A few weeks ago I went to a wine shop a couple of suburbs away for the first time. It was an Aladdin’s cave of delights, even to my raw and naive wine skills. It was where I bought my first Beaujolais.
The shop is in an old bank building, and the vault is still in there, now filled with rare and expensive wines. One of the things I spotted in there in that first visit was a bottle of 1944 vintage port. At the time I had no idea if it would be any good, and it was $99 for the bottle, so I left it sitting there in the vault. When I got home, I did some searching and found that this particular brand was the premier Australian vintage port, and the 1944 vintage was supposed to be pretty good. People have drunk bottles form this vintage recently and been most impressed. And everywhere else that offered a scant few bottles for sale were asking the order of $150 each.
Today we went back for the first time, mainly to pick and choose a dozen bottles of wine to store away and work our way through slowly. And the 1944 port was still there. So we made it an uneven 13 bottles. I’ve left the dust on it, to retain the character.
The Seppelt family have been producing vintage ports in Australia since the 1880s. They actually used to have a “100-year vintage” program, where they stored part of each declared vintage (they don’t have a port vintage every year), to release them when they were 100 years old. They still do a 100-year tawny port release. Pretty amazing stuff.
Anyway, I now have this astounding bottle of wine, more than 20 years older than me! I’ll probably try to drink it sooner rather than later – no sense missing out! But I’ll wait for a good occasion, and probably share it with some friends. Something to look forward to!