The ICC Group met on April 2nd to taste Port.

Here are my Notes:

COCKBURN’S FINE WHITE PORT   –   19%    (Sainsbury’s – £9, ½ litre)
Spirity nose of tropical fruit and orange zest, Palate has sweetness, earthy woody notes and a zesty acidity that gives balance and surprisingly food friendly and deep. Quite good!
Quality: 14/20   Value: 14/20

OFFLEY ROSÉ PORTO   – 19.5%   (Ocado/Waitrose – £10)
Startlingly pink, slightly eau-de-vie nose with sweet shop fruit. Palate is very spirity with a confectionery strawberry fruit, lacking acidity and rather coarse. Good to taste it here with thirty other people than have bought a bottle. Freeze it and poor it over ice cream or mix it with vodka and tonic!
Quality: 11/20   Value: 12/20

WARRE’S OTIMA 10 YEAR OLD TAWNY   –   20%   (Widely Available – £14, ½ litre)
Caramel, dried peel and candied fruit nose – with a vaguely Xmas pud impression. Drying but integrated alcohol warmth and woody notes, which with some fruity acidity balances the sweetness leading to a deep, long, satisfying finish. An outstanding style – well realised!
Quality: 16/20 Value: 15/20

TAYLOR’S LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE 2008   –   20%   (Widely Available – £15)
Dark fruit notes, blackberry and cherry – with earthy woody warmth. The palate has grainy tannins warm alcohol and balancing sweet fruit (plums as well as black fruit) but elements not that integrated, and giving a coarse impression.
Quality: 14/20 Value: 14/20

DOW’S QUINTA DO BOMFIM VINTAGE PORT 2001   –   20%   (Asda / Tesco etc – £28)
Quite recessed nose, herby (maybe even minty) compost notes and later opening to show some fruit and wood. Palate has similar elements to the previous wine, but better integrated – warmth and tannin and sweet fruit working together. (NB Asda now has the 2004 for £21!)
Quality: 15/20 Value: 14/20

GOULD CAMPBELL PORT, VINTAGE 1985   –    20%   (Tanners – £50)
Sweeter first nose to the previous wine opening to give leather and blackberry. Warmth, great acidity and structure and a bitter chocolate twist leading to mature fruit. Very digestif, long and satisfying. A step up from the previous wine
Quality: 16.5/20   Value: 14/20

A very interesting tasting, the Rosé is best forgotten, the white surprisingly good – the Tawny as wonderful as usual. But the real interesting comparison was the final three vintage-ish Ports. They had most of the same elements: fruit, tannins, woody earthy notes, acidity, alcohol and sweetness but the differences marked by increasing integration, complexity and smoothness – more or less rewarding £ for £….

Until next time….