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[barge]Burmester Tawny Porto (Douro) – More oxidized than I’d like, showing little other than stale nuts and an acrid sharpness. (2/08)

Burmester “Jockey Club” Porto “Reserva” (Douro) – Brown sugar and maple syrup. OK. (2/08)

Burmester “10 Year” Tawny Porto (Douro) – Complex at the outset, sugary sweetness, with stale fruit but good length. Actually fairly tasty, though it seems older than its constituent parts. (2/08)

Burmester “20 Year” Tawny Porto (Douro) – Spiced brandy but pleasantly mild overall, with complex sugars and a long, creamy finish. (2/08)

Burmester 1985 Colheita Porto (Douro) – Cigar and old Armagnac, very spicy, with balanced sweetness but a touch of heat on the finish. Impressive length. (2/08)

Alexander Bell

Graham’s 1994 Porto (Douro) – Pure sweetness, mixed cherries. The finish is decent. It appears to be open, but it’s not showing much, so maybe it’s all an illusion. (2/08)

Ruby Dee

[cases]Burmester Ruby Porto (Douro) – Simple dark cherry syrup with dual burning sensations of acidity and alcohol. (2/08)

Burmester “Sotto Voce” Porto “Reserve” (Douro) – Spiced walnut and good, dark fruit. Nice. (2/08)

Burmester 2001 “Late Bottled Vintage” Porto (Douro) – Balanced and structured, full-fruited (black cherry, blueberry, boysenberry), with a long, spicy finish. Very nice. (2/08)

Burmester 2005 Porto (Douro) – Tannin and tarragon-dominated, with spiky acidity, stale nut skins, and an odd finish. Weird. (2/08)


Casa Ferreirinha 1991 Douro “Barca-Velha” (Portugal) – Elegant, perhaps overly so, with lightly sweet fruit in a faded box of antique clothing. The finish is lengthy, but there’s a hint of caramelization at the fringe, and the wine promises a bit more than it delivers. It’s owner, while praising the wine, insists that it’s performing below norm. (4/08)

Noé valley

Noé Pedro Ximénez “Muy Viejo” (Jerez) – Caramelized prune, raisin, and plum. Very fruity. Soft but full and lush. The exterior is painted with chocolate. (2/07)

Elliot & Patrick

Gould-Campbell 2003 Porto (Douro) – Spiced raspberry. Medium-sweet. Light tannin. Honestly, this wine is almost hollow; a shell of a vintage Port. (2/07)

Fonseca is stronger than you

[vineyard]Fonseca 1985 Porto (Douro) – Coffee, red and black fruit, cinnamon and nutmeg. Very sweet, with good intensity and a medium-weight aspect. Parts are smoothing into maturity, but some mitigation of the extreme sweetness would be welcome. In time, in time. (1/08)

On the QM

Quintas de Melgaço “QM” 2006 Vinho Verde Alvarinho (Monção) – Just stunning. Green and yellow citrus hisses and sizzles like a live wire, bristling with electricity and piercing, needled acidity. Light yet vividly intense. It’s not a genteel sipping wine – it needs food – but in its way, it’s very nearly perfect. (12/07)