Monday, November 10, 2008

1934 Fonseca Vintage Port

7/4/04-(4th of July Bash) Approximately 30 members of the Folsom Wine Group tasted the 1934 Fonseca Port. This was an incredible experience for all. Expecting an “over the hill” wine, the wine was a silky, fruity, elegant example of an aged port. Most everyone remarked that it was by far the best port they had ever had, and several members who admitted that they did not care for port, came back for seconds. My regret-I only bought one from Corti Brothers.

I purchased this wine at Corti Brothers in the early 80’s. The following notes accompanied the wine:

Directors Special Reserve-Alcohol 20% by volume
Imported December 1975 and purchased by Corti Brothers in the early 80’s.
It is traditional for the directors of wine and spirits merchants’ firms to maintain a sizable stock of fine wines and ports for entertaining clients. The firm of Arthur Bell & Sons, producers of whiskies in Perth, Scotland, bought specially selected pipes of port of the best vintages and bottled them in their Pedrch cellars, not to sell, but to hold for their director’s reserve.
This port has rested since bottling two years after the vintage in the firm’s cellars in Leith, Scotland and rested there until importation in December 1975.
Vintage port produces sediment or crust as it is held in bottle. The inside of bottles is traditionally “shotted” when the bottle is made by shaking the inside of the freshly formed bottle with buckshot. This provides pits in the inside surfaces to which the “crust” or flaky sediment found in old vintage port adheres. In shipping, old ports have this crust broken up by the travel. For this reason, the bottles all have a white mark painted upon one side. When you lay your bottle on its side in your cellar, be careful to place the bottle with the mark facing up so that the port may resume its natural rest.

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