jamie goode's wine blog: Ashes and Port

Friday, January 05, 2007

Ashes and Port

Just watched the last of the Ashes highlights. These have been staple viewing over the last couple of months - I think I've only missed two of them. And how depressing for England cricket fans like me to see such abject capitulation.

Still, let's put it in perspective. We have an averagely good England side up against an awesomely good, ruthlessly professional Australia side - who would hammer any other test side at the moment, the way they are playing. Credit is due to the likes of Warnie, Ponting and McGrath for being so good. And England didn't help themselves with their amateurish preparation for this series.

To console myself, I cracked open another 2003 Vintage Port. This time it was Cockburn's Quinta da Canais 2003. It's very enjoyable even at this early stage, with dense, spicy dark fruits. There's good structure here, but also a little bit of a green streak, which will no doubt mellow with age, but I reckon will cause this wine to be a solid mid-term drinker rather than a truly serious Vintage Port for the long haul. Score-wise, I reckon perhaps 90/100, which recognizes the admirable density and oomph, but also acknowledges the lack of real class and finesse that would take this wine into the premiership.

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At 5:22 PM, Blogger colin.smith18 said...

I had the good fortune to try out two tawny ports last night - nothing to do with the cricket though.

I suppose I shouldn't really call the first one a port as it was De Bortoli's 21 years Old Boy, a heady mixture of orange fruits, marmalade and creamy caramel.

The second was a 40 year old Calem which by comparison was lighter and more perfumed than it's Australian cousin with a taste of walnuts.

Prior to that we had a glass of Blandys centennial blend Madeira to go down with proper Madeira cake. It was a gorgeous blend of raisins and burnt caramel and slightly spicey.

Monday is going to seem very dull.....

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Colin , sounds fun - never had the De Bortoli - where is it from?

And 40 year old tawnys are rare and expensive. Was it serious stuff?

At 10:20 PM, Blogger colin.smith18 said...

Oddbins have been stocking the Old Boy at around 15. I got the last bottle from the Tunbridge Wells branch. It's not on their web site so maybe it was only a Christmas thing.

Although I enjoyed the Calem 40 year old (bought at the Islington Wine show at some vast price by my friend) I wonder if it was past it's best or maybe, not having had a 40 year old tawny before, my expectations were wrong. It was not as intense as the Old Boy nor a 20 year old Taylors tawny I had enjoyed over Christmas. It was more perfumed.

The Taylors 20 year old was one of my best drinks over the holiday season.


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