March 25, 2009

Tasting the 70's Vintage Port decade at the Factory House

I've just been to a"70's decade" Vintage Port tasting at the Factory House.The 1970's are well balanced elegant Ports in their prime, the 1975's will always be light but they are fine quality Ports gaining in stature with age, the 1977's are young at heart with good tannic freshness but lack a little ripe concentration in the middle!

March 23, 2009

bragging about the 2007

I was invited to lunch at the Merchant Taylors last week and the Master very kindly served a 1977 vintage port from one of my fellow port shippers. It tasted delicious although I can't help feeling that the Churchill's 2007 we are about to declare will be better!

March 10, 2009

I'm drinking now

I brought a bottle of our 1991 vintage port up from the cellar. Although it will still benefit from considerable more aging it is drinking really well at the moment. It has great balance and plenty of fresh natural acidity which will make it age gracefully.

Our 2007 Vintage is previewed in London

I've spent the day with Stokes, our UK agents with their clients and press at a tasting of their range in the Groucho club in London's Soho. We had a private room where I held a master class comparing a vertical range of Churchill's Vintage Ports with Quinta da Gricha Single Quinta Vintage Ports in order to introduce our new 2007 vintages.

I thought the 2007's showed maginficently. It really is a fabulous year with plenty of ripeness but also excellent natural acidity and tannins. Gricha's hightone fresh berry character and purity of fruit is outstandingly elegant but the broad shouldered complexity of the Churchill blend with its fine "green tea" aroma, meaty structure and lingering tannins makes it a classic vintage to put away in the cellar for many years.

Although not yet declared, it is highly likely that we, port shippers, shall all be declaring the 2007 as a vintage year this spring. Climatic conditions were perfect: the build-up of heat during the summer with a little rain at the end before the harvest allowing the sun to ripen the grapes beautifully. I predict a classic vintage as good as our 1985 and 1994.