Great Vintage Port was made in 2007. I love the combination of power and finesse in these young blackstrap fortified wines. What strikes me after tasting more than 50 barrel samples, in two separate blind tastings at the Factory House in Oporto, Portugal, is how polished the tannins are in these baby Vintage Ports. I can’t remember tasting such fine yet dense and rich tannins in a young Vintage Port. And I have being reviewing young Ports since the 1980 vintage.
Tasting young Vintage Port is not the easiest of tasks. In fact, I think it is the hardest tasting in the wine business. It’s not just finding the biggest, baddest wine out there. You can easily mess up and get fooled by the rich, sweet fruit of young Port. You have to look for what Port shippers call "grip." It’s the tannin density, quality and finish that define a great Port. Check out my video.
Sure, black or purple color is very important. And clean and beautiful fruit is a must in a young Vintage Port. But without that intensity of tannins, a young Vintage Port is not going to age for decades ahead. I think Vintage Ports really only come into their own after about 20, 30 or 40 years of bottle age. The 1970s, 1966s and 1963s are just now right to drink.
My top VPs in my 2007 tasting will certainly age incredibly well. I was spellbound by their power and reserve, and although they are very balanced and beautiful, it would be a waste to drink them with only 10 or 15 years of bottle age. Check out the tasting report I posted, with scores and full tasting notes for all the wines, plus a score and analysis of the vintage overall.
The 2007 vintage is one of the modern greats. I think the 1977 vintage makes an interesting comparison. The top 1977 Vintage Ports are still very youthful and reserved in style. They are not big, fat, juicy Ports—they never have been—but they impress you with their length, freshness and power. They are very subtle and refined and I think the 2007s are the same. The 2007s also remind me of the 1955s, a vintage that was always balanced and refined. But I wasn’t alive when they were tasted from barrel.
Still, even with such great quality, the question now is whether anyone is going to buy 2007 Vintage Port in this economy. The key markets are the United States and the United Kingdom, and prices are expected to be comparable to 2003 Vintage Ports currently on the market. After reading my full report, what do you think?