| Ultimate Beverage Challenge 93 points (Jul 2015)
(Ultimate Beverage Collection, Chairman’s Trophy) A layered nose of fig, dates and chocolate is complex and warm. In the mouth it is sweet and rich, with robust flavors of chocolate, dried blueberry and dried fig. The texture is smooth and full, like crushed velvet.
Wine Advocate 89 points (Feb 2015)
The 2009 Late Bottled Vintage Port is a filtered blend bottled with a bar top cork in 2014. It was just released in January 2015. It comes in with 98 grams per liter of residual sugar. Wonderfully fresh, sweet and charming on opening, this becomes a surprisingly focused LBV, even though it is easy to drink and does well as a pop ’n’ pour. It has rather nice, underlying structure. The tannins are ripe, but there are some, and it has the grip and concentration of flavors on the finish to be interesting as well as tasty. It becomes more brooding and quite drier with aeration. Resampling it made me appreciate it more. A couple of days later, it was drinking far better, having fleshed out while still showing fresh, sappy fruit. Just for fun-since the bar top seems to encourage you to do that and LBVs are pretty resistant-I held it and experimented at Day 4 and Day 9. It was quite enticing on Day 4. On Day 9, it still drank rather well, showing good balance and structure, but there was also a hint of oxidation in the background. Overall, the mid-palate concentration is average for its type and there is little in the way of complexity at its young age-and it is not likely designed to age, even if can to some degree, which tends to give wines like this a ceiling. This is still overall a very nice performance in this big vintage. It is delicious, but also well balanced and intriguing. Enjoy it for what it is while it is young: well crafted, gracefully constructed and awfully tasty.