Sunday, 4 December 2011

Downing MCR Port Tasting

Tuesday, 08 November 2011.

A port tasting for Downing College MCR, led by Alex Woolgar-Toms of Cambridge Wine Merchants. With thanks to Fells Fine Wines for generously providing the Graham's information booklets and maps of the Douro Valley (both pictured above).

 NV Taylor’s Chip Dry White Port
Waitrose £11.39 | B

Served on its own and as a long drink (with tonic, squeeze of lime, over lots of ice).
Rather funky nose, quite vegetal, also some cheesy notes, almost smells as if its not quite right. Distinctly dry and sappy, with some grapefruit like pith. Delicious as a long drink, marries well with the bitterness of the tonic quite well - great thirst quencher.

NV Waitrose Tawny Port
Waitrose £7.59 | B (value for money)

Correct notes of sultanas and raisins, as well as dried fruits; good flavour profile, forward, sweet yet not cloying. Balanced, but with short finish. Was very popular on the night; great value for money.

Grahams’s 10 year old Tawny Port
Waitrose £18.99 | B+

Darker in colour, burnt copper and amber. More nutty on the notes, still sultanas and raisins, as well as dried figs and prunes. Nice freshness on the palate; sustained mid palate, with a decent, marmaladey finish. Fine, classy stuff, worth the money.

NV Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port
Waitrose £10.40 | B

A basic ruby port showing attractive berries and compote character; forward, sweet fruits; doesnt feel hot / fortified which is so often the case with rather basic ports. 

2006 Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage
Cambridge Wine £14.99 | B+

Lots of fruit, bold and extracted; quite sweet too, but with a spicy note towards the end. Theres some grip to this, reminding you its not a basic ruby port. Quite a bold style of LBV.

2001 Warre’s Bottle Matured Late Bottled Vintage
Cambridge Wine £22.99 | A-(+)

Settled on the palate, not as bold and punchy as the previous LBV. Feels cooler too; still plenty of attractive berries and sweet fruit, but theres almost a floral / minty note as well. Sustained mid palate, with noticeable grip towards the end. Threw a significant amount of sediment; drinks well now, and will age another 10 years with ease, now - 2020+.

1996 Warre’s Quinta de Cavadinha
Cambridge Wine £31.99 | B+(++) 

Lots of mint and ribena on the nose, feels cooler, distinct notes of pastilles and winegums; nice intensity and concentration of fruit on the mid palate. Good balance showing between the acidity and fruit; tannins are noticeably higher and more grippy than the LBV before it. In all, this shows a bright future ahead of it 2015-2025+  

1994 Tesco’s Finest Vintage Port
 Tesco Wine by the Case £16.99 (on offer) | B+(+)

Made by the Symington Family Estates, this has all the hallmarks of a decent vintage port but without the price tag. Good extraction of fruit, starting to develop some secondary / aged notes, but still showing dark berries and cool ribena like nose. Again, decent intensity of flavours, still lively; combine this with nice tannic structure means this will age with ease, now-2025+. Absolutely ridiculous price, no wonder its sold out.  

1985 Gould Campbell Vintage Port

1975 Graham’s Vintage Port

No comments: