1960s is a legendary decade for Portwine

A Flight of the Sixties is something you should not miss. This is the highlight of the Port Wine Day 2017 and this master class will take us through a very interesting decade. The tasting was conducted by Bento Amaral and a few of the producers. Thank you IVDP for the invitation to this Portwine event.

1960s Portwine
The conclusion after this tasting must be that, based on these wines, this is a legendary decade for Portwine. Only one of the 18 wines tasted was given less than 90 points. That is for me pretty outstanding.
Funny place to set up a tasting. The hotel Six Senses apparently have an idea of spraying perfume in the rooms, also where we were tasting. So, if all wines have an extra floral note, that is why. The setting on all other points was completely flawless. Imagine all 30+ tasters with 18 glasses and not one glass was faulty. All wines had been decanted the day ahead and tested by Bento Amaral, head of the tasting comity at the Port Wine Institute – IVDP. The wines were served slightly chilled, which I found perfect.

Sandeman Andresen Noval

1968 Sandeman Vintage Port – nose with sweet raisins, caramel and old orange. Nice and open, ready to please your palate. Sweet on the palate with dried figs, raisins and good mature plums. Still good aromas of red fruit, long and soft on the palate. Well balanced but lacking a little freshness. 89 points

1968 Andresen Colheita, bottled 2017 – nuts and roasted almonds on the nose. We feel this little note of VA, which is ok to balance the nuts and black cherries. Long and very precise expression on the palate. Fresh orange peel and a higher level of acidity. 93 points

1968 Noval Colheita, bottled 2017 – dark brown in the glass. Broad and more complex on the nose, notes of black plum, chocolate and tobacco. Good medium body with a fresh acidity. The nuts just come rolling in with the salty freshness. Intens and powerfull with a huge personality. A very good wine! 95 points

Fonseca Dalva Taylors

1967 Fonseca, Guimarens Vintage – deeper and much more restrained on the nose. Young notes of red fruit. Brown notes of chocolate and sweet orange. Very nice maturity on the palate with figs and still some structural elements to give a lot of backbone to this wine. Tannins and acidity are balanced up again the intensity in the fruit. Not big shoulders, but well balanced with a good potential. 94+ point

1967 Dalva Colheita, bottled 2016 – light color, notes coming out of the glass led by lemon peel and good freshness. Red cherries. Very slim on the palate, but growing. Good intensity and then comes the notes of the almonds and raisins. 94 point

1966 Taylor’s Vintage Port – deep color. Power and tight in the nose with elegant notes of fruit and oak. Powerfull at the beginning, but the it softens out and turns out very elegant. Pretty impressive wine, where the different fruitelements kept on working and developing new aromas. The sweet fruit was fine and the complexity from the tertiary aromas gave good edge and freshness. Good length based on the fruit and fignotes. 95 points

Messias Kopke Burmester

1966 Messias Colheita, bottled 2017 – very orange on the nose with high acidity and small roasted nuts. High acidity but like golden juice. We have fresh applejuice and a fresh character. Smooth and lingering finish with good freshness. Somehow this ended with a boring finish and was lacking something to give you the need for the next sip. 90 points

1965 Kopke Colheita, – clear brown amber in the glass. Dark and stormy on the nose with caramel and sweet fig-juice. Immense and very convincing on the first impression on the palate. Fruit stands strong and there is a good structure with tannin and acidity. Gets fresh with lemon fruit on the finish. 94 points

1964 Burmester LBV – first classic notes of glass with medicinal notes and a bit metallic freshness. Good balance and sweetness on the palate. Works very well with most elements working together in balance. A bit clumsy on the fruit but the oak tannin keeps it standing. The wine still has potential to develop. 91 points

Niepoort Pocas Grahams

1964 Niepoort Garrafeira, 6 years in the oak, before demi-john – glassnotes and then a lot of fresh fruit. Dancing in the nose with all those red fruit notes. Very balanced on the palate with the fruit kept in perfect balance with the acidity. So long and clean on the finish. This is elegance in the most profound way. 96 points. This wine was really standing out with much more complexity and life that the other good bottles.

1964 Pocas Colheita – high tones of VA and fresh lemon juice. Very oxidative with leather and sweet tobacco. A slight bitterness from old orange and peach. The alcohol seems a little out of balance for me. 89 points

1963 Graham’s Vintage – dark in the glass, brown amber rim, but intense color in the core. Really complex on the nose, where all the different fruit elements comes storming out. On the palate, this is power in a velvet glove. Delicate style with so much mature fruit, intense tannin and still high acidity. This is still very young, even though you find the classic tertiary aromas of cigarbox, mushrooms and leather. The fruit is really working and not fading anywhere. This is a classic. 96+ point

Dalva Niepoort Krohn

1963 Dalva Golden White Colheita – golden in the glass with an amber tone, this has almost changed so it looks like a red colheita. Nose tells you about a white wine with apricot and fresh lemon. So balanced on the palate, a lot of oaky aromas. Very long finish, that shows the greatness of this wine. Clean and very focused in style. 94 points

1962 Niepoort Colheita, bottled 1997 – nose of orange and roasted nuts again. Medicin and some fresh lemon. Very focused on the nose. Smooth and elegant style where the freshness tells you this is very young, but then the complex tertiary aromas tells the rest of the story. Very good. 95 points

1961 Calem Colheita – hightoned and alive. Delicate notes of raisins and fresh fruit. So soft, so smooth and so fine. This is balance out of the bottle. Brings the smile to the face, seems somehow uncomplicated and just a pleasure to drink. The fruit is here, but balanced with fine oaky notes and sweet milk-chocolate. 94 points

Krohns Warres Ramos Pinto


1961 Krohn Vintage – broad and complex on the nose. Here is figs and stewed fruit. Soft and pretty impressive balance where the mature fruit lingers on the palate. Medium+ body but balanced by the acidity. The tannin is present but very soft. A grip at the end of finish. 92 points

1960 Warre Vintage – dark brown with sweet plums on the nose. Soft and with broad shoulders. Good balance and a nice depth of black fruit. Dried fruits playing a role and then licorice and tobacco. 92 points

As a bonus we had this wine, that was just popped and poured directly. This really showed why it’s important to open and decant the day ahead. This beautiful old white lady never really opened up. It was like the aroma wouldn’t jump from the glass.

1964 Ramos Pinto White Colheita – surprise color, almost with a green hue to it. A complex and fresh aroma. Soft on the palate with mostly green fresh fruit and then the tertiary aromas picked up from the bottle age. Fantastic. 93 points

All in all, a very comprehensive tasting of Portwine that showed a remarkably high level for this decade. Not one of these wines disappointed us. I was a little surprised by my relative high ratings during the tasting, but when I talked to the other tasters this was the general consensus.

I was invited to participate in The Port Wine Day by the IVDP.

View from Six Senses Hotel