8am on the Tuesday after a bank holiday…..must be time to taste some Port. Well it was today. Paul Symington (Owners and producers of the Ports below) and Christo Eliot-Lockhart from Fells (Importers) came to the offices to present the 2007’s. The vintage is a small one but a good one “Not the greatest vintage ever…it’s irritating when people start saying that. It does remind me of the 1955’s which were very much under-rated. Good to very good all in all.” PS.

As a growing season – June saw some mildew which had to be treated, August was mild but very dry (the driest since ‘85), September was superb and pretty much everything was in by the time the rains came on 2nd October. Everyone is “releasing”. Noval (not a Symington) are to deciding on whether to release a Nacional. The vintage is small with some wines in very scarce supply…only 900 cases of Grahams for the UK etc. Tasting young vintage Ports is not as difficult as one might think and I actually really enjoy it.

Graham 17++; Ripe, ripe, ripe. So much fruit and beautiful complexity, amazing silky length and depth – smashing mid palate, classy!

Dow 18; A more savoury nose but so much there, dark fruits but a good dollop of black pepper too, moreish, just shades the Graham on interest and potential. My style of Port.

Warre 17+; Balance and amazing freshness, almost red fruits showing, the most feminine and elegant.

Smith Woodhouse
17; Often an “insiders” choice. Dark Chocolate and a touch of mint, rich and a little white pepper on the palate. Value!

Vesuvio 16; A slightly “high” nose to my palate (not a view shared by others). Drier than Graham though not obviously so.

Gould Campbell 17++; My other pick of the tasting to go with the Dow, gorgeous and balanced a bit of everything. Sadly very little made.

Quarles Harris 16; Only 500 cases in total produced so a largely academic exercise. A little pepper and good structure, a little “heat” showing, a shade simpler than some.

Some other interesting comments from PS included, drinking Port from proper wine glasses and if a bottle is left for a few days it is far better back in the bottle than left in a decanter. The when to drink question is always over used but PS commented that people really did need to work it out for themselves and try the wines to asses this most crucial of questions.

Right on with some work!