The great Portuguese fortified wine tasting

I’m in the process of writing up the great Portuguese fortified wine tasting in Linhares on Saturday morning. This was one of the most remarkable tastings that I’ve been involved with, and it rather took me by surprise.

I was expecting a walk-around tasting, of the sort we normally have in the wine trade. Yet it turned out to be a sit down tasting for just 12 participants, compered by Bento Amaral of the IDVP, with 40 rare, high-end fortified wines, dating back to 1863.

This was great, but unfortunately many of the journalists present at the conference turned up expecting to taste, only to be turned away. It was quite painful and embarrasing. A communication issue. I know how I would have felt if I had turned up only to watch a tasting.

Still, it was a great experience. We tasted blind, knowing the style and vintage. This was helpful, too. You can read the full report here.

5 comments to The great Portuguese fortified wine tasting

  • Indeed one of the most remarkable tastings. :-O

    You can also read about it here: What were you thinking Maria João de Almeida?

    Probably better to read about it here than listening to a press conference.

  • Alex Lake

    Nice pics…

  • Jamie,
    I believe you had the opportunity on that Saturday to taste some really amazing wines. If I said I’m not jealous, I would be lying… 🙂
    Since Per included a link to my blog on his comment, I will return the favor and include a link to your comments on mine…
    By the way, Tim Atkin gave 100 points to this wine: Madeira Wine Company Bual 1863 and this was his tasting note: “Burnished colour. Still remarkably youthful. Wow! Super rich, touch of smoke and cheese rind, but that remarkable freshness and length and complexity. Savoury, sappy, super elegant. Very close to perfection. In fact, fuck it, how much better does wine get than this? Amazing length.
    You gave to this wine a “mere” 100 points. What are the main reasons that kept you from giving it a higher score?

  • Hi Luiz – I think Tim’s note was for the 1875 Barbeito. And I gave it 98. Which for me, is about as high as I go. I’ve never given a wine 100 points, and doubt I ever will. Sorry I could not share these wines with you.

  • Yes, you’re correct. He gave 100 points to the Barbeito.
    So… perfection to you happens at 98 points? 🙂


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