Gratitude. Today was about sharing. I have waited two weeks for the opportunity to get together with Stewart Todd and celebrate our success in launching the new FTLOP website.
Our schedules, travel and busy lives have kept us apart even though we live only 20 miles away. This afternoon Stewart came over with his son and daughter. His beautiful young girl Emma turned 7 years old yesterday and my daughter Taylor was so very happy to get to spoil Emma and play together for the rest of the day.
My wife and I cooked a casual dinner and we all enjoyed a nice bottle of Chardonnay that really hit the spot. With dinner we enjoyed a fine Douro red and all was well. We then had some birthday cupcakes and sang to Emma and the girls went off to watch a movie, while the boys did the same, (Braveheart; yet again) along with a decanter full of Port.
This was not just any Port. This was my “gratitude” bottle. I had two weeks to think this over and decide what one bottle I wanted to open for Stewart, to symbolize my appreciation for his efforts. I changed my mind a bunch of times, because what I wound up picking early this morning was a bottle I had not even considered prior to today. I knew it would show great and it just happened to be the oldest bottle of Port remaining in my cellar after last year’s crazy Colheita celebration which depleted lots of oldies.
Flashback six months and I had owned two bottles of this particular Port; the first one was opened in London last October. I had just obtained both of these bottles while in Portugal and hand carried them back. Only one made it to the USA. But in London, I shared the first bottle on two separate occasions and learned a very good lesson. This wine needed a lot of decanting, for the first night it showed decently but nothing like I knew it could and I scored it 83 points as lots of spirit was on the nose and I realized I had made a mistake in not opening this earlier than I had. I decided to bring the 2nd half of the contents to an afternoon meeting two days later, with some Port loving friends at a local pub outside of Cambridge. After having been opened and aerated for a considerable amount of time, it showed absolutely as I had hoped. I realized that in addition to the fact that it had just been bottled the day I received it, it had also taken a flight with me from Portugal to London and I knew the second bottle would be treated with far more delicacy.
I went down to my wine room shortly after waking up this morning and before even brushing my teeth, the chosen Port was decanted. It smelled great right from the get go and I knew the choice was the right one. My wife, who rarely gets excited about any wine, was blown away by the nose and her first sip this evening and I must say that she was a happy camper. Stewart has also experienced a lot of great Port and I could tell he was quite pleased as he slowly sipped this nectar while we watched the movie with his son Alex, who was totally immersed in Braveheart, his first viewing of this fine film.
There was some left in the decanter and we had not yet finished the bottle (a distinct rarity for the two of us) but the kids all have school in the morning. I own these mini-decanters which hold about 10 oz. and poured Stewart a “to go” Port for later this evening or tomorrow and retained one glass of the 1906 Brunheda Colheita for myself. I am looking forward to Stewart’s tasting note. I hope one day to obtain another bottle of this most expressive Colheita.
It was the perfect Port on this night, to share with my friend, to say thank you.