Assorted 1994 Ports

As my son was born in 1994, I laid down a few cases of port for him. Thought it was time to see how they were progressing, so opened up a representative quartet.

Quinta do Vesuvio: Nice aromatic spicy nose. A little simple and very sweet on the palate. Almost ready. Pleasant not too profound 89 points

Graham: Rich, and heavy. Butterscotch and ripe fruit. Nice attack and the acidity stops it from being cloying. A little top heavy- a few years from maturity. Again surprised at the lack of complexity on the palate; expected more, 92 points

Dow: far and away the best wine. Absolutely beautiful, rich but beautifully structured. Great complexity and finish. Layers of flavor. Still a couple of decades from full maturity, and probably ten years from being really enjoyable. 97 points +

Fonseca: I decanted these at 4: 00 PM and they were served at 9:00 PM. All that air didn’t do much for the Fonseca. A slightly odd rubbery note which made me wonder if the bottle was flawed, but the note mostly blew away after an hour sucking in oxygen. Improved, but never really came round. Dumb. I earmarked this as the one to buy, so will have to open another bottle later this year. At the moment, I am disappointed but hopefully more a bad bottle than a bad wine. NR

Do not forget to check up on him, too. He might be progressing better with age.

One good thing about Port is you don’t have to worry about them driving at 16!

I know it is probably difficult to tell, but I have a few bottles of 94 Grahams stocked up, and am interested to know when you think I should start opening them based on your tasting.


It did not seem that far away from early maturity, as it seemed pleasant to drink now. Personally, I would still give it another 5+ plus years.

Thanks for the status check, Mark - I’ve got the Grahams & Dow in 375 in the cellar, so given your notes, I should have no problem taking out a bottle or two to see where things stand.

I’m not touching my 94’s, in another 10-15 years they be special but not now.

Thanks Mark.

These are young, sure but pretty good, and they are drinkable now even though you know they will be great in another 10+++ years. The Fonseca a few months ago was excellent, and I really like the Grahams also.