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Linden's unknown Ports 19/11/2006 (TNB)

It was very generous and open-minded of Linden Wilkie to to travel up to Edinburgh with a collection of unidentified ports, the tasting of which formed a preamble to a Sunday lunch for 11 Port detectives.

I suppose one should be suspicious of a lot of five bottles offered at auction with recent stick-on paper labels indicating dates in the 1850's when all but one of the bottles looks far more recent. And one of those labels rather implausibly claimed that the contents was two(!) bottles of Lafite.

As it turned out, one bottle was genuinely old and unfortunately showing it. Several others were identified from the corks on opening - one was Grahams 1955 and even this was not quite what it should be and some wondered whether these bottles were fraudulent on several levels. On the whole though I decided this was a fine wine that had probably just not been stored so well.

All a bit upsetting, but we struck gold with the final unidentified Port, this time from a different lot. The cork identified it as Taylors 1912 and it was absolutely splendid: complex, fresh, alive, and it even developed well in the glass. It's one of the famous Ports of the century, and if I didn't quite rate it as completely extraordinary it was a lovely 5-star bottle. And it clearly showed up the previous bottles as being not quite right.

After all that intellectual endeavour of reading partial bits of print from crumby corks we settled down and had a long, leisurely lunch.


Dinner added to Fine Wine Diary 19/11/2006   Return to top