Many thanks to Paul Symington and Richard Mayson for joining us that evening and to the Symingtons, Axel, Chris, Derek, and Julian for gratuitously providing extra bottles to help boost the lineup. This also wouldn't have happened without the help of the decanting committee (I think Ray, Derek, Andy and Axel), so it was very much a team effort which is exactly what
Andy Velebil wrote:The wines were brilliant and reinforces something I've often mentioned, Graham's and Malvedos have produced the most consistently good Ports over the past 55 years.
Yes, this was something that really stuck out at this tasting; even the very old Malvedos were very good wines and there were few that seemed to underperform. Thank goodness, too, that the inevitable few dodgy bottles were on the 1990s placemat and not any earlier...
jdaw1 wrote:Is there a general rule about the difference? Is there something that Malvedos consistently has more (or less) of it than the regular blend?
According to Paul Symington, in the early years the Malvedos was made from wines produced in the region of Quinta dos Malvedos (though little coming from the Quinta itself due to its tiny production). Alex Liddell's Port Wine Quintas of the Douro
says, I think, that by the mid-1970s it was predominatly from Quinta do Tua due to the poor condition of Malvedos. More recently it has included more wine from Quinta dos Malvedos itself and since 1998 has been a proper single quinta Port (and named as such, which might be reflected in the tasting note database?). Of course the size of the Quinta has increased massively since the 1950s; Paul showed me a facisnating map of the individual planting blocks in the quinta which really brought this out.
One thing I try to do at these tastings is see if there is an "signature taste" to the wines. Here, what I particularly noticed was that the Malvedos often has that very sweet immediate taste that one associates with a Graham but this is followed by a fairly long and elegant aftertaste that is notably dryer. I suppose the sweetness on the end of the palate of a normal Graham's comes from elsewhere (perhaps Tua or Lages?).