September 23, 2021 - Sjaak's 40th birthday dinner (Groot-Ammers, Netherlands): A very good showing tonight, more youthful than my previous bottle. Vibrant and fresh, bright cherry fruit and spices, mild tannins.
April 20, 2021 - Out of 375. I didn't take any notes, but this was the best bottle so far.
April 4, 2021 - Pristine bottle, purchased at auction in 2003. Last tasted in November 2019, when I opined that it should be followed closely, because the tannic structure was melting away fast. Some 18 months later, there is no abrupt development to report, but this bottle does remind us that 1994 Vintage Port was by and large produced with an emerging US market and its preferences in mind. A quarter of a century later, there are clearly recognisable upsides to that approach. The cherry fruit is succulent and pure, there is lovely balancing acidity, and the wine feels youthfully fresh with lots of spicy, minerally energy. It's completely ready, with only a hint of nuttiness, and just a tad simple. Very nice, but for a traditionalist like me, this is not when the case should be finished, this is when the game begins! Over the next 20-30 years, the tertiary development will take place which will elevate a fine Vintage Port to true greatness. To that heavenly state where the great wines from 1963, 1966 and 1970 are today. Will this wine get there? I am not sure, for a very simple reason. The fruit needs protection from oxidation to go through this very gradual process, and we are faced with a fundamental lack of tannins here. Acidity and alcohol are helpful to protect the wine (the wine is sweet for Dow but not very sweet), but essentially we need firm tannins to oxidise before the fruit does. And they're just not there. I will be old and grey in 30 years' time, but I fear that this may wither before I do. I do hope that I will be around to prove myself wrong though. "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying, And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying." (Robert Herrick, 1591-1674).
March 23, 2021 - Short but clean cork. Plenty of depth to the colour. Nose evolves with plum, prune, orange peel and icing sugar. Concentrated. Sweet for Dow. Maybe just a little soft and short on the finish but still a monumental wine.
February 28, 2021 - Complex nose, Dark berries, caramel, nuts. Palate is showing it age in a good way, some caramel again, semi grippy tannin, nice fruit, sherry hints, long finish. Very enjoyable
February 22, 2021 - Wow, this young wine is a thing of beauty! It is loaded with dark red fruit, red plum, fat cherries, and plenty of Port spice like peppered spice cake. As Port goes, this one was quite fluid, light bodied for what it is, with a full and rich mouth, and a lovely swallow. Bought this for 66 bucks on release.
January 28, 2021 - 1994 was called the best vintage since 1927 with a textbook weather pattern and bottles that should not to be opened for 25-30 years. We're now in the heart of that drinking window.
Deep ruby with minimal bricking at the rim.
Nose is austere and slightly oxidized with strawberry, cherry, oak and wood notes.
This port is still tannic with a big body and lots of structure. Viscous, dense and beautifully integrated alcohol.
Rich flavours of strawberry and candied plum.
November 3, 2020 - Drank over several nights. Still powerful with excellent fruit. Seems to be entering it's prime drinking interval.
October 26, 2020 - It's good. But again for a declared year, and a fine year at that, it's underwhelming. Very very slight bricking, a bit oversweet and lacking that clarity that accompanies the finest vintage ports IMHO. Not a lot of nose, but what there was was cassis-ish. Initial taste was rich with cherries.
October 10, 2020 - Une poigne d’acier à l’ouverture, il a un grand besoin de carafe (sans surprise). Profond, droit, l’alcool ressort. On croque le fer!
Le lendemain, plus civilisé, encore puissant, on apprécie davantage la longueur et la profondeur. Reste quand même un brin alcooleux. Revoir idéalement dans 5 ou 10 ans, sinon carafer longuement.