Port is my comfort food. Enough said. Fighting off the last bit of a cold (that I’ve been fighting for days now…) I decided that was it and I’ll fight it with port. There’s something fantastic about port, and not just what’s in the bottle, but the story. I’m drinking something that was bottled the year I started highschool, when Napster was the Best.Thing.Ever. How times have changed, eh?
This half bottle was tucked away with the tiny bottles of booze next to the cash at the liquor store. To answer the question of who impulse buys half bottles of vintage port, it’s me. They also had (full sized) bottles of the 2000 vintage. I foresee some friends and I having a port tasting in the future.
Opening vintage port is always fun, this cork crumbled three quarters of the way down, forcing some drastic measures that ended up pushing the cork into the bottle (sigh). So a double decant and filter was necessary, but the effort was worth it.
Name: Sandeman Vau Vintage, 1997
From: Douro, Portugal
Appearance: It’s a super dark, almost black colour. When held right up to the light it’s a deep ruby with glints of orange to it. Really pretty.
Aroma: The first hit is all dark berries – black currents, black berries, dark cherry, and there’s a little touch of licorice on there too that helps to balance it from being purely fruitbomby.
Taste: Super sweet (surprise, it’s port…) with a nice hit of acidity that lingers on the finish, and oh boy is it hot. The alcohol in this definitely makes itself known. The palate starts out with berries once again, moving more into truffles and mushroom as the alcohol kicks in, finishing with licorice.
Overall: It’s a bit unbalanced, still lots of acidity and super hot. It’s not very complex, but for paying under $25 for a bottle of 17 year old vintage port you can’t expect it to be mind blowing. It is tasty and I will be buying a few more of these
Price: $11.80 for 375ml
What Someone Says:
Beware of crumbly cork on this oldster. It has matured to a mellow state but not lost its nerve either. The bouquet is nicely generous and complex with well integrated cedar, plums, earth, licorice and leather. It’s full bodied with high alcohol fire-storming the palate. The length is excellent with earthy notes prevalent but the fruit holding. At its best now, should hold another three years. Hot finish. Score: 88 (David Lawrason, WineAlign.com, Feb 2013)