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 [...]

Tasting Noval Vintage Port and Nacional

A great tasting this morning: Christian Seely was in town showing off Noval Vintage Port and Noval Nacional, in paired vintages: 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2011.

The observant among you will have noticed the presence of 2004 Nacional. It’s the second time I’ve tried this ‘secret’ Nacional, which has not been released commercially, and the [...]

10, 20, 30 and 40 Year Old Tawnies from Graham's

Graham’s have recently released a series of aged Tawny Ports, which arrived here in small bottles packaged in an attractive box. Here are my notes on them. Aged tawnies (10 years and older) are just a small part of the market for Port (3%), but they are important wines, and I reckon that they are [...]

Noval Nacional 2011

So, in my initial round-up of 2011 Vintage Ports, I missed Quinta do Noval, and Noval’s Nacional, as well as Romaneira, which shares a connection (Christian Seely). My notes for all three are here. I’ve also included a video of me  tasting the wonderful 2011 Nacional.

Quinta do Noval Nacional 2011
Concentrated, sweet and dense with blackberry, black [...]

Quinta do Vesuvio 2011, and Capela da Vesuvio 2011

Tonight I’m sampling the remains of two bottles of port from last night’s declaration tasting of the various Symington properties. It’s the pair of wines from Vesuvio, the regular vintage port and the special cuvee Capela.

I was visiting the Douro during the 2011 harvest with my colleagues Chris Losh, Richard Woodard, Emily O’Hare and Patricia [...]

The Symington 2011 Ports

So, the headline news on the 2011 vintage Ports from the Symingtons. [I’ll be writing these up in more detail, hopefully this evening.]

It’s a very good vintage indeed. Potentially a great one. The samples we tried yesterday were the final blend, but not final bottled samples, and some of them showed much more open fruit, [...]

A first glimpse of 2011 Vintage Ports

So tonight was spent getting acquantied with the hotly anticipated vintage Ports from 2011, which has just been pretty universally declared.

First up, Sandeman, owned by Sogrape, who were showing their wines at The Don, in the City of London.

Luis Sottomayor (above) of Sogrape describes 2011 as a typical, classic vintage. ‘It’s not an elegant, harmonious [...]

10 and 20 year old Tawny Ports from Taylor's

Regular readers will know that I am a fortified wine fan, and that I just love Tawny Port. here are a couple of good ones from Taylor’s. Both widely available in the UK. Don’t be afraid to serve Tawny chilled, or even straight from the fridge.

Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal
20% alcohol. Warm, [...]

A dinner in honour of Paul Symington, with 1945 Graham

On Thursaday night, I attended the Decanter Man of the Year dinner held in honour of this year’s recipient, Paul Symington.

Right from the outset, when Paul was rung with the news of the award in December, he  maintained that this is a family award. Paul heads up the family business: they are the leading shipper [...]

1952 Colheita from Graham for the Diamond Jubilee

Old wines? I love them. And some of the best old wines are fortified wines: Madeira, Vintage Port, Tawny Port and VORS Sherry.

This is a 60 year old single-vintage Tawny Port (the official name for vintage dated Tawnies is Colheita), released to commerate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It’s fabulous and expensive, but good value when [...]