The fire and the delicacy

We haven’t been drinking vast quantities over the festive period, so what better way to get really newscasted on New Year’s Day than a bottle of Port? Taylor’s 1975 may have seen better days, but provided pleasure.

Drinking this on 1st January 2012 allowed us to toast the good health of all 36 (and a small number of 37) year olds. I know a good number of 75-kids and I’m pleased they all seem more sprightly with longer futures ahead of them than this wine. A much better vintage for people than for Port.

Taylors 1975 vintage Port - good but on it's way out

Taylor’s vintage Port 1975

This has a very subtle, delicate nose of softly scented fruit. It smells like it has had a lot of oxygen influence, more tawny than vintage Port, really. But not quite over-the-hill; there is enough life to the nose to make you want to try it. That being said, I bet this will fall apart within 15-20 minutes of opening[1]. Hell’s fiery bell’s, the palate is amazingly spirity. There is a real burn to it. If you can get over that, the subtle fruitcake richness and lovely, delicate spicy flavours are very pleasing. It is complex enough, too, but that spirit burn is very intense and upsets the harmony. I’ve had this wine a tremendously large number of times (because my old college used to consider me worthy of buying it for almost no money) and I’d suggest it was best 10-15 years ago. I know a lot of vintage Port fans are necrophiliacs and so would disagree with that, but hell’s bells man, don’t you like a bit of life with your wine, some vivacity? No? Then waste your wines and don’t force me to drink them. I’m not going to say they are ‘decadent’ or anything silly like that anyway. Still, there is pleasure here and as this is well-known to be a lesser vintage it was far from expensive. Fun enough to drink, I did get newscasted and it did fall apart in 20 minutes. Well done everyone who likes Port, was born in 1975, or is simply enjoying life right now!

  1. [1] Whilst at Oxford I would frequently talk to wine butlers who would decant venerable port vintages from the 40s and 50s the morning before they’d be served at dinner. This horrific waste of brilliant wine disgusted me and when one loathsome wine steward told me how much he preferred the ‘dryness’ of Fonseca 1945 after many hours in a decanter to the fruit when it was just opened I should have got the fucker committed.
    Or killed him.
    I still hate him.
    The gobshite.

One Comment

  • Ed Tully wrote:

    We shared a bottle of Taylor’s last week. All that could be discerned from the cork is that it came from a year with a “5″ in it, but, judging from the bottle and – more importantly – the extreme rapidity with which it was dispatched, it was probably 55. I have come to the conclusion I only really like port if it is old. And good.



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