A week and a day after being confronted by the stunning 1970 Dow’s vintage port, this seeming child presented itself and, to my utter delight, exceeded by far all expectations.
In the glass on 28 February 2021 after a six-hour decant, the wine was half opaque and exhibited pinkish-brown hues, crowned by a crimson rim. The nose proved to be an utter delight, with raspberry dominating the attention of the olfactory nerve, coupled with notes of cherry and chocolate - both dark - as well as a whiff of linden pointing to the last vestige of youth. At the mouth, Her Ladyship described the sensation on the fore-palate as being akin to that of walnut-stuffed prunes which had been dipped into chocolate. I believe this concoction to be a pudding served at All Souls College, Oxford; it follows typically a main course of grain-fed quail stuffed in turn into a guinea fowl, a duck and a goose, with that lot then pounded into a swan and, thereafter, fitted around the remains of a pterodactyl borrowed from the nearby Pitt Rivers Museum, on the understanding that the pterodactyl’s bits should not be eaten. At any rate, I discerned only prune, walnut and mid-strength chocolate. Midway through, the gentlest of spices came to the fore, making for an agreeable diversion from a recent run of sharper ports; I was reminded of cardamom tea consumed at my last visit to India. Whilst I tend not to rate cardamom tea - having never seen the point of either it or Meghan Markle - I was pleased to discover at the back more pressing sensations of cinnamon and black coffee. The finish was truly superb; it formed up smartly at the mouth, with assault waves setting off in step towards the sinuses and the oesophagus. Having captured these objectives, the backs of the eyes as well as the stomach were then taken readily by tingling sensations of both the prune and the cinnamon.
This well-balanced wine of medium sweetness, in keeping with the Burmester style, to which I am admittedly highly partial, is not one for the ages; that is, the 1994 Burmester vintage port shall peak presently. In the meantime, it is drinking wonderfully and should be sought out by those keen to acquire a port proffering fine value for money at prevailing prices.
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