork at 4½ cm, it was a challenge to get out of the bottle and I ended up having to use a rabbit type corkscrew.

Decanted at 6pm, delivering the typical Vesuvio fine and intensely purple sediment but with some sediment the like of which I have never seen before. This was solid, brittle and almost metallic in nature. Very strange.

This tasting note was written at about 10:30pm.

A beautiful, ripe, sweet blackcurrant smell comes out of the glass. Soft and attractive, making your mouth water just as you smell this port. The first sensation in the mouth is of blueberry juice, but with tannins and acidity very present but never dominating. The taste doesn't really develop or show significant complexity but is in beautiful balance with the dominating fruit. The aftertaste takes a while to start and does have a very slight burn, but once it is established the flavours of fruit yoghurt and milk chocolate just last forever.

This is one of my absolute top 5 ports that I have ever had the opportunity to drink. I love this port and it will only get better. On Uncle Tom's scale, this is one of the best 5 ports I will drink this year - and will be even better in 10 years time so it has to be 10 / 10 or 96/100.

Superb, even from this leaky bottle.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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uncle tom
Dow 1980
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Post by uncle tom » 01:31 Sat 08 Dec 2007

For the last six months I've been ruthlessly targetting bottles that have had poor levels, signs of seepage, - or dubious origins.

Despite that, I don't think any of those bottles has fallen seriously below what I would have expected from a bottle of impeccable provenance - some de-merits certainly, but no clear evidence that a 'perfect' wine would have been better.

This is tough juice!

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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jdaw1
Taylor 1900
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Recommended decant time for this 1994?

Post by jdaw1 » 02:41 Sat 08 Dec 2007

Recommended decant time for this 1994? And also for the 1990, 1991 and 1995 vintages?

ajfeather
Fonseca LBV
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Post by ajfeather » 10:11 Sat 08 Dec 2007

uncle tom wrote:
This is tough juice!

Tom
It sure is! I really like the fact that I can forget to move the remains at the end of the day and expect it to be pleasurable tomorrow!

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AHB
Quinta do Noval Nacional 1962
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Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Post by AHB » 15:40 Sat 08 Dec 2007

I came back to this port again this morning, roughly 14 hours after decanting. It was still extremely smooth and fruity, but with the tannins much more dominant than last night. From past experience with the '94, this is a wine that can hold its own for 3-4 days before starting a slow decline.

Recommended decanting time for this vintage:- two windows, in my opinion
(1) 4-8 hours or
(2) 36-48 hours

For the other Vesuvios I would suggest the 4-8 hour window, although I have given them longer and thoroughly enjoyed them. I think with these young Vesuvios, you can happily open them 24 hours or more before serving.

Alex
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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AHB
Quinta do Noval Nacional 1962
Posts: 11456
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Post by AHB » 22:53 Sat 08 Dec 2007

I've come back to this port again this evening, roughly 28 hours after decanting. This is absolutely superb. The nose has opened up and blackcurrants are dominant. In the mouth the wine is now a little softer but is so much more complex than it was last night or this morning. The tannins are less dominant than they were this morning and the aftertaste is longer and more pronounced.

Julian - when you read this please plan to open the bottle you are tasting a good 24-28 hours before you intend to drink it.

I'm revising my score up for this wine by 1 point - 10/10 or 97/100. Incidentally, I have only ever scored two wines higher than this and they were the Nacional 1994 and the Nacional 1963.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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