Cherry, lots of cherry coming off the nose. There is a jammy element coming out with some warm honey as well. The palate is quite thick with some big tannin, moderate alcohol and then a lot of spice coming off. Nice and juicy, well made, but I think a tiny bit clumsy on the midpalate before it cleans itself up and finished off well. 87pts (February 2017)
Strawberry red core with a brick colour around the rim, and the wine has an orange marmalade aroma up front, polished wood with some cinnamon pastry. The palate has more dried fruit up front, then a lovely brandy flavour coming out. Very soft, with little prickles of alcohol coming through, it is a super wine that offers great value for money. 90pts (February 2017)
A cherry red coloured tawny port, with some slight orange hints on the rim. The nose has a cranberry, cherry menthol aroma with some slight spice hints. The palate is nicely balanced, with dried berries, dried leaves and the brandy note coming out quite a bit. Very little alcohol burn though. A really nice port. 89pts (February 2017)
A lemon and salty aroma, hints of honey and apricot coming off the nose with some sweet anise aromas. The palate is lovely, honey, then some lemon and melon flavours. The alcohol is very gentle and it is very well balanced. 90pts (February 2017)
Fresh berries on the nose, blueberries, cranberries and some underripe blackberries. There is a lovely seductive silky aroma too, leading onto more blueberry. The palate has an upfront sweetness, such a soft approachable palate and then the spirit creeps in, and it actually has a brandy like flavour. More of those lovely berries and then some aromatic spice before a gentle, bitter chocolate and tobacco flavour on the palate. Lovely lovely stuff. 90pts (Feb 2017)
It has all gone terribly wrong! Much like the United States under President Trump, day five of this tasting was a series of smoke and mirrors. When the wine showed nice fruit, behind the mask was aggressive alcohol. There was a cloud of lovely aromatic spice and then a downpour of hard tannin.
So what do I conclude? Well the purpose of this was to determine if you could get a bottle of affordable, aged vintage port to last a week, and with the 1985 Gould Campbell I would say the answer if no. The experiment to see how long this port would take to fall apart was fun, and at three days, it lasted longer than an ‘alternative fact free Trump White House’ did, by a good forty eight hours!
So after four days, the wine has started to fall apart. The nose is still nice, spiced fruit and so on, but the palate has really become disjointed. There is a harsh bitter element coming through and the wine is not as tasty as it was. However, put it with some blue cheese (as I did in a wonderfully clichéd way) and it was much better with the strong mouldy flavours masking it a bit. 86pts
Spicy aromas coming out today, almost as if someone has got cherry pie filling and laced it with Szechuan pepper. The palate has really lost a lot of the prominent alcohol, the fruit is bright, then with some liquorice and that oriental spice again. A freshness throughout and good balance with a very savoury cigar smoke finish. 90pts
So the floral aroma is still there, almost violets coming out of the glass, but there is then a backbone of earth, blackberry jam and mint. The palate is much more balanced, the earth and alcohol are still there but much softer. It is getting a bit more balanced and, I think, tomorrow will be when it is at its best. 88pts
So the idea behind this is to see how a bottle of vintage port evolves over five days. I’ll be tasting the wine every day and figuring out when the ‘sweet spot’ is. This might seem like it is just me being an pedantic idiot, but it actually has some relevance. The reason so many people don’t buy better bottles is because they don’t want the wine to go off before they finish it. By conducting this experiment, we’ll see what a decent bottle of port can do, and then if it is nice after a week, there is no excuse not to drink nicer wine. So the rules;
- Only I will drink the wine – no sharing.
- I opened the wine, decanted it and left it in a decanter for 90 minutes before the first tasting.
- I then put the wine back into the bottle and stoppered it with a cork stopper from an old bottle of tawny port.
- I’ll try the wine every night and write a tasting note based on what I find.
- The port I chose was a 1985 Gould Campbell Vintage Port
So, on day 1…
Ruby at the core of the wine, and then getting a tinge of brick around the edges. The nose has warm plum, cinnamon and fruitcake with a floral perfume aroma too. The palate is round, soft at first but then alcohol comes in as does cigar tobacco. There is an earthy element too that has a sweet fruit flavour calming it, and the alcohol, down by the end. A savoury finish. 87pts