2018 VINTAGE PORTS FROM SOGRAPE
I’ve already covered the growing season in a previous post, so will skip that and cut right to the chase. As with the others, these were tasted non-blind over three days. Sometimes more than once per day during that time. I did draw numbers, so the order tasted (Ferreira, Offley, then Sandeman) was random. These are young cask samples that can change drastically hours or days after being opened, as usual scores are a range.
The short version being these three Vintage Ports are all excellent and there is something that would fit everyone's taste.
Disclaimer: Sogrape was nice enough to send me these samples to taste and post my thoughts about them.
2018 Ferreira Vintage Port
A very inky red color. The most amazing fragrant nose of a young VP in some time; esteva, wet stone and lavender. I had to force myself to stop smelling it and to actually taste it. This started out somewhat light bodied at first but very quickly bulked up as the days went on. Silky stone fruit, searing acidity and tannins that got bigger and more chalkier as the days passed. The second day was when the fruit blossomed the most and filled in some spots, turning this into a seductive monster. What was always consistent was the long tannic and fruity finish. This isn’t the out-of-box monster the Sandeman is. This is an elegant beauty that needs time to open up and show what it’s made of. This will age for decades and be better off for it.
2018 Offley Vintage Port
A very black ink color with a soft black fruit nose. A very bright red berry fruit would eventually give way to a stone fruit finish. This seemed to have a good measure of acidity which made it very enjoyable at this young stage. This was a bit shy until the second day when the fruit balanced better with the tannins and acidity. I loved the brightness this Port showed. Of the three Vintage Ports from Sogrape this one seemed to be more of a VP for mid-term cellaring, a couple of decades and this should enter it’s prime drinking window. That said, and even though not the highest scoring of the three VP’s, I enjoyed this the most for drinking today.
2018 Sandeman Vintage Port
Squid ink aptly describes the color of this one. Other than plums, the nose remained very tight. While the nose was tight the palate was anything but. From the first sip to the last this was a rocket ship with all its engines at full power. Lush sweet and dense fruit with plenty of acidity keeping that fruit fresh and crisp. Thick chewy tannins and cracked white pepper offset some of the sweetness as well. By day three tobacco/cigar and menthol notes showed up to the mix. The transition from the palate to the extremely long finish was seamless. This extraordinary Vintage Port has many many decades of life ahead of it. Winemaker Luis Sottomayor has done a fantastic job of bringing the VP’s from this House back to the top of the list in recent years.
Anything to do with Port.
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