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.
TV98, decanted 2pm. Red-red-purple, 80%ish opaque. Nose light, with some dark fruit. Big and silky. Hint of eucalyptus mid-palate. Then dark dark damson fruit. Big. Young and lovely. Flavour biggest late-palate. Chewy. Wants another 10 years in the cellar.
My first tasting of the 1998 Vargellas, and I was very impressed, happy to have a few tucked away in the cellar for the future.
Deep red, still appearing youthful; 80% opaque. Youthful and vibrant nose, full of sharp bramble fruit — very young. Balanced and classy entry; lovely chocolatey tannins. The wine arrives on the palate gently but with a delightful balance and focus. Lingering purple fruit and flowers on the aftertaste and through the long length. Fabulous port — not a blockbuster but with a lovely balance and flavour profile. One to keep for a decade or two. Served blind this was guessed to be Malvedos 1992. 92/100.
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.