shopping for port
John Walker downtown has older vintage ports sometimes. And, you got an informed reply on the General Topics from a local wine merchant - check out PlumpJack too.
If you're looking for aged bottles, consider ordering from Tinamou or Rare Wine Company (check their websites) and having the bottle shipped to you from Sonoma. They are specialists in older ports, as is Golden West Wine in SF. It pays to shop around, as prices for older bottles can vary dramatically. I have purchased from all three and have been satisfied with their service. However, I have heard some complaints about Tinamou from time to time.
re: Melanie Wong
Good luck, and let us know what you end up with.
I'd vote for a tawny with indication of age or a colheita (tawny port of a single vintage). Will keep for several days and doesn't have to be consumed in one sitting once opened. K&L in SF has some of the Krohn's colheitas described in the linked post.
re: Melanie Wong
Ha! Without seeing this last post of yours, I was just to write to say that I managed to make it over for the Madeira/Port tasting at William Cross and decided to purchase the Ferreira 20 year Tawny based on upon reconsideration that my father and I probably can't finish the whole bottle in one sitting and noone else in the family likes port. And who wants to waste half a bottle of $100 port?
By the way, the 1954 Colheita Madeira they tasted (which they did instead of the 1964 for some reason) was utterly mindblowing. I'm sitting here today wondering why I didn't ask to buy a bottle of that as well. Quite a treat.
Melanie, thanks so much for your help!
re: Melanie Wong
melanie - i am a port newbie but did just buy a full bottle of vintage that is ready to drink (1970) but did not think it had to be drunk in a single sitting or even in a quick amt of time. i thought that it could sit for some time (clearly not forever but for several weeks or a few months) but is this not the case?
Once you pull the cork on any wine, the exposure to air starts to oxidize the wine. For a wine that's not yet mature, the oxidation can make it more palatable. But for a wine such as your 1970 probably is, that's ready to drink, this effect degrades the wine. Depending on the producer of your port and how it's been stored, likely it will not stand much aeration. The last bottle of 1970 Taylor that I opened a couple years ago didn't need any additional aeration to be ready to drink. Because it was soft, I didn't even decant it, fearing that the additional air introduced would cause it to degrade too quickly. It had been standing up for 2 days, so the sediment was well-settled, and I poured it carefully directly into the wine glasses. I would recommend that you finish your 1970 within 24 hours of opening it.
The notice below for a port and madeira tasting at William Cross appeared in my inbox today. I've tried all four of the wines listed (and am very curious about what the mystery wine might be) and this is well worth $15. A good chance to sample before you buy. The Ferreira Duque de Brangança is my favorite 20-year old tawny. Wish I could be there, but I'll just be picking up my car at SFO by the time it's over.
Disclaimer: Steve Sherman (owner of William Cross WM) and Bartholomew Broadbent are personal friends.
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Ports and Madieras with Bart Broadbent
Please join us for the last tasting of 2002, as we delve
into the world of dessert wines and taste through
some great Madieras and Ports with Bart Broadbent.
Broadbent "Rainwater" Medium Dry Madiera
1995 Broadbent "Colheita" Madiera
Ferreira Duque de Braganca 20 year old Tawny Port
1994 Broadbent Vintage Port
PLEASE HAVE A HEALTHY & HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!
FROM STEVEN, NANCY and JEREMY
WILLIAM CROSS WINE MERCHANTS
2253 Polk St.
SF, CA 94109