jamie goode's wine blog: A brilliant, affordable Vintage Port

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A brilliant, affordable Vintage Port

I wonder whether this division between Vintage Port and single-quinta Vintage Port is becoming outmoded. Could it be the idea of 'declared' and 'non-declared' years is going to gradually diminish in importance? That's the way it seems to be going. Anyway, this is a wine from a time when the declarations by the major Port houses were the big focus in the Douro.

It is a cracking Vintage Port from a non-declared year, and so the grapes here, which in other years might have gone into Fonseca's legendary Vintage Port, were used for this 'second' wine. Having said this, 1988 wasn't a terribly good year, but it has yielded a Vintage Port that, at 20 years old, is drinking perfectly. I'm probably going to be criticized by giving a wine from a dodgy vintage such a high rating, but it's just beautiful - it's not perfect, but it works so well.

Fonseca Guimaraens Vintage Port 1988
I really like this. It's showing some evolution, which has added complexity, but there's still a real fruity presence here. Deep coloured, it's aromatic with lovely complex dark fruits with herbs, leather and spice, as well as a hint of sweet tarriness. The palate is open and lively - vinous, almost - with pure plum and dark cherry fruit backed up by warming spiciness and notes of earth, tea and tar. It's drinking beautifully now, with lovely complexity and a dark elegance, but do decant this because it has a ton of sediment in it. 20.5% alcohol. 93/100 (19.99 Sainsbury, Waitrose, Fortnum & Mason, Booths, Costco, Makro)

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At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guimaraens is not a single quinta. It is a blend of several properties and therefore better defined as a "second label" vintage port.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

thanks for the correction, post amended


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