Made For Age yet Drinkable Now - 2007 Vintage Port
The first of the 2007 Vintage Ports have hit Binny's shelves.
This is big news for wine lovers. As some of the most complex, elegant and ageable wine in the world, Port always gets my attention. 2007 is the first generally declared Port vintage since the knockout 2003 vintage, and in my experience, the 2007s might be even better than the 2003s.
A few weeks ago, some lucky Binny's folks were able to taste a couple of the more famous 2007 Vintage Ports from the Symmington Family Estates. I've sat in on Port tastings before, but never one like this. The tastings I've sat in on in the past have always featured young and aged vintage Port trailing back for decades which is always amazing but I've never tasted two Ports this young side by side. Both were amazing, but it was the differences that really caught my attention.
The 2007 Dow's Vintage Port is a monster. It is massive on the nose: hard, like lead, but also deep, and shows plenty of that raspberry and plum fruit you'd expect in a young Port. It is huge on the palate. It's sturdy and sweet (of course) with heavy raisin and dried plum, and behind the monolithic fruit are complexities I usually associate with more aged ports, like honey and brown sugar. In my notes, I scribbled: Awesome. This wine will be drinking beautifully four or five decades or more, depending on your tastes.
Contrasting the Dow's is the 2007 Graham's Vintage Port. Expecting another behemoth, I was surprised to taste such a graceful (I hesitate to use the word delicate, it is a Port, after all) wine. Much less hard on the nose, and much more open, the Graham's features layers and layers of red fruits. Broad on the palate, with layers of jam, this port seems much more ready for drinking in its youth.
At one point,. the guy sitting next to me at the tasting whispered to me, asking if I had an extra glass. I thought he needed to borrow one, so I pulled an extra glass out of its box and slid it across the table. He poured in an ounce or two of the Dow's, pushed it back to me, and told me to let it breathe a while. About an hour later, the port was still incredibly rich and rigid, but had evolved further, showing even more broad fruit with that hint towards autumnal baking spices.
It was explained to us that the Graham's and Dow's are made in different styles, and that these differences are most prominent in the best vintages, when weather allows the grapes to hang on the vine longer and develop the characteristics unique to different vineyards. So there's that.
These days, Port can seem kind of pricey, around $70 per bottle. Remember, these are world-class wines made to age for decades that continue to evolve for just as long. Be sure to keep an eye open for chances to taste the Ports of this incredible vintage, and check out the 2007 Port available at Binny's here (I promise the list will grow as more and more bottles hit Binny's shelves).