Taking refuge in a port to avoid a storm is a safe thing to do. SWMBO and I aren’t too sure if that is good advice if the port is the liquid type! The get-together yielded two bottles of port, owned by Lazza, the same wine, kept in storage by Hazza for a few years, and he’d been waiting for the time to broach them. There were only 7 of us, one a young person and one not drinking much, so one bottle should have been enough. But we weren’t going anywhere, as we were in a safe haven, so Lazza opened one, which we drank, then the other, which we also drank. Hmmm….
The port was 1977 Graham’s Vintage Port. Two bottles of. A top vintage, but aren’t they all? And a top house, in the ‘sweeter’ style. First bottle, getting some tawny hues to the colour. Quite elegant in expression and proportion. A little bottle stink needed to blow off. Then lighter red fruit aromas and flavours with some nutty, tawny-like notes. Quite silky smooth, and superior spirit, with its finesse. The sweetness quite in check and in balance. Not bad, and got more delicious as the decanter emptied. Drinking well now, and seeming mature, with some more secondary development possible. Maybe a little more complexity too. We thought it a tad ‘not as great as it could be’. Second bottle a darker, deeper and fuller colour. More volume and density on the nose, and palate. The fruitiness still prominent, and only beginning to show secondary nuttiness. Soft textures and extraction, and wonderfully integrated tannins, spirit and acid to the fruit. A more complete wine with freshness, fruit and youth on its side. This would mature with much more interest and layers, had we not broached it. It felt it could have been more of the classic we all expected. It would have aged another couple of decades nicely, as does good VP does.
As they say, there are only great bottles. Bottle variation becomes more of an issue with bottle age. As noted above, two bottles stored in the same place for the same time. From the same box, purchased at the same time. Interestingly, cork No. 1 came out in pieces. Cork No. 2 fell into the bottle with a lightish push. Go figure?