Kopke Colheita 2003 (2018)

In several of my previous reviews, even more than once, I stated that I love my Ports, and I hereby confirm that I still do, even though my last review was done in the spring of 2014! Terrible! There is no excuse! How did that happen? five years! Is time flying this fast? I have to make amends and restart the fire of Port! Auke, also mentioned before, was so kind as to present me with a sample of one of his recent acquisitions, to help me restart the fire. Kopke Colheita 2003. Auke loves his Ports as well, and even managed to visit Portugal this summer, something I have yet to do.

personally, I love Colheita’s. They are aged, refined, easy to use, (so no decanting of unfiltered vintages) and quite affordable. Sure, vintages are the biggest thing in Port-world, but Colheita’s most definitely earned their place under the sun as well. Even better, Colheita’s also offer us a high quality alternative to Vintage Port and L.B.V.’s, with a different profile, a Tawny profile. Aged, not ruby red any more and more delicate. So a true win-win situation.

Color: Vibrant old red, tiniest hint of tan.

Nose: Fresh, sweet and fruity. Perfumy even. Deep, dusty and dark, with hints of asphalt, tar and licorice. Dry forest floor (in the summer). This adds to the third dimension of the Port and is most certainly not upfront. The combination of freshness and fruits with the darker side is quite interesting. The fruit stays, cherries and raisins with a nice acidic vibrancy. Waves of chewy fruity sweetness. Hardly any wood notes, not even the vanilla of American oak, nor the tannins of European oak. This Colheita is all about being quiet. It’s quiet and calm, softly spoken. The quiet intelligent guy in the corner who would rather ready a book than party hard.

Taste: Quite thin on entry. Not very syrupy and the sweetness seems to be very well kept in check. Plenty of youthful vibrancy and acidity. Here it shows its winy character. The body is quite simple, very nice, but simple. This is a Colheita that is not about sweetness. Sure it has some sweetness to it, (dry honey, does that make sense?), but that is not the crux of the story this Port wants to tell. Nope, this is about fruit, little sweet forest strawberries, cherries (especially in the nose). Not overly ripe red fruits, but almost there. all in all, a rather short finish for such and “old” Port, or does the old age show its fragility here? By the way, the deeper notes I got from the nose are not here in the body of the taste, not even in the finish, although the tiniest hint of wood (bitter) does show itself along to some almonds. Nope, well into the fruity and acidic aftertaste some more of the darker notes briefly return to take a final bow to the lover of Port and kiss his or her lips for the final time.

Medium sweetness which is balanced out nicely by firm fruity acidity. Very friendly and likeable on entry, but lacking a bit of complexity and oomph in the body and finish, but a real winner on the nose! Master Quill’s top tip: take this in big gulps to enhance the aroma’s.

Points: 84

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Kopke Special Reserve Tawny (150th Anniversary in Holland)

And finally the third and last of the trilogy of Kopke Ports I had open on my lectern (not counting the Moscatel that is). The Trilogy started off with Kopke 10 Years Old Port (Matured in Wood), continued with Kopke Christmas Port (Reserve Ruby) and now finishes off with this Kopke Special Reserve Tawny (150th Anniversary in Holland), which just like the 10yo matured in wood Port is a Tawny Port.

Tawny Port is named for its tanned color, which occurs when Port matures (oxidizes) in barrels for several years. Tawny Port mostly consists of Port wines from different vintages blended together. Cheaper examples are made by blending Ruby and White Ports, a method which surpasses the time the Port would need to age to become a Tawny port, and as we all know time = money. Having said that, even by blending Ruby and White Port together, nice results can be achieved. Blending isn’t necessarily a bad thing you know!

Kopke Special Reserve Tawny (150th Anniversary in Holland)There is a little back label on this bottle that explains why this Port is “special”: We specially selected this Kopke aged tawny Port to express the pleasant cooperation between Kopke and our eldest client, the Dutch importer J. van Ouwerkerk, founded in 1860. 1860 -2010, 150 years in the wine trade.

Color: Sparkling light red with a brown hue, actually more pinkish red than tawny. Long legs in my glass.

Nose: Smells extremely sweet, not very different from (the sweetness of) a PX Sherry sweetness. Very fruity, sugary and it has a lot of red wine notes. Smells fresh (young) and full on summer. A kind of happy Port. It also shows a little depth with a balanced woody and vanilla (ice-cream) note. Do I detect some sort of minty freshness? Nice and not too complicated Tawny.

