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Cockburns 1963 (750ML)

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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

19.5 / 20 JR

Rupert Symington: The vintage that saved the port trade. Paul Symington: we weren’t sent to prep school in England in the late 1950s and early 1960s because there was simply no money. There was real hunger in the Douro. But prices for the 1963s were at last on a par with the first growths. Universally declared. Conditions were beautiful. Useful rain. Classic pattern of the growing season. This was the last vintage that the shippers treated in an entirely négociant way. The likes of John Smithes would go and supervise the vintage in outlying quintas with no electricity. The big danger was overfilling the lagares. Derek Smedley remembered the excitement in the tasting room at Harveys when Michael Broadbent and Harry Waugh enthused over this wine. Wyndham Fletcher was less enthusiastic. These Oporto-bottled bottles had apparently kept far better than those kept in the UK. (He and three friends had bought a pipe at 13/6 a bottle.) Firm healthy ruby, deeper than 1967. Very concentrated and beautifully balanced. Great sweetness and dryness and freshness. Great lift. Utterly flattering. So mellow and far from dying. Long. Edge of ladies handbags; hint of cheesiness. So lively! So complex. Still quite dry on the end but overall delightfully exotic and lively. Jancis Robinson

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