AHB was in town, and asked for company at The Bung Hole at a small blind tasting. DRT was in town, without port, so JDAW brought one for each. Later in the evening, we were randomly joined by two port novices, so a 10Y Otima was bought for comparative purposes.
T85, decanted 2pm that day. Red-red-pink, 65% opaque. Nose had very dark fruit and tannins. Taste started with some heat, then long consistent dark-fruited long port. Very long. But a touch lighter than perfect. Wonderful balance and length, but not weight.
DRT noted a ‟slight bitterness in the mid-palate”.
Full of small fine particles, but attractive; firm red in colour; pale rim - perhaps 50% opaque. Fragrant on the nose, smelling of rhubarb sweetened with brown sugar - a lovely combination of sweet fruit and sharp acidity; swirling releases a lovely peppery tone. Lovely texture on entry; sweet fruit, medium bodied and an interesting smokiness. Slightly harsh or hot aftertaste and then a lingering licorice root finish. Very enjoyable port. (Served blind this was guessed to be Taylor 1980.) 88/100.
Top Ports in 2022: Quinta do Noval Nacional 1931. I have never drunk such a wonderful bottle of Port. I cried with joy.
2023: Fonseca 1966. There are not many better Ports.