Vintage Port tasting
By Christian Eedes, 13 November 2017
One of the curiosities of the list of 5-Star wines in Platter’s 2018 is that there is only one Port-style wine, namely the Delaire Graff Cape Vintage 2015 (two if you count the Beaumont Starboard Dessert Wine NV which is a blend of Tinta Barocca and Pinotage made according to the principles of Port production and featuring components from 2005 to 2011).
The Cape Port Producers Association recently facilitated a seminar to benchmark local versus Portuguese wines and one of the flights involved the Delaire Graff next to the 2015 Cape Vintage Reserves from perennial Port-style heavyweights Boplaas and De Krans plus Calitzdorp Cellar Cape Vintage 2016 (double gold at this year’s Veritas Awards) with Sandeman 2011 from the Douro as a significant yardstick.
Tasting notes and ratings as follows:
Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2015
60% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca, 8% Tinta Barocca, 2% Souzao. Black berries, flowers and herbs and spice on the nose. Super-dense fruit, fresh acidity and sleek tannins. Sweet, rich and full, it’s a little imposing now but it’s undoubtedly built for the long haul.
Editor’s rating: 92/100
De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2015
73% Touriga Nacional, 25% Tinta Roriz, 2% Tinta Barocca. A touch of reduction before red and black fruit plus some spice on the nose. Dense and smooth textured before a savoury finish, it comes across as particularly forceful – will need a good long while to come around.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
Delaire Graff Cape Vintage 2015
Price: Set to be released on 1 December at R400 a bottle.
73% Tinta Barocca, 27% Touriga Nacional. Lifted and alluring aromas of black fruit, flowers and earth. Pure and fresh with fine tannins and a salty finish. Relatively medium bodied and particularly elegant.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
Sandeman Vintage Porto 2011
40% Tinta Franca, 40% Touriga Nacional, 10% Tinta Roriz, 5% Tinta Cao, 5% Souzao. Extraordinarily deep and bright in colour. The nose shows black and blue fruit, liquorice, sea breeze and spice. The palate is incredibly dense with fresh acidity and fine tannins, the finish long and savoury. Seamlessly assembled, there’s considerable forcefulness behind its refined exterior.
Editor’s rating: 95/100.
Calitzdorp Cellar Vintage Port 2016
50% Tinta Barocca, 50% Touriga Nacional. Black fruit, violets and spice on the nose. Lovely fruit purity and freshness, the tannins particularly fine while the finish is long and dry. Doesn’t necessarily have the weight and power of a typical vintage Port but extremely elegant and well balanced. Another point of debate: Should a Vintage Port even be on the market so early?
Editor’s rating: 94/100.
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