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It seems that the 2011 vintage was a declared year for Port. I attended a tasting of newly declared 2011’s held at the Benjamin Hotel located at 125 East 50 Street.

Drinking newly released vintage Port is not the easiest thing to do, at this stage the wines aren’t polished and are usually thick and sweet. Fortunately the Port houses that were present brought along older vintages for us to try as well.

If I had to drink a 2011 tonight it would be the Taylor Fladgate “Vargellas Vinha Velha”. These guys have been making Port since 1692. This one is from their top estate and from the oldest vines on the property. It was dark purple with a purple robe with a nose of dried rosemary, very concentrated and tight with a good grip on the long finish.

Some of the others from 2011 I sample were from Croft, Fonseca, Qunita Da Romaneira and Quinto Do Noval. The Quinto do Noval 2011 “Nacional” got rave reviews from the big wine writers and at about $500 a bottle I had some high expectations. Wasn’t blown away. It was black in color, , light on the initial attack but filled out to a long finish. After sampling the 2011’s I went off to the older vintages, some that I liked:

2009

Croft,  Black in color with a nose of mint and dried plums, concentrated and tight, silky with some grapiness on the finish.

2008

 Quinta do Noval, black with a purple robe, a nose of dried herbs and black licorice, chewy and silky.

2007

Croft, black with a purple robe, nose of cherry candy, sweet with a nice grip with some heat peeking through at the end.

Quinta do Noval,  black with a purple robe, nose of smoky crushed black berries, a mouthful of crushed berry fruit on the finish, nicely balanced with good grip.

2004

Taylor Fladgate “Vargellas Vinha Velha”, dark black with a nose of white flowers and mint, thick and juicy.

Quinta do Noval, black with a purple rim, with a nose of dried herbs, starts closed but opens up with a nice balance and grip.

2003

Taylor Fladgate, black with a nose of white flowers, silky with a nice grip.

Quinta do Noval, black  with an amber robe, and nose of dried herbs, lavender on the long finish with good balance. Tasty.

Quinta do Noval “Nacional”, black with a nose of dark chocolate and dried herbs, thick and chewy with black licorice on the finish.

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