Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port 1980
1980, my birth year. I’m not sure I should be admitting that, but I suppose it’s still within a reasonable distance from the present. 1980 was, it seems, a pretty good year for port, and while I was saving this for some occasion or another, my recent experience with heat damage prompted a ‘what the hell’ pop open of this very intriguing bottle.
The nose was a little toasty, but also had currant, raisins, and dried cherry. While at first I thought the alcohol on the wine was a bit forward and unbalanced, with a little air everything seemed to settle into place and this turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. For those who haven’t tasted older vintage port, with time the youthful vigour and intensity gives way to subtle layering, moderate tannin and great delineated expression of flavours that, when young, are often lost in the density of the wine.
With this Smith Woodhouse I tasted cherry, blueberry, chocolate, wood, fig, strawberry, burnt caramel, bergamot, and cigar. The level of complexity was impressive and the fact that such distinct flavours expressed themselves to a moderate palate such as my own was quite exciting. I was also shocked by the level of juicyness in the port, despite its leathery and dried fruit character. Even compared to other older vintage ports, this was a special bottle, and not really over the top in terms of pricing. Port fans owe themselves a sip.
$50 at BCLDB