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Perfect Age for Vintage Port

September 22, 2012
Question by: George, East Sussex, GB

Q:

I am trying to find out what age Offley Boa Vista 1985 Vintage Port would be perfectly matured and should be sold? I have 12 bottles in an unopened crate which have been carefully stored for its entire life.

A:

Hi George, The wonderful thing about Vintage Port is that - assuming it has been well cellared - it has a very long life and can give pleasure all along the way.  Take a look at our guide to The Lifecycle of Vintage Port in Bottle to learn how the flavour profile changes as the wine matures - this will help you to judge when you might most enjoy it.  Of course, having a case gives you the luxury of opening a bottle every few years, and if you have a good taste memory or keep notes, this will help you to learn what is your favourite age to enjoy Vintage Port.  And bear in mind you may prefer your Vintage Ports at different ages for different occasions - a young robust Vintage with a strong cheese or even paired with a main course meal such as game, but a very mature and more nuanced Vintage as a "wine for meditation" after dinner with close friends.

As far as possibly selling your case, Symington Family Estates is not active in the secondary market for Port, so we are not well placed to advise you on this.  The age of the wine will be less important than your ability to demonstrate that it has been well cellared.  Your best bet is to consult a specialist wine merchant or an auctioneer who routinely handles fine wines.  In England we suggest you contact Berry Brothers & Rudd who have the BBX wine exchange for wines cellared with them - consulting their listings or the listings on the professional wine exchange Liv-Ex may give you an indication of pricing.  For auctioneers in the UK, of course Bonham's, Christie's and Sotheby's can all advise you.



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