1977 Gould Campbell

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: 10944
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

1977 Gould Campbell

Post by AHB » 12:19 Sat 19 Jan 2008

I decided that after an horrific journey home to Heathrow from Munich on Thursday that I should cheer myself up with a decent bottle of vintage port from the cellar. This bottle was selected and stood up last night for about 12 hours before being decanted.

The bottle is wine society stock, sold through U-Vine in August 2006 and kindly shared by Derek. Decanted cleanly, free-hand, off surprisingly little sediment. As it was decanting, it filled my small and windowless decanting room with a wonderful smell of mulled wine and mincemeat.

Immediately from the bottle this wine was a deep, opaque rich red colour with no browning at all. On the nose were dusty cherries and unintegrated alcohol. The cherries filled the mouth, with warm rich spices and left a lovely aftertaste. Very smooth indeed and something to really look forward to.

2 hours after decanting the colour hadn't changed much but the nose had turned to a warm, rich stewed cherry scent with some added intrigue from fresh shredded mint. Really nice.

Initially curry powder and coriander on the tip and sides of the tongue and then a bit of a vacant mid-palate. A touch flavourless. A lot of unintegrated alcohol on swallowing and an aftertase that consists mainly of alcoholic burn for a long time before leaving a bitter cherry-pip in the mouth. Not nice to drink right now but I know this will come round spectacularly.

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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DRT
Graham’s 1948
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Post by DRT » 12:36 Sat 19 Jan 2008

Nice descriptive note, as ever, Mr B. I hope this develops as it should and leaves you with a nice warm glow and a slightly sozzled smile later tonight :wink:

Derek
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

Andy Velebil
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Post by Andy Velebil » 14:34 Sat 19 Jan 2008

Hope that cheered you up.....Having had this on three occassions now, I am a firm believer that this is the sleeper of the vintage. Just don't tell anyone because it's one of the few '77s that can still be found here in the states for under $100.

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AHB
Fonseca 1970
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Post by AHB » 12:41 Sun 20 Jan 2008

This bottle was actually a little disappointing in the end (although there is still a little left for tonight). Drunk in earnest after about 12 - 14 hours in the decanter, this is my impression:

Deep red colour, not much change since decanting. Nose more integrated, fresh and floral with that lovely fresh-picked bramble that I sometimes find and love in a port. Still the curious curry and coriander on entry, but the fruit has developed well and there is considerable complexity in the mid-palate with a nice tannic structure. However, the mouthfeel was quite watery and the port not as full bodied as I remember; the alcohol was also very obvious on the palate. The aftertaste was also dominated by unintegrated alcohol and was not as long as I was anticipating other than the tannic grip - which stayed in the mouth for ages.

Overall, very pleasant but not a great bottle. However, it made the Saturday night extremely relaxed and was worth opening. 88/100 or 5/6 on the Uncle Tom scale.

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
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Post by AHB » 21:22 Sun 20 Jan 2008

I can't believe the difference another 24 hours in the decanter has made to this port. Now decanted for 36 hours, it has blossomed and is much better integrated and more pleasurable than this time last night.

Perhaps slightly darker than last night, but not subtantially so, this port now smells of stewed blackcurrants and custard and - of all things - fresh garden rose flowers! In the mouth there is still the initial flavour of coriander, and a lot else. It reminds me of turkish delight wrapped in thick, dark chocolate. The tannins are a little more reserved than yesterday but the acidity is searing but balanced by the sweet purity of the black cherry juice that must have been used instead of grapes for the fermentation. The mouthfeel has thickened up and coats the tongue. The aftertaste is now massive bringing dark cherry chocolate. Super. So much better than yesterday that I would now rank this as 92/100 or 7/7.

If I was planning on drinking one of these again soon I would open it a good 24-36 hours before I planned on drinking it.
Last edited by AHB on 08:07 Mon 21 Jan 2008, edited 2 times in total.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

Andy Velebil
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Post by Andy Velebil » 05:08 Mon 21 Jan 2008

My last bottle of this was the same. Quite closed for a good 12 hours before it really started to blossom. This is still a young wine and I wonder if its just in an aukward spot at the moment??

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AHB
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Post by AHB » 08:16 Mon 21 Jan 2008

Andy,

You might be right. I wouldn't normally expect a port to show so differently at 12 hours compared to 36 hours. I came back to the decanter with the thought in my mind of "I'll finish this off before I open another bottle. It's not great but it's not worth wasting." What I found was so different.

I agree with you that the only time I generally find this large a change in a port is when it shuts down and is going through that awkward stage 6-12 years after the vintage. Perhaps this port is showing signs of a second (or third?) phase of shutting down. I've read speculation that ports shut down more than once in their development and perhaps this is what I've just experienced. If I'd had this in a restaurant on a pop 'n' pour basis, I would have been very disappointed.

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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