May 21, 2009

Let's clean up this tasting act!

I despair at the ineptitude and lack of professionalism of some of our influential wine journalists these days in tasting young Vintage Ports. Yes, assessing young Vintage Ports is not an easy job, but if you don't have the confidence in your tasting ability to do it blind then don't do it at all!

What service are you providing your unfortunate subscribers by bringing all your prejudices to the tasting bench. What credibilty can you have if you reassess your marks after seeing the name on the bottle!

Sour grapes I hear you say. Yes, I am upset by the way my wine has been rated. I am extremely proud of the Churchill 2007. It is probably the best Vintage Port we have ever produced and that includes our trophy winning 1985.

Ignorance is forgivable. Not everyone realises that a young Vintage Port blend should be as tight as a drum. It should be tannic, unyielding and not reveal very much, so beware of all those wines with the flowery adjectives.

But let's clean up this tasting act please!


  1. Congratulations. You have all the reason. To much people talk no sense about vintage port wine. Vintage Port Wine is Poetry, not to prose writers.

  2. Good to read that your heart is on your sleeve. Thank goodness for passion.

    Do I understand from your post that when a young vintage is being tasted and being evaluated on how it will taste in 10 to 15 years time then the taster is looking for a a blend that is as tight as a drum.

    ( What does tight as a drum mean - Can you give me some other words to help me understand)

    because tight as a drum is a clear indicator of great quality in the future.

    Young wines tasted now which are described with flowery adjectives will produce ordinary wine in 15 years time - is this correct?

    I would suggest that the industry now has the challenge of training up the tasters.... who were probably employed for their ability to use words rather than on the ability of their palates