Vintage Port – what’s drinking well


Photograph by Joakim Blockstrom

Photograph by Joakim Blockstrom

Fortunate enough to have laid down some decent Port? Tom Cave, our Cellar Plan manager, goes into his archives to find those bottles which are showing at their best right now.

Anyone lucky enough to own Vintage Port from the decade preceding 1970 will likely have consumed their 1960s and be well into their 1966s with the stronger 1963s continuing to hold well. In fact, 1970 itself is the finale of this golden decade for Vintage Port and they are showing beautifully and in most cases, there is still no hurry to enjoy them.

For me, 1977 has yet to overwhelm but patience could well be rewarded; 1980, especially for the Symington stable, has proved better than expected and the wines are more than charming. I am finding that 1983 and 1985 roll along with mostly good wines, the 1983s probably the vintage to drink sooner but no great hurry with either.

More recently, 1991/1992 remains closed, while 1994 is shaping up better perhaps than 1997, and those more recently declared vintages have years ahead of them. One of Vintage Port’s charming traits is that some years really can surprise. It is invariably worth the wait.