A Memorable Vintage Port

A Memorable Vintage Port

This rare find is truly nectar of the Gods!

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When is Halloween a bit of a chore? When you live on West Club Boulevard and 1,200 kids show up at your door! But we had a plan: a big pot of chili, fresh French bread and a bottle of Vintage Port. This year I pulled out a rare beauty, a 1970 Grahams Vintage Port. In great years, such as 1970, Vintage Port laughs at the years and just gets better and better. I realize a bottle of this may be hard to find in your local shop, but more recent vintages are readily available. And younger Vintage Port gets its kudos, too. It’s sappier, fleshier and irresistible on a cold winter’s night. A splurge? You bet. But as L’Oréal says, “You’re worth it!”
1970 Grahams Vintage Port $250*
Golden amber in color with a glorious, almost transparent, lightening rim. If looks could kill, this would do it! Amazing intensity on the nose – even from 10 feet away. Refined berry essence, on a fresh, energetic bouquet. Unlike any other Port regarding intensity, grace and ethereal qualities. Not overly sweet at all, it’s wistful and persistent with caramel, roasted nuts and a long berry compote aftertaste. Neither heavy nor cloying – it just goes on and on. Magic.
97/100 points
*Based on small online availability. A newer vintage, (the superb 2011) goes for about $80.
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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.