Team meetings are a regular occurrence for us at The Savory Grape Wine Shop. Our get togethers entail trying new wines, revisiting favorites and tasting old wines. Sometimes we're pleasantly surprised, and at other times we're disappointed, having to pour out wine. At this meeting we had a treat - 1985 vintage port by Niepoort that I got during a visit to Portugal.
Vintage port is one of the finest wines, and one of my favorites because it shows different personalities. Vintage port, different than regular tawny or ruby or 10, 20 or 30-year old ports, is made only when an estate declares it a "best" vintage year, and is not made each year. The principal factor for declaring a vintage port year is the weather.
Vintage port is a blend of various grapes from the best plots of land in a given year. Its ruby in color, but as it ages becomes more orange-red. You can drink it upon release, but really it's meant to age for years in the bottle.
So what about the 1985? As expected, it was filled with sediment and had a sherryesque smell. After filtering it, the beauty had only a hint of orange left, but the taste was there. It had nutty notes and was light, not powerful like it would be young. This was a treat that we enjoyed with cheese from Barcelona and macaroons. We're excited, because some of the newest vintage ports, the 2011s, are arriving In Store TODAY! See you soon!