Review: Seppeltsfield 1910 Para Vintage Tawny Port 100 y.o., 22,0% (from a Puncheon Cask)

 A 100 year old Port from Australia (Barossa Valley)

Appearance: Incredible viscosity, like used oil it streams slowly out of the bottle – in the darkest brown with a tiny ruby edge.

Nose: Amazingly alive after such a time, this can age even longer. First there is dark chocolate and dried plum, figs, raisins and sultanas accompanied by the most noble smell of dark wood, American oak and roasted dark coffee. Altogether it delivers slight reminiscences of a good Nocino, but better, like a high class Balsamico Extra Vecchio, but less acidic, like a Maraschino cherry, but much richer. Then there are compounds of Panettone and Christmas cakes, treacle, red grapes‘ skins, muscovado sugar, chicory, burnt creme brulee top and a hint of licorice.

All that is interwoven and balanced perfectly. The grapes are talking as well now (these actually are Mataro, Shiraz and Grenache) and believe me, you can sniff a fine Australian red within the amazing complexity. Pepper, rosemary, quite some cloves and an intriguing arabic spice combo (cinnamon, anisseed, cumin, nutmeg, kurkuma and what not) keep the nose far from being overly sweet, although this might be as sweet as wine can get – and some bitterness of the wonderful kind. It also needs time to open up, so please don’t rush it – it is over 100 years old!

Palate: The Burj-Dubai builds up on my mid palate, what a fat and creamy structure! The ridiculous concentration with immense sweetness is countered with enough acidity and the bitter notes. As good as it gets. Molasses! All the notes identified in the aroma are there with fine precision. I rest my case.

Finish: Don’t eat or drink in the next 4 hours, it is worth it! Like a Wagner opera, but with less pain.

Score: 100 points (2011)

Comment: This is the first wine, actually the first liquid, which I score at 100. And it is the oldest drink concerning maturation that I ever had. My score has no infliction with the mind-boggling age or the awe I feel drinking it. This is just a perfect nectar with nothing to criticize and it made my Christmas 2011! James Halliday scored it equally. Thanks to Michael for discovering this gem.

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