Sunday, January 10, 2010

1978 Colheita Port

1978 Hutcheson Colheita

1978 Hutcheson Colheita Port, Douro

The second wine for dinner, after our 1999 Château Gazin. Epic wines, all around. When I bought it, I knew it was going to be special. An old wine is always a fantastic experience, and I simply adore Colheita Ports.

Hutcheson & Co. was founded in 1881 by two Englishmen, Thomas Page Hutcheson and Alexander Davidson Taylor. In 1996, another old company, Feuerheerd Bros. (est 1815) was merged with Hutcheson. Colheita Ports, of course, are a vintage tawny port. These vintage-dated wines have to spend a minimum of 7 years in oak casks, but often see much more cask age. This example was in oak for 30 years - bottled in 2008. The beauty about these wines is that there's no need to decant, and they're extremely sturdy. It's in an oxidative state all its life, and lasts forever. You can pour a few glasses, and put it in the fridge for weeks with no ill-effects.

The wine still looks youthful. Full saturation, a beautiful orange, amber colour. The defining feature of these wines is the bouquet. An incredibly intense caramel, nutty aroma, with dried fruits, but maintaining a freshness, as much of a contradiction as that sounds. Almost like a wafer, in fact. Very, very complex, with a creaminess and richness Fruit still hovers.

The mouth is exceptional. The flavours in the nose follows, but the texture is incredible. Very elegant, almost silky, but on the finish, there's almost a wafer-like crispiness. Crispy. Freshness follows, with the brandy protruding a bit, on a long, lingering finish. Delicious.

I love these wines. I still have about 2/3 of the bottle left, and will keep posting as I taste the remainder. A look back at another absolutely stunning bottle of Colheita Port: 1980 Kopke Colheita Port.

DF

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