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    Charlie Carnes

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Community Tasting Notes (262) Avg Score: 93.4 points

  • 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.

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  • Out of 375. I didn't take any notes, but this was the best bottle so far.

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  • 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).

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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View all 262 Community Tasting Notes

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  • By Steve Thurlow
    8/15/2020, (See more on WineAlign...)

    (Dow's Vintage Port, Doc Douro red) Login and sign up and see review text.


For The Love of Port

  • By Richard Jennings
    10/24/2009, (See more on 93 points

    (Dow Porto Vintage) Dark raspberry red color with pale meniscus; baked berry, baked plum, charcoal, herbal nose; rounded berry, berry pie, cherry palate, solid yet; long finish

Wine Library TV

  • By Gary Vaynerchuk
    Port and Roaring Forties Cheese, Episode #326, 10/3/2007, (See more on Wine Library TV...) 96 points

    (DOW'S PORT) #1; COLOR-really dark; NOSE-clearly the most youthful; coming through w/ a massive explosive Plum; a cellar dust chalkiness; an Ocean freshness; citrus aspect; hairspray component; TASTE-this has Magic in it; has the potential to be legendary; more youthful & needs more time, this can last for 50 years; this also drinks tremendously now -- it has the pedigree, balance & fruit to combat the alcohol level of Ports; Exceptional; however, this has the clear tannin levels, balance & guts to last for 50-100 years; RP-96; GV-96

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