Decanted properly, which this bottle was not, the 1982 Kopke can be a delight - and indeed, as good as any vintage port produced from the ’82 harvest.
On 14 February 2021, the wine presented well in the glass: brown and maroon tones dominated this largely opaque offering. However, after six hours in the decanter, the nose of the wine had disappeared entirely; try as one might, neither a single pleasing nor repelling note could be coaxed from the glass. This deficiency, for which I am solely responsible, was a terrible shame, because when the wine had been placed in the decanter the room was enveloped by a beautiful bouquet of dark fruit. Happily, the mouth was unaffected by the over-lengthy decant. Stewed prunes and black cherry struck the fore-palate in a most agreeable manner, giving way to hints of clove, cinnamon and white pepper, along with what I took to be a dash of vanilla extract. Others discerned some sort of grape stem which is apparently eaten in Yugoslavia, though I would not know anything about that. Why would anybody eat grape stems? At any rate, the lengthy finish proffered considerable delight as it worked its way down as far as the oesophagus and then upwards to the back of the eyeballs. There was nary a whiff of heat to the finale, the principal sensations being those of very gentle tannins and the sugared cinnamon which we sprinkled upon buttered toast during my childhood.
Like the other bottles from the same case which I have consumed to date, this exemplar constituted a well-balanced port of medium sweetness and considerable complexity which remains a half decade from its peak. The lesson learned from this most recent tasting is that those opening this wine would do well to start consuming it following a three-hour decant.
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