This turned out to be extremely educational about the longevity of this style. 10 different houses, and some great comments from the organisers and a contingent of winemakers from Rutherglen. Certainly its unusual for me try more than one VP at a session. Far from easy task locate these, and we suffer in Australia from vagaries of shipping and storage. All wines were decanted for about 3 hours, and we’re looking at single bottles as they were on the night. The oldest Portuguese VP I recall is the wonderful 1970 Fonseca, with the oldest Australian versions I’ve tried include a 1956 Hardy and a 1957 Lindemans. An observation was made at the tasting that Australia was intent on moving to a drier, more Portuguese style with greater use of Portuguese grape varieties (rather than our traditional Shiraz). There was less agreement of whether the Portuguese had made any concessions to early drinking or more approachable VP’s.
As it happened the 3 oldest wines fared brilliantly. I had feared they might be historical curios, but they were defiantly truly alive.
2012 Quinta do Noval
Not many declared 2012 especially since 2011 turned out so well.
Dense red black with purple tints; this is highly perfumed and floral – blueberry and violets and black fruits. It surprisingly approachable, but the tannins are very fine and persistent. Red liquorice and some headsy spirit. But not the magic of 2011. Score 93+, but no doubt this will live longer than I suspect.
Slightly murky colour, Slightly grubby bouquet with some cough syrup and cocoa; palate is better. The spirit holds this together, and kicks in vigorously at the finish. Score 90
Medium red, spices, grainy tannins, sweeter style on the palate. Score 91
Clear ruby colour, with some floor-polish aromas, seems pretty straightforward on the palate. Score 91
Clear pale ruby. Lots of rose petal, toffee/coffee/ jersey caramel. Brisk with spirit making a terrific contribution. Graham is reputed as a sweeter style, but its not out of place. Lovely now but will keep for a long time yet, such is its balance. Score 95
Looking forward to this, but TCA has made an unwelcome appearance. Kept for 55 years and ruined by cork taint.
This was also ruined, but whether oxidation or other issues was debated by the group. Certainly faulty.
Ruby colour with some orange tints. Starting to look like an old tokay. Citrus peel and salted mixed nuts, spirit a bit hot, but lovely drinking. Score 94
Ruby colour, dried fruits and plums, vanilla, and toffee. Fleshy, subtle, singing. Score 94
Amber colour; scents of green olive, orange peel and chocolate covered peanuts (one of my favourite indulgences). Could drink this all night. Score 96