Port of the 60s and 70s

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 — Toronto Winetasters has a long tradition of Port tastings in February and, even though at the time of writing it doesn’t look like the usual Ontario winter here, we are happy to say we are continuing this tradition.  We will be pouring a selection of ports from classic declared vintages in the 60s and 70s.  (This being port, we should clarify what we mean the 1960s and 1970s!).  And we are covering six houses – Graham, Dow, Cockburn, Taylor, Croft, and Warre –  so you will have a great opportunity to compare the house styles.  These are top tier houses – all of the wines in our tasting are 90 points or over in Wine-Searcher.


The vintages are 1963, 1966, 1967, 1970 and 1977.  Here are Decanter notes on them:

  • 1963:  5/5   A post-war classic. Superb wines, wonderful to drink now and many with a long life ahead. The best will last a lifetime.
  • 1966:  5/5  Some outstanding wines, combining power and elegance, the best on par with 1963. No hurry to drink, some wines will last a lifetime.
  • 1967:  Many houses did not declare, but Two leading shippers (Cockburn and Martinez) declared 1967 in preference to 1966
  • 1970:  5/5  Classic, tight-knit wines, some outstanding, that will last a lifetime. Drink now to 2030+.
  • 1977:  4/5  Highly rated at the outset – and widely declared – these wines have developed faster than expected.   Drink now – 2030.

The houses we will pour are, Graham (’63 and ’66), Dow (’66 and ’70), Cockburn (’67), Taylor (’66), and Croft and Warre (both ’77).   So we have three different takes on ’66, and two on ’77.  This will be one of those tastings you can slice in multiple ways.

These are all excellent, storied, port houses.  Graham is renowned for producing one of the densest and sweet styles of vintage port. The richness and sumptuous character are the hallmarks of Graham.  Taylor is made from a blend of Quintas Vargellas and Terra Feita with a little addition from Quinta do Junco. It is often the most intellectually satisfying of all of the Vintage Ports and one with the greatest aging potential.  Warre is the oldest British Port house (over 200 years old) its wines often have a floral elegance.  Dow is another old port house whose wines have an attractive drier finish.  Croft was recently acquired by Fladgate Partnership a few years ago makes long-lived wines.  Cockburn’s ports are known for their combination of power and elegance.

All of these wines are in the zone, most with plenty of life ahead (eg Graham ‘63).  About the Graham ’63, Jancis Robinson wrote:

Pale ruby. Haunting and again, so direct and transparent. Gorgeous, ethereal, light, heady and lifted. Jewel of a wine. Long and powerful, although over time in the glass it became a little spirity – as well it might at 55 years old.”, awarding it 19 points (“humdinger”)!.

For wines of this quality and age prices are very reasonable, in the $100 – $200 range per bottle in the market today (Graham ’63 is rather more at $330).

We are very pleased to have Sharon Giffen lead us through this tasting.  A former director of Toronto Winetasters, she is a port enthusiast and you can look forward to an ‘interactive’ evening.

This tasting is a terrific opportunity to taste a range of classic mature vintage port and perhaps you will be inspired to hunt down some of these wines!

Date: Wednesday, February 26yh, 2020
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Limit: 40 people
Members: $95 including HST of $10.93*
Guests: $120 including HST of $13.80*

*Also includes Eventbrite processing fee of 2% + C$0.59 per ticket

North York Memorial Community Hall
5110 Yonge St. (under the library)
North York Centre Subway

GST/HST account: 844742619 RT0001
Business Name: Winetasters Society of Toronto

Refunds net of Eventbrite fee up to 7 days before the event. Inquiries, cancellations — (Cindy Taylor, 416.458.3147 evenings only). No reservations by phone, please.  First, come basis with a priority for members.