Gould Campbell 1983 Vintage Porto ($22.99)
With the prices of Vintage Port rising substantially in recent years thanks to publicity-driven demand, this 19-year-old item seemed like a reasonable investment for a special occasion when it turned up locally at $23 for a half-bottle earlier this year. A very short cork, soft and fully saturated from end to end, hinted at less-than-optimal storage conditions, and heavy sediment required decanting (normal in an older Vintage Port). Dark ruby in color, clear but not brilliant, it showed significant but not fatal oxidation in the form of nutlike scents over one-dimensional, plummy fruit. Sweet fruit flavors and "grippy" acidity make for a passable Port with little tannin remaining, but its surprisingly simple flavor profile does not much exceed what you would expect in a non-vintage Ruby Port for a fraction of the price. US Importer: Ex-Cellars, American Canyon, Calif. (Nov 25, 2002)

FOOD MATCH: Served alone for after-dinner sipping.

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