Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Vertical

What do you do to cheer a cold, dark & frosty January evening in Denmark?  Taste 17 different vintages of Quinta dos Malvedos!

During the 2009 harvest, members of The Fyn (Denmark) Vintage Port Club visited Malvedos and were so impressed by the quinta and its wines, they conceived the idea of a major vertical tasting of just the single-quinta vintages.  Dominic Symington and Gustavo Devesas, of Graham’s sales team, joined 33 members of the club in Odense last week for this incredible event, which was organised by Henning Borup Jensen.

If you are familiar with wine tasting events, you know flights start with the lighter weight or more delicately flavoured and move to the more complex and full-bodied wines.  For this event, the tasting was broken into two flights with a pause in between.  The group of younger wines were tasted from oldest (those which you would expect to have begun to mature into dried fruit or secondary flavours) to youngest (those whose fresh or jammy fruit flavours would still be very robust).

First Flight – Younger wines … oldest to youngest.
1992 – 1995 – 1998
2001 – 2004 – 2006
2008 – 2009 (cask sample)

For the second flight of older wines, they tasted from youngest to oldest, anticipating greater concentration and power in older vintages.

2nd. Half – Second Flight – Mature, Older wines … youngest to oldest.
1987 – 1984 – 1982
1979 – 1976 – 1968
1965 – 1962 – 1958

Dominic shared his tasting notes:

As you will see from the scores below, 1958 was the run-away favourite of the night!  I don’t remember the last time I tasted this wine and it was a total revelation.  The 1958 was extraordinary, virtually water clear with a pale pink tinge in the center of the wine but with a fantastic complex rich and deep floral nose and a huge rich full flavour on the palate.  Really delicious with all the pepper and spice of a full bodied vintage port, lovely mature flavours with almost a hint of that transition from vintage flavours to the caramel tones of an old tawny.

The 1965 was also delicious, much more full bodied and weighty than the ’58 and would clearly have been the star of the night but was outshone by the surprise star.  I know the ’65 reasonably well, it’s a superb wine, beautifully balanced with all the elegance of a fully mature old Vintage Port and more than confirms the fact that the single-quinta Malvedos is superb Vintage Port in its own right.

Gustavo also commented that the 1995 was showing very well, he personally rated it his third choice of the night after ’58 and ’65.  1995 is one of those years that is overshadowed by its illustrious predecessor, so the quality of this wine surprised and impressed everyone.

The evening was rounded off with an excellent dinner extremely generously offered by the Fyn (Denmark) Vintage Port Club at the Birk & Conrad event restaurant.  Chef Stefan and his team, superbly led by Sommelier Niki produced and served an absolutely delicious dinner, which was accompanied by two of SFE’s Douro DOC wines:  Pombal do Vesuvio & Quinta do Vesuvio, both 2008, which were extremely well received.

With the dessert course the group enjoyed Graham’s Vintage 1997 Port and also our 20 Year Old Tawny.  Gustavo said he is no fan of chocolate, but the chocolate cake – four layers of chocolate sponge, from white chocolate through three intensities of dark chocolate – was an amazing pairing with the 20 Year Old Tawny.  We all think of chocolate with ruby ports and vintages, but Gustavo said the nuttiness of the Tawny was enhanced, really set off, by that particular cake.  He admitted he ate every crumb.

Dominic sent along the club’s final scores:  They mark quite severely! The first set of points is the sum of individual preferences for the best wine of the night – 3 for best / 2 for middle / 1 for lowest.

Malvedos Vintage 1958 – 51 points (92 points)
Malvedos Vintage 1965 – 27 points (88 points)
Malvedos Vintage 1976 – 19 points (91 points)
Malvedos Vintage 1962 – 18 points (88 points)
Malvedos Vintage 1995 – 18 points (88 points)
Malvedos Vintage 2004 – 9 points (86 points)
Malvedos Vintage 1979 – 6 points (89 points)
Malvedos Vintage 1982 – 6 points (83 points)
Malvedos Vintage 1987 – 6 points (88 points)
Malvedos Vintage 1984 – 5 points (87 points)
Malvedos Vintage 1968 – 3 points (88 points)
Malvedos Vintage 1998 – 3 points (87 points)
Malvedos Vintage 2006 – 2 points (88 points)
Malvedos Vintage 2009 – 1 points (86 points)
Malvedos Vintage 1992 – 0 points (86 points)
Malvedos Vintage 2001 – 0 points (87 points)
Malvedos Vintage 2008 – 0 points (84 points)

If you read Danish, you may want to visit The Fyn (Denmark) Vintage Port Club website

However, no Danish needed to appreciate these photos of the evening including the dinner.

10 thoughts on “Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Vertical”

  1. The Malvedos tasting we arranged in the UK on theportforum.com was one of the most fun tastings I’ve attended. It’s quite reassuring that most of the Vintages we through were good (such as the 1958 and 1965) did so well in Denmark, too! Unfortunately, the bottle of 1976 was corked; I hope I might have a chance of tasting one in good condition at some stage…

    1. Hi Jacob, yes, I hope I might taste some of these older wines some day too! I can’t tell you what it’s like having to write about them and no one brings me a glass! Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Jeff, thank you for the invitation! Sadly, visiting NYC is out for me, but I will keep an eye out for anything you do in England or Europe, believe me! Enjoy!

  2. Hi Cynthia.

    It looks like people had a great time… when will we have such kind of tasting here in Portugal? I have to try those wonderful wines, specially the 1965 vintage… ;-)

    Beijos

    Vítor

    1. Olá Vitor! This one was arranged by a private, members-only wine club in Denmark – but they invited Dominic along, having met in the Douro. Trust me, if I learn of any such event – anywhere in the world – that is open to the general public, I will be promoting it on our Facebook page. Keep an eye on that! beijinhos.

  3. Again thanks to Dominic and Gustavo for your visit in our Club on the 27. january. It was Dominics 3rd visit in our club, and it only seems to get better and better.
    Along with the wines, we had an very interesting update on the new initiative in the fields and in the quinta´s.
    I was really impressed by the older vintages. Especially the 1958 and the 1965. Many vintages wouldn´t have made it that well. I hope we can meet in 2035 to see if the 1995 turned out as well. It sure kicked off very well that evening.

    We hope to visit Malvedos in 2012.

    On behalf of the club
    Thanks for the visit, and hope to see you soon again.

    Niels Stroejer
    President of the Vintage Port Club of Denmark

    1. Niels, very many thanks for your kind words. It is I who should thank you for inviting me to take part in your tatsing. As always, a huge pleasure.
      I hope we don’t have to wait until 2035 before our next tasting!!!
      I look forward to seeing you all on your next visit.
      Dominic

  4. Gustavo is getting spoiled, so early on in his new position. Good to see he and Dominic are drinking such beauties as these old Malvedos bottlings. If Gustavo took good tasting notes and photos, please tell him that I’d be happy to publish them in next months fortheloveofport.com newsletter and spread the word. I’m glad I have some of the 1965 in the cellar still.

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