It looks like key Vintage Port producers are going to declare 2007. I have already had a number of requests to taste barrel samples of their young Vintage Ports at the end of April. And I have calls into the top Port houses to send samples and for more information.
We will see who officially declares. I have already heard that Symington houses such as Graham, Dow, Warre, Quinta do Vesuvio and others are going to make 2007 official as well as Niepoort. Houses usually declare a vintage in April or May, about 18 months after the harvest and following approval of their wines by the Port Wine Institute. The young Ports are sold as futures.
But I am not sure who is going to buy the baby fortified wines under the current dismal economic conditions. Moreover, you can already buy mature bottles of Vintage Port for good prices, so why tie up your money in a young vintage?
For example, you can buy a bottle of 1977 Taylor Fladgate for between $150 and $200 a bottle at U.S. retail. Or 1985 Warre goes for about $70 to $80. Or how about 1991 Gould Campbell for $60? And you don’t have to wait on those VPs to drink.
Nonetheless, there’s something exciting about buying young Vintage Port to lay away for decades ahead. I remember buying a barrel’s worth of top Vintage Ports for my son for his birth in 1994. Unfortunately, it was all sold during my divorce, so he never got any! That’s another story. But the tradition of laying down Vintage Port is a solid one. And 2007 should be exciting.
I remember hearing just a few days after the harvest that 2007 was a beautiful vintage with vintage-quality grapes. And serious Port producers aren’t going to let a global economic meltdown stop them from declaring a vintage.
One of the biggest and best Vintage Port declarations ever was for 1927, which I assume was in 1929, the beginning of the Great Depression. I rated the 1927 vintage 100 points. The Vintage Ports from that year are still superb today. Some, such as the Fonseca, Taylor and Cockburn, are legends.