December 11, 1990
Hof Von Heizer was the venue for this gathering of the Tipplers. The glow of Christmas cheer radiated from the assorted cheeks of Abbott, Anderson, Batson, Finnie, Holliday, Lee and Lobb. The last meeting of 1990 opened with the unusual questioning of the Treasurer of the whereabouts of cash and cache. The Treasurer responded in the usual manner by gazing at the ceiling, squinting, scratching and mumbling. Thus satisfied with the security of the horde, the Tipplers directed their attention to the essentials of the evening.
Initial offering was an insipid liquid of pale yellow. Comments ranged from 'not bad' to much less than 'not bad'. Several Tipplers declared the juice as not being from grape and clearly not of the same bloom as Finnie's wine of Elderflower. The lowest hack was Batson's declaration of 'sugar, water and maybe some alcohol'. The screw top jug of rare 1974 Rose Petal Wine, made by hand and lovingly stored by Heizer for a decade plus 6, was banished to the rear of the fridge.
The fare of the evening was a selection of ruby, LBV and vintage ports backed up with a selection of stilton, castello, cheddar, walnuts and pecans. Based on the assumption that there is no bad port, the Tipplers were challenged to identify the very best to the bottom of the heap. Each wine had been decanted and incongruously labeled.
Dow Reserve 1964 Non-Vintage $23.65
Ron hit this one on the nose stating it was 'rough and probably 1964'. Similar comments were tendered by Gus, Keith, Tony, Richard and Trevor. Not bad considering the Aqua Velva would rank a 2nd place.
Quinta Do Noval 1963 Vintage, ex-Cellier d'Heizer
What a difference a year makes. Broadbent gives five stars to this year and shipper; Vintages bestows a 10/10. Keith decided to hog the decanter declaring that the liquid was 'brilliant' (it was). Other Tipplers risked gout and smacked their way to the bottom of the flask. The incredible refined taste buds of Keith, Richard, Gus and Trevor correctly identified this round.
Sandeman 1979 LBV $11.65
An eminently unremarkable jug but the price is right.
Smith Woodhouse 1980 Vintage $21.30
The old taste buds were confused with this sample following the previous three. Significant comments:
Gus: "No idea whatsoever"
The table did judge this to be an excellent port. Somewhat high tannin levels attest to its potential for longevity. Another 5+ years should see this wine reach a fine level of maturity. Currently judged to be an 8/10.
Hutcheson 1982 Vintage $42.50
Richard and Ron aced this one. The vintage favoured the Portuguese style of a full and fruity bouquet, opposed to the British preference for a tannin overload. An elegant wine deserving more than the 7/10 that has been professionally assigned to it.
The evening ended with coffee and accompanied by a lime and apricot mousse (mousses - moussi - mice ?) prepared by Cheryl. The ported Tipplers headed homeward remembering Dr. Johnson's pronouncement:
Young men sip Claret
Men drink Port.
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