Home > Rare Wine Fine Wine Old Wine Mature Wine, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Old-vine wine and simply old wine with Roy Hersh

Old-vine wine and simply old wine with Roy Hersh


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I met up with Roy Hersh (For the Love of Port) during my most recent trip to Seattle.  That this was our first time meeting, despite all of my trips to Seattle, is in retrospect a shame on my part but we now have the future ahead.  As it was my first night in town we went to dinner near my hotel at Matt’s in the Market.  We each brought a bottle of wine, both of which fueled hours of conversation until there were no other customers left.  I did not bother taking notes but the wines were remarkable in their own way and deserve to be mentioned.

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Roy brought the 2006 Quinta do Crasto, Vinha Maria Teresa, Douro (imported by Broadbent Selections) to start.  This wine is produced from Crato’s oldest plot of vines which were 91 years of age at the time of harvest.  As was typical for the period of planting, this plot is a blend of grapes of which some 45 different varieties have been identified.  Roy related that to preserve the nature of the plot every vine is mapped out and any dead vine is replaced with an identical variety.  Roy had double-decanted the wine a few hours ahead but it promptly went into another decanter at our table.  I could smell the wine as it was poured into my glass which proved quite a prelude. In the mouth, you could tell the edges had softened but the wine still had a balanced density suggesting that after shedding the structure of youth it would now start developing.  It had that old-vine confidence of flavor.

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With the Quinta do Crasto finished we switched gears.  I flew over with a bottle of 1970’s NV Lopez de Heredia, Viña Bosconia 5° Año, Rioja (imported by The Rare Wine Co.) with good fill, great labels, and not that much sediment.  This too was decanted.  An immediate taste showed it was sound but it really took an hour or two to flesh out.  It then showed moderate complexity on the nose, hints of ripeness at the start followed by that more elegantly mouth filling nature of an old wine.  The wine itself kept delivering until there was none left in the decanter.  It it is a good thing that we did not have a third bottle because I know we would have stayed until midnight.

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