The fabulous Dow 1963 plus other special wines

Simon Staples of Berry Bros & Rudd is a top bloke. He treated a few of us to a lovely dinner in the boardroom after Thursday night’s screening of red obsession. We had some lovely Burgundy, a cracking sherry, a stunning English sparkler, and – most appropriately – a Chinese wine. But my heart was won by a magnum of one of the most elegant Vintage Ports I’ve ever had.

Dow Vintage Port 1963 Douro, Portugal (Magnum)
So smooth and silky. Pure and elegant with amazing purity. Still has some sweet black cherry fruit, as well as fine, complex secondary characters. This is just so pure with beautiful texture. 97/100

Ponsot Clos de la Roche 2001 Burgundy, France
Supple, elegant and fine with nice spiciness and a really expressive personality. There’s a bit of grip here under the pure cherry fruit, and it’s showing lovely complexity. Wonderful stuff. 96/100

Ponsot Griotte-Chambertin 2001 Burgundy, France
Warm spicy nose with tar and a hint of fudge. Nice dense, grippy palate is quite edgy with some notes of tar, black cherry and red fruits. Tannic and firm, this is pretty structured. 94/100

Olivier Bernstein Mersault Charmes 1er Cru 2010 Burgundy, France
Stylish citrus and pear fruit with a mineral streak. Quite taut and fine with lovely precision. Proper white Burgundy. 94/100

Equipo Navazas la Bota de Manzanilla No 32 NV Jerez, Spain
Complex, egdy and tangy with amazing concentration of flavour and some spiciness. A remarkable expression of Sherry. 95/100

Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2003 England (Magnum)
A great way to start the evening. This is developing beautifully: toasty, fine with stylish citrus fruit and nice grippiness. Lovely acidity here. This is nicely complex and is drinking really well. 93/100

Changyu Golden Valley Ice Wine Gold Diamond Label 2009 Liaoning, China
Apple, melon and apricot nose. The palate is sweet yet fresh with apple and pear notes. Lovely weight here with some spiciness. Ripe and smooth; not quite weighty or textured enough to be totally world class, but pretty smart. 90/100

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