If I am counting correctly, 26 shippers were represented, most of whom had brought their most recent Vintage Ports (mostly 2008s and 2007), LBVs and recently released colheitas and tawnies. There were also quite a few 2009 cask samples on show: a very exciting prospect. The following should link to most of the tasting notes (thanks to jdaw1 for original links):
- Table 19b, Quinta do Passadouro, and Wine & Soul;
- Table 20a, Barros:
- Table 20b, Ramos-Pinto:
- Table 21, Churchill’s:
- Table 22a, Ferreira:
- Table 23b, Fonseca:
- Table 23c, Taylor’s:
- Table 24, Niepoort Vinhos:
- Table 25, Symington Family Estates:
- Table 26, Quinta do Noval:
- Table 27a, Sandeman:
- Table 27b, Offley:
- Table 28a, Quinta da Romaneira:
- Table 28b, Quinta do Infantado:
- Table 29, Rozès:
- Table 30a, Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora de Carmo:
- Table 30b, Duorum:
- Table 13a, Andrew Quady's American ports:
- Low-content thread in Organising Tastings and Get-togethers.
Although I have been to quite a few general tastings like this, this was the first time I’ve been to one devoted exclusively to fortified wines and with such a large selection of Port producers present. It really was a delight, although I found it impossible to try all the Ports available and so concentrated on the red ones.
My overall impression is that there will be a number of 2009s produced, but nowhere close to a full declaration and there will be many interesting 2008 v 2009 tastings to try in the future. There seems to be a bit of uncertainty with the LBV style with many producers seeming unable to decide whether they should make Portuguese-style LBV which is, literally a late-bottled vintage port, or the filtered, drink-now style of the British houses.
The house that really stood out for me was Quinta da Romaneira: all of their products were excellent (and, reassuringly, my tasting note for the 2007 seems to match the one I wrote two years ago quite closely!) and I would whole-heartedly recommend them all. I also enjoyed Quinta do Infantado’s offerings, especially the 2007 LBV, not least because they are trying to do something different from other shippers and seem to do it rather well. However, their light, low-tannic, dryish style of Port may not appeal to all.
Of the 2009s, I would certainly consider stocking up on the Pintas, simply because its flavours were mad: passion-fruit everywhere and other tropic fruits. Back to the mainstream of Ports, I think the Cockburn Quinta dos Canais was fabulous, but, regrettably, it seems that it will not be generally released. The Vesuvio, made out of an unusual blend with 24% SousÃ£o and should be excellent, too (and a bit easier to get hold of).
The wine of the tasting, for me, though, was the 1977 Niepoort Garrafeira. Simply fantastic, Port which I would love to try again in a better environment.
I should apologise for the quality of the tasting-notes: I always find it quite difficult to take detailed notes in such circumstances, so I usually end up writing brief sketches. This is also not quite a complete list. Towards the end my nose rather collapsed with everything appearing very hot so I need to go through those which will follow.