Quinta da Foz will be known, at least by sight, to anyone who has visited Pinhao, situated as it is at the confluence of the Pinhao and Douro Rivers. Owned by Calem for well over a century, the property was sold to an Angolan general in 2010. Or so it is said. Had your correspondent been aware in his youth that soldiering in Angola paid quite so well, he might have chosen that army, instead of his own, and made a career of it.
The 1984 Calem Quinta da Foz vintage port appears routinely, at very reasonable prices, on the Portuguese secondary market. It invariably makes for decent drinking, at any price, as long as it has been decanted for a relatively short time. This bottle was no exception to that rule.
The chestnut-coloured wine in this particular bottle evinced a clear rim as well as a touch of cloudiness which was not off-putting; the nose offered your correspondent a pleasing combination of figs (or was it dates?) as well as fruits of the forest, with a hint of lime – sensations which would have been altogether more powerful had the bottle not been decanted over eight hours prior to the first drink. On the tongue, maraschino cherry, coffee and the aforementioned fruits of the forest were all in evidence. Her Ladyship thought it “Christmasy” in a good way, that is, “not the one where you have just had a row with seventeen members of your family” – in another word, “cosy.” Of medium weight with a fine balance and fully-integrated tannins, this bottle did show a touch too much heat at the finish – a failing which might be ascribed (given other experience with this particular year and producer) to the overly-long decant. Still, ‘twas a fine bottle which, but for the decant, would likely have realised ninety or even ninety-one points. As it was:
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