Today I took a very rare break in the action to be able to participate in a wonderful few hours of drinking some fine Douro wines and a gorgeous Port.
A friend who is a broker of Douro wine, Port and many other types of table wine ... drove a long distance to have a wine luncheon here at my home. I treated him to some Broadbent Vinho Verde while we chewed the fat and caught up, and munched on some French bread with an outstanding Salmon Pate.
The pairing was not lost on me and the broker mentioned that although the effervescence would disappear, nonetheless, the wine would improve and show extraordinary fruit characteristics on the 3rd day. Although I have enjoyed many bottles of this wine over the years, none had ever survived without being completely empty. So, I saved one glass to see what he's talking about.
We discussed many a wine topic (consolidation of distributors nationwide, interstate shipping hassles, Gaia's metamorphosis and others) as it had been nearly a year since we've had the opportunity to get together.
He brought along a 2003 Quinta do Crasto, Maria Theresa vineyard bottling. What a great treat and I am happy to own a few of these myself. Stylish and in need of 5 years before this really integrates, including the oak ... but it will be fantastic at that point and even better beginning a decade from now. I spent the past two days pondering what red wine I would open to share and contrast vs. the MT. I seriously considered 2005 Crasto MT and also a 2004 Vinha da Ponte.
Then last night I had a brain storm, and realized that it would be great to open a 2003 Niepoort Redoma. Earlier I had thought about the 2003 Batuta, but that wine is still wrapped so tightly that even with a significant decant, it would not be as enjoyable during an afternoon tasting as the Redoma.
We first enjoyed one of my own lunch specialties, a Caprese Mezzaluna (half moon in Italian) and we ate quite a few of these. Then it was onto the wines. The '03 Q do Crasto MT decanted for an hour or so, although open for 5 was a harlot of a wine, think Angelina in a tight leather outfit ... showed well for the first hour and then morphed decidedly into an okay fruit monster that will certainly integrate with a longer decant or years in the cellar. The 2003 Niepoort Redoma was a well woven Persian tapestry, with intricate details and exacting balance. I couldn't wait for my wife to get home to share the last glass and a half with her. She said it was as good as any Douro wine she's ever tasted.
Onto the Port. Last night at 1:00 a.m. I decanted a bottle of 1991 Quinta do Vesuvio and at 10 a.m. poured it back into the bottle. We started to drink it at 1 p.m. this afternoon. It was a very fine bottle and exceptionally young. We only had a couple of glasses each as we both had other commitments to attend and none of the four bottles we opened, were finished. Dorene and I enjoyed a glass apiece after dinner and there are a couple of glasses left for Friday night to see how this has changed.
What a nice way to spend three hours on my last free weekday afternoon. Gearing up for the Fair, is quite the commitment of time and energy. More soon!