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 [...]

A superb, affordable Port from Grahams

Now this is pretty smart. It may only be an LBV, with a T-top rather than driven cork. But it’s actually a really good Port, and worth thinking about as something to have on hand as the nights draw in and finishing the day with a glass of something sweet, delicious and alcoholic becomes an [...]

Video: mechanical/robotic foot treading for Port

In this short film, Paul Symington describes the way his company have pioneered the use of mechanical foottreaders (also known as robotic lagares) for Port production. It’s not straighforward: Port needs a rapid but relatively gentle extraction, and the human foot is especially good at this.

Video: the spectacular Quinta dos Malvedos in the Douro, Portugal

A film from my recent Douro visit. It’s Graham’s spectacular Quinta dos Malvedos, shot the day before harvest began.

For more on Malvedos, take a look at the superb Graham’s blog.