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Two thirds of the wine were there, the other third had vanished with time. Someone had handwrote “Colheita 1911” and the cork was red and greasy. It felt appropriate to end a Saturday dinner, after the best Portuguese Late Harvest (Grandjó, 2004; but the 2002 was even better!) and two great Iberian reds made in the Duero/Douro region (Pintia, DO Toro, 2003 and Quinta do Vale Meão, Douro, 2003 respectively – the first of them won the contest, by the way…).

The colour of this Port was incredible, dark and clear at the same time. Noble and intense nose, reminiscent of orange and smoke. The mouth became full and remained like that for ages. It was impossible to eat something at the same time or for a while after the tasting. It required our exclusive attention as if it wanted to spend all night telling us the stories and History of its age(s). A monument in… a green bottle of sparkling water (it looked “Pedras Salgadas” – the Portuguese Perrier!! – to me)! It was probably bottled in the 80’s, after ageing in oak for 70 years. I don’t know where it was produced and I don’t want to solve the mistery…

by guest contributor Luis Barreto Xavier

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