First taste: Wine & Soul 5G Five Generations Very Old Port
Wine & Soul 5G Five Generations Very Old Port (a Tawny Port) was laid down by Jorge Serôdio Borges’ great-great-grandfather. It was he who started the family’s tradition of serving 100 year old Port on special occasions.
How very civilised and, I must say, I seem to be developing a tradition of my own given that I’ve tasted Very Old Ports on both my last visits to Portugal (last time Quinta do Vallado Adelaide Tributa, which I wrote up here). Long may it continue!
For Borges, the fifth generation custodian of both tradition and 5G (hence the name), bottling this very special Port is a means of passing on his family’s culture, tradition, knowledge and passion for the Douro and Port Wine. Indeed, it’s quite different in this respect from Taylor’s Scion and Quinta do Vallado Adelaide Tributa, where the casks were acquired shortly prior to bottling from third parties (as opposed to having remained in the same family).
Last Friday, when I caught up with the latest Douro releases (2010 reds and 2011 whites) with Sandra Tavares da Silva, his wife and co-winemaker/owner at Wine & Soul, I was truly thrilled that she’d brought me a sneak preview of the wine. Packaging-permitting (they’re waiting for the labels), it will be released next week but, as you can see (below), it was in “dress down Friday” mode for me!
Here’s my note. Watch this space next week for a report on my first impressions of 2010 Douro reds and 2011 Douro whites.
Wine & Soul 5G Five Generations Very Old Port
Three casks of this Very Old Port, a tawny, had been ageing for over 120 years at Quinta da Manoella when Jorge and Sandra inherited the estate from Jorge’s family in June 2009. Just a small portion, 300 bottles, have been allocated to this wine. According to Tavares, no adjustments have been made since they removed it from cask. I must say it is spectacularly well balanced, with enviably youthful honey-gilded (and gliding) rich dried fruits and seamless, beautifully integrated acidity. Especially when you consider that this wine has aged in the Douro (as opposed to the cooler lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia 100km downstream). Mahogany in hue with a bright saffron rim, the nose is spicy with notes of rich muscovado sugar, tamarind, dried figs and medjool dates, which follow through on a silky, honeyed palate with a perfectly exquisite torrefaction of caramel and nuts. On day two, it reveals delicious hints of mild tobacco – cafe crème cigar. Ultra-smooth, ultra-long and ultra- persistent. Compared with the hyper-concentrated, more demanding Vallado – which is a wine to be eked out sip by sip – I found 5G dangerously drinkable. Licensed to thrill! RRP €1,500.