A couple of years ago Burmester opened their new lodge in
or perhaps you should call
it a new Visitor Centre. They are
storing port in the lodge but not much and with a museum, a tasting room and a
shop the purpose is clear. And for that purpose the address is excellent. The
Burmester lodge is to the left, immediately after you pass the old bridge from
the Porto site of the Vila Nova de Gaia Douro to Gaia.
I had a short tour around the beautiful restored cellar. One of the things I noticed and found interesting was the part of the exhibition that showed old machines used in the production of port years back: Machines for cleaning the bottles, for bottling port and for labelling them among others.
Afterwards winemaker Carla Tiago invited me to a tasting. I met Carla for the first time a couple of years back, when Burmester had a great tasting of their old Colheitas at the Port Festival at Børsen in
This time the tasting was broader both in style and when it comes to brands. It
included not only Burmester but other houses from the Sogevinