Tuesday, March 13, 2007
1977 Dow's SIlver Jubilee Vintage Port
Here it is....the crown jewel of the wine rack, the one I’ve had sitting around for a year, a gift from the missus–and not one of those “look at this great bottle of Champagne I bought ‘us’”....no, a Port...a wine she hates, bought for me. This is the first triple digit bottle of wine ever reviewed here, and probably the last for some time.
Since Port lasts weeks, even months, after opening, I’ve decided to hold off this review and give you a full review from the first pour to the last.
First impressions - (The first hour)
Not much of a nose.
The palate is honestly a bit harsh–lots of alcohol....some raisin, some walnut, a bit of space, some slightly dried plum, borderline prune. Fran gets the distinct taste of black walnut.
A slight burn starts off the finish and it fades to a nutty, musty taste....strange in a way. The finish I first thought didn’t seem to last long, until I took a sip, swallowed it, and moved away from the glass...quite literally five minutes later I still was getting some funky tastes....impressive. I look forward to giving this some more time to aerate.
A bit longer - (The second and third hour)
I decided to do some serious swirling and this astounded me....I swirled this standing up with the glass at a waist level counter and after just a few seconds of swirling I could smell the wine.....that is to say, not with my nose in the glass, but with the glass on the counter and me standing....easily three feet away.
The nose begins to develop....a bit of must, but definitely more on the nuttier side....walnuts mainly.
The palate has already smoothed out a bit...a big burst of raisin and dried pineapple and fig immediately, some prune,
The finish has more of that strange must...it’s not necessarily bad, it’s just weird. *Long* lingering walnut.
The next day - (24 hours later)
Thankfully, the must has faded.
The palate brings rich brown sugar, caramel, and dried cherry.
The finish is long lasting and nutty.
Day 3 -
The nose certainly isn’t going anywhere...powerful raisin, prune, and tobacco.
The palate seems to have grown more complex...caramel, raisin, black walnut, prune, oak, tobacco, even just the faintest bit of blueberry...all at once and then separate. Strong and rich.
The must is gone...excellent news. The finish still lasts for a long time and brings out some nice nutty flavors.
Day 5 -
Skipped a day....the nose is straight up prune and maple syrup.
The palate has the brown sugar, caramel, walnut, prune, raisin, fig—dried fruit...maybe even some dried pineapple.
There’s an earthiness that’s coming through that I haven’t noticed before, but the finish is certainly nutty.
Day 8 -
Dirty socks on the nose - yeah, I don’t know, but it’s what I get.
Brown sugar, maple syrup, walnut, prunes, fig, and some striking tobacco.
The finish really brings out the dried cherry, walnut, pecan, and brown sugar.
Day 16 (or so) -
I’ve done some research and it seems the mild musty essence I’m getting may very well be a flaw with the bottle. If it is, it is mild enough to not be a deal breaker. I had Fran smell the glass and she said “it smells like a basement.”
Firm alcohol on the nose.
Rich strawberry, prune, walnut, and cola.
The finish is tobacco and dried fruit - raisin, prunes, etc.
And that, sadly, ends the bottle. If you have the money, I’d suggest drinking some Ruby’s and Tawny’s first so you can really appreciate the quality in a bottle like this. If that sounds like too much work, I’ll gladly take a donation.