Bottled by Hankey Bannister. Cork removed at 11am, bottle decanted at 2pm. Deep red colour, looking youthful and very similar to the 1977 vintage ports drunk the previous night. Opaque at the centre, with a very wide rim. Warm fruit, gently spiced on the nose; fruit mixed with cinnamon and cloves; fresh, lively and very delicious but with the alcohol showing slightly. Hot entry, rich fruit that manages to be both refined but also threatening — like a polite bouncer in a dinner jacket. Tobacco infuses the sweet red cherry fruit adding a layer of spice and pepper. The Taylor heat lurks in the background, but not in a bad way. Big aftertaste, powerful and oh so tasty. The heat dominates at first but this quickly settles to a sour cherry finish. The finish is long and delicious. (96/100)
A small 6cl sample was taken home and drunk a couple of days later when the port had clearly benefitted from the extra contact with air. The palate and aftertaste had acquired a greater depth and richness and was even better. 97/100.
Top Ports in 2019 (so far): Cockburn 1947 and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
2018 Ports of the year: São Leonardo 1927 White Port (Bottled 2018), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994