it was a splendid evening indeed! Since I left fairly early I was feeling OKish the next day. This was also very helpful since I had a very busy week ahead
Hmm I cannot say it otherwise, our guessing/knowing port abilties were quite embarassing but nevertheless very educational and fun. I think my most embarrassing guess was the Croft da Roeda 1997 as Fonseca 1994
As for all of you the tasting left a deep impression. Firstly I will continue to like Malvedos
and will try to get more of the 1995. Since I have quite a bit of 1990 (standard bts) left I think this is now the right time to finish off the halves of Malvedos 1990 I have left. From Ben's comments I take he is interested to volunteer to help me in this task.
With regards to the ports of the 1991 vintage I was suprised how smooth and forward they already are. The Quinta de la Rosa was still a bit harsh. But overall already very drinkable. Based on various discussions we had on
and the impression Vargellas 91 left to me in our Vargellas vertical I did not expect this. Based on this tasting and having my "beige" or "money trousers" on (all 91 Ports are still very cheap compared to other vintages!) I would like to suggest to do a fairly complete (~30 ports) horicontal to find out whats what.
Delaforce 1992 left me stunned. Despite I like old Delaforce I am not so fond of the newer vintages. Really good. The Eira Velha was good but not exciting. Very compact, well structured port with good palate but short after taste.
Wine of the night for me as for most was Ramos Pinto 1994. Generally I like Ramos Pinto; they are always quality and can be sometimes picked up fairly cheap. I think this would also do well in a bigger 1994 VP tasting. Also following Christophers coments a wider "best of the best" 92/94/97 tasting should be organised. He is right ; we should follow up the current status. Despite fears quite a few are closed, I think it is worth doing.
The two ports from the 1997 vintage were very good indeed! I had quite a few times da Roeda 1997 before; but this was by far the best bt I tried so far. If the 1997s continue to evolve so positively based on the samples I had so far I fear they will rival the 1992s and some 1994s at one stage.
Overall for me the biggest revelation of the tasting was twofold:
1.) The quality of ports from the nineteennineties is generally a lot better than I thought. I like older port and have currently quite a few ports from the eighties for current drinking. Therefore I had the impression the ports from e.g. 1983 would give a good benchmark for port from the eighties. After this tasting I must say with few exceptions e.g. Fonseca 1985, Dow 1980, etc. you should not buy ports from this decade anymore. They are of the same or less quality but comand higher prices due to age than ports from the nineteennineties. And some of the nineteennineties ports drinking rather well already!!
2.) I felt throughout the tasting unsure about about the ports of this decade. Make no mistake I appreciated the quality but the feeling of being lost remained. For me this is easily explained; mostly I drink older ports (preferably of 1970!
) which I like and left wrongly "ealier maturing" vintages behind. Hence I would like to suggest we also start doing horicontals of younger vintages. We otherwise potentially miss something