Generally declared, 2017 Vintage Port is grabbing the headlines at the moment. Rightly so based on what I’ve tasted so far. However, as readers know, Very Old Tawny Ports are headline material too. Launched in December to commemorate Poças’ 100th anniversary, my test tube sample of Poças 1918 Very Old Tawny Port arrived in a suitably stylish wooden box; the final article is sold in a bespoke, decanter-like bottle, produced by Vista Alegre.
The liquid gold barrels which contributed to this non-vintage Very Old Tawny Port fell into Poças’ hands when its founder, Manoel Domingues Poças Júnior, acquired Quinta das Quartas lock, stock and barrel as payment for a debt. Tightly wound but lifted on the nose, Poças 1918 Very Old Tawny Port tempts you with amaretto and toasted coconut notes, which follow through on a sumptuous palate, together with rich, moist fruit cake choc-ful of citrus peel, almonds and dates. With seamless, integrated acidity, it doesn’t overplay its hand. Beautifully balanced, long and involving, the finish doesn’t miss a beat. Utterly moreish. Shame it is a less-ish wine – just 100 bottles were made. Given availability and price (€3,500/bottle), I felt lucky to have tasted it.