I recently attended a tasting of Vintage Ports. See http://thewinepopulist.com/?p=219 for a discussion of the basics of fortified wines such as Port. Each of the seven producers had a vintage 2011, and six producers also had another vintage of their choice. It was interesting how similar the 2011’s were while how different the other wines were. Each of the 2011’s were big round tasting wines with definite raisin notes. Cockburn’s and Warre’s were the most distinctive of these wines. The wine from Cockburn’s had a defiantly spicy flavor. The Warre’s had more acidity and was to my taste a more balanced and elegant wine than the other 2011’s at the tasting.
The vintage Ports ranged from a young of 2007, provided by Smith and Woodhouse to the oldest being a 1980 from Grahm’s. I don’t know if it was due to the difference in vintages or that house styles show up more in time but these were a much more diverse group of wines then the 2011’s. One again the Warre’s was a bit more acidic and subtle and the Cockburn’s a bit more spicy. They both were more complex and interesting then the 2011’s. The oldest wine, a 1980 from Grahm’s was a beautiful wine that was complex and nuanced but still tasted very fresh and young. The Quinta do Vesuvio, 1994 was less impressive but still a very nice and fresh tasting wine. Dow’s 1985 was very rich and a bit overwhelming. It would go great however with strong blue cheese, which can be hard to match with a wine. The remaining producer, Quinta de Roriz was under new ownership and thus only provided the 2011 vintage.