Vintage Port


More en primeur, this time from 2007, yet another ‘vintage of the century’. These two half bottles were purchased in 2009 from the WS for £179 in bond. There were twelve half bottles – two each of the above and two of Graham plus three each of Warre and Dow.  Delivered in 2010 and have sat in the case ever since. No individual prices but I suspect these were the cheapest in the case. [Edit: I’ve now found the WS offer document. These two were indeed the cheapest at around £135 for 6 (full bottles, in bond). Can’t trace the half bottle price but it would be around £15-16. The current price of a full bottle is around double that, so no saving by buying early.]

I don’t drink much port, sometimes a tawny at Christmas and I can only recall a very few vintage port occasions over the last twenty years. However the first en primeur I ever bought was a Warre 1977, the original ‘votc’ in the last 40 years (see above). Around £60 for a case of 12 bottles. The last was drunk a few years ago but I was never convinced by the quality – good but not great is all.

The WS drinking window for this case is a ludicrous 2024-29, with the annoying caveat that you should refer to individual wines for more specific information. This you cannot do as they are no longer listed. So I had a look on Cellartracker and it seemed that the above two were there or thereabouts. [Edit: WS offer document gives 2019-2029 for the GC, 2020-2040 for the SW, which is the opposite of what we felt]. Drunk with some experienced port drinkers and greatly enjoyed. Lots of fruit in both, not spirity, nor complex with the Gould Campbell having more weight. Hard to see they are going to improve much.

(Geoff. Tasted both wines blind on Sunday. One distinctly minty, very attractive and ‘together’, the other all mixed up, needed more time to develop so drunk too young. Smith Woodhouse was the more ready of the two, with notable menthol-tinted richness whilst Gould-Campbell was still trying to find itself.)


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