What to drink in 2015: Port
Author: Tom Cave
The 1970 wines and the superb pair of vintages 1963 and 1966 are all now at their pinnacle. While many are still developing and urging no haste, this trio of vintages is recognised as very fine and a delight to enjoy now. The wines from 1975 have faded but some show a glimmer of life; a disappointing vintage perhaps, but managing to pass away with a certain dignity. The 1977s are generally considered ready; we’ve waited long enough after all. Possibly – in some cases – they are underwhelming, but on the whole provide enjoyable drinking and it is certainly a vintage to be getting on with.
The 1980 vintage has proved something of a surprise and many of the wines have turned out better than expected, making very fine, current drinking – they might not make old bones so better to press on with them now. Wines from 1983 and 1985 are both drinking now – some highs and not many lows among them, the median being wholesome, satisfying wines that will remain enjoyable for a good few years yet.
A split declaration in 1991 and 1992 divided houses and the shorter money is with the latter, which was perhaps in hindsight the more favourable vintage to declare. No hurry with either, but if your curiosity wins you over, don’t hesitate to open one to try. The 1994s have done their first score of years and bode well: nicely balanced, well weighted, they ooze promise and on the whole will prove a mighty success. Again, give a bottle a go but bear in mind they have a great deal more to offer. The 1997 vintage lurks a little shyly, so best to leave for later assessment.
All strong years, 2000, 2003 and 2007 are best left to slumber quietly and let them work their magic. The 2011s continue to enjoy plaudits and anyone with any should feel ever so slightly smug as there are practically none left on the market today.
It needs repeating – Vintage Port is a terrific wine, and wonderful value. A bottle opened and decanted will last over at least a weekend and offer multiple chances to drink and enjoy. Go forth and drink more Port…