1966/1970/1977 Graham’s/Taylor’s/Warre’s vintage port
This past Saturday we got together at Bell’s to taste vintage port. Present were Lou, Dave, Deniz, Todd, William, David, Dan, Joan, Jenn, and myself. We couldn’t fill the last slot so we left out the 1977 Warre’s.
I double-decanted all of the wines to remove sediment. The 1966s were tasted when they had 5-7 hours of decanting. The rest had 6-8 hours of decanting. The wines were tasted blind but had the vintage written on the paper bag. We each had a glass for each wine and initially tasted them from oldest to youngest.
A few quick comments as I hope the other attendees will chime in. The 1977 Taylor’s was an off bottle but all of the others showed very well. The 1966’s are more tawny in nature than the others which show a more primary nature. The 1977 Graham’s has tremendous potential. All in all, a lovely grouping of port with something for everyone.
Wine #1 – 1966 Taylor’s
This Oporto bottle had a fill level of bottom neck. The lightest of them all. A spiced nose followed by explosive, gritty fruit in the mouth, with some minerals and a bit of heat in the finish. This has nice structure.
Wine #2 – 1966 Graham’s
This UK bottle had a fill level within neck. The darkest of the 1966s. This had the most muted nose of the 1966s. There were soft fruit flavors, some minerals. It didn’t show as well as the Taylor’s and Warre’s.
Wine #3 – 1966 Warre’s
This Oporto bottle had a fill level within neck. This had a youthful nose compared to the other 1966s that was lifted with cedar and spices. Really powerful dark fruit, with some roughness, and minerals that continues to expand from the beginning. There was a sweet, spiced, tobacco aftertaste.
Wine #4 – 1970 Graham’s
This Oporto bottle had a fill level within neck. This sported a young, primary nose, more prune-like mixed with tobacco notes. There is a lot of power up front that makes way for a creamy finish and sweet aftertaste. Some residual sugar is apparent. It does not show the level of herbs/spices that the 1970 Warre’s does.
Wine #5 – 1970 Warre’s
This Corney & Barrow bottle had a fill level within neck. The darkest of the 1970s. A light nose, with a bit more stink, and spices. There is sweet fruit that fades around the midpalate then expands into a mouth filling aftertaste. The fruit is acompanied by lovely spice throughout. The aftertase sports dark fruit and shows more heat than the 1970 Graham’s.
Wine #6 – 1970 Taylor’s
This Grants of St. James’s bottle had a fill level within neck. This is the lightest of the 1970s. There is a powerful nose of brighter and red fruit. In the mouth the redder fruit immediately explodes into the mouth. There is some reisidual sugar and spicyness. The finish shows some heat and the aftertaste is the least complex.
Wine #7 – 1977 Taylor’s
This Oporto bottle had a fill level within neck. Sadly, this bottle was off. The nose was nonexistant. In the mouth the fruit is intialy spiced, nuanced, and perfumed but then the ugliness hit. It got worse with air so I stopped trying.
Wine #8 – 1977 Graham’s
This Oporto bottle had a fill level within neck. A medium nose of perfumed, gritty, blue fruit. Wow, this is huge in the mouth, sporting smooth, creamy blue fruit and sweet cinnamon in the finish. Pwerful and well-balanced, I think it just started to open up after 8 hours which is when I drank my last sip!