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Vintage Port for a Fiver?

From time to time I come across a sensational bargain. It's only fair that I should share the news with wineanorak readers -- after I have stocked up, of course!

This time it's a genuine vintage port, albeit a slightly unusual one, for 4.99/half bottle (reduced from 12.99/half) in Oddbins. No one could explain to me why it is reduced so much, especially seeing as the same wine in 75 cl bottles is still selling at 24 a pop.

Sandeman Vau Vintage Port 1997
The Seagram-owned port house Sandeman has had a mixed reputation in recent decades, but signs are that they are getting back to top form. The Vau Vintage port is quite controversial: it's a proper Vintage port, made from the very best grapes in a very good vintage, but in a style more approachable in its youth than traditional vintage ports (apparently they had the American market in mind). This is a thick purple/black colour. Terrifically dense on the palate with masses of sweet, liqouricey plum, cherry and damson fruit, and notes of tar and spice. Firm, spicy tannins provide plenty of structure, and although this isn't as unapproachable as traditional vintage styles would be at this stage, it's a huge wine that will age well for a decade or so. However, it's no crime to drink this now because it is so delicious. Excellent, and a sensational bargain at 4.99 for a half bottle (Oddbins) 04/01 (For what it's worth, the Wine Spectator gave this a rating of 92/100)

Note that I have no commercial link with Oddbins; I just think it's a good deal. Happy hunting!

STOP PRESS: apparently this offer ends next Monday, when the price returns to 12.99