Ramos Pinto’s reputation isn’t really in Vintage Port. Hence, before this tasting, my curiosity exceeded my optimism. But my, that was a fine showing of RP VPs, and very educational.
Generalising, those ≤1970 were Portuguese-style, evolved and delicate, with lovely texture. Those ≥1980 were opaque and dark, full of big fruit. There was a big change in the 1970s. João Nicolau de Almeida attributed it to two causes. There was a deliberate change in the wine-making style, from Portuguese-style to British-style. Also, none of the ≤1970s contained Quinta da Ervamoira. Apparently Ervamoira produces very dark wine: Mark Bingley said that it takes 13ish years for the Ervamoira tawnies to fade to a 10-year colour.
Going backwards, we know that ’31 was a great year, albeit with newly-poor customers. But 1909?! Who made a worthwhile 1909? Really, who did? Really, Ramos Pinto did. At 105 years old, showing very well. The flavour had presumably lessened over time, but the texture was divine.
Finally, for pedants: yes, Ramos Pinto has been Ramos-Pinto. Their preference is now for no hyphen, the previous inconsistencies being regretted.