Taste: Thick lemonade, due to its youthful fruityness. Small hints of chocolate and licorice. Not heavily sweet and the half-sweetness it has, is nicely counteracted by good acidity. Good balance but with a short finish though. A light Port.

A decent and fruity, happy Port. Actually not very Tawny If you ask me. I can imagine drinking this with ice cubes on a terrace in the summer. Especially since it has lemonade written all over it! Don’t analyze this one, just enjoy. This Tawny has an ABV of 20%.

Points: 84

Kopke Christmas (Reserve Ruby)

Kopke logoJust in time for Christmas, or should I say, just in time for last-minute Christmas shopping, another Kopke Port. The Tawny Kopke I reviewed last, turned out to be quite good, and doesn’t break the bank, so why not try another Kopke, but this time a Ruby. They call this a ‘Reserve’ to distinguish it from more generic rubies, and considering this is for a special, festive occasion, this (young) Ruby should be quite good also, and again this is a pretty inexpensive Kopke. Should you buy this for Christmas?

Kopke Christmas Port (Reserve Ruby)Color: Ruby red, with lost of purple near the edges of the glass.

Nose: Raisins and fresh, typical Ruby if you ask me. Very fresh (fresh air) young and lively, but also promising a lot of sweets. Thick, fat and buttery with heaps of raisins, something you would expect from a PX Sherry (the raisins). The whole does not smell like a PX at all. After all this, it smells more like a “red wine”. Cheesecake, a little bit of wood and some acidity and mustiness later on, so the smell does develop a lot in the glass.

Taste: More of the same, young and fresh, sweet and sour. Distant hint of bitter wood (walnuts), but the note is not dominant. It does fit the nose, but the taste is not very complex, and does seem a bit unbalanced. In this case the sweet and the sour don’t like each other very much. And the bitterness (not only walnuts, but also earwax), well, also not completely in harmony. The fruits in this Port are more of the half-sweet black and red summer fruits, and do I detect some tannins drying my tongue? Yes. This finish is half-long, but also a bit anonymous. This Port almost seems stopped dead in its shoes in its transition from a Red Wine to a Port. It’s still too much a Red Wine.

After my comments especially those for the taste, one might think It’s not a very good Port, but that wouldn’t be true. It’s a nice Ruby Port, not extremely special, but very drinkable. I suspect this to be very young. It’s alright, but if you like your ports a bit more special, a bit more festive, and a bit more “Tawny” I would recommend the Kopke 10yo matured in wood I reviewed last some more. For me Warre’s Warrior is also slightly better and especially a more balanced, somewhat sweeter, example. ABV for this Christmas Kopke is 19,5%.

Points: 82

Kopke 10 Years Old (Matured in Wood)

Kopke logoAfter Warre’s Warrior this is just the second review of Port on Master Quill, which is quite strange since I do love my Ports. Lots of them have passed on my lectern, and only one has been reviewed op ’till now. So it’s about time to do something about that. On my lectern are a few Ports that haven’t been reviewed yet, so keep an eye out for some more Port on these pages…

Kopke 10 Years Old Port (Matured in Wood)Color: Warm, bleak red (rosé), not yet brown.

Nose: Sweet and lively, hints of acidity and freshness. Lots of red fruits, strawberry, raspberry. Cherry candy. It doesn’t smell its age (it smells younger). In the distance a little bit of wood and mint, but also some licorice. Classy nose. Very sweet with an added bonus. The influence of wood, which adds to the character and it doesn’t let the sweetness dominate (the nose).

Taste: Sweet but also enough acidity to counteract the sweetness. In fact the nose smelled a lot sweeter than this Port actually is. Lots of strawberry and raspberry again, this time with added acidity from currants. This tastes great and very likeable and harmonious. If in anything it shows its age than it is in the finish. The half-long finish is a little bit brittle, the lively fruitiness dissipates quickly, it goes from sweet to sour, to… a memory of Port (not saying it is short).

This isn’t a full-blown red Port anymore, it’s a Tawny that for me has some notes of red Port (youth?). On the taste it shows two sides of itself. Very fruity without being full on sweetness, and then a turning point into something more vague. If only the finish would have held up a bit more. But that’s nit-picking. This is a very good Kopke 10yo. It’s much better than I initially expected. Think strawberries. The Port has an ABV of 20% and was matured in small 250 liter casks. Recommended for Christmas!

Points: 87

Thanks to Richard and Esther for the bottle.