Nacional 1962, Nacional 1980, and Nacional 1985 were tasted in a further celebration of the birth of my first child, Sophia Wiseman
. Present were myself and the missus, and friends BAW ODM TZ SGO'S and RO'S; the first of these bringing some fines cheeses.
All were decanted at about 3pm through muslin, and we started soon after 6pm.
The 1962, the darkest of the three, had both bitterness and sweetness in both nose and palate. The bitterness was hard to pin down precisely: "an unlit cigar", "leather", one suggesting "the bitterness of coffee". I am sure that the sweetness was Gales runny English honey; though others preferred "caramel". It was long, but the taste at the tail of the length was far weaker than that of the 1980.
The 1980 was unremarkable when first in the glass: pale and the palest of the three; with no noteworthy features to the bouquet. But so long, and so mouth-fillingly huge in the palate, and peppery. Five minutes later the nose had so much passion fruit. I have never had port like it: the passion fruit is overpowering and utterly delicious and all over it. The passion fruit lasted all evening, and was present even when the glass was freshly refilled. If any readers know by what process it appears after the delay, please share. A great port.
The 1985 was the least pleasing, having the same hard-to-define off note, in both nose and mouth, as the ordinary (and cheaper!) Noval 1985. The off note, again like the N85, faded to mere roughness. After half an hour, by when our judgement might have started to become impaired, there was some of the passion fruit, but to nothing like the same extent as the 1980. Again, I find myself disliking what Noval did in 1985. (However, Sophia liked the 1985
more than the 1962
and the 1980
I would like to give a report on how these three developed over the next twelve hours, but there were seven of us and only three bottles, so I can't.
Finally, a question about the labels: does anyone know why the 1980 was relabelled, and in a manner so ill-keeping with the usual Noval labelling?
Links to individual TNs of Nacional 1962
, and 1985
. Also see subsequent, and much less satisfactory, TN of Nacional 1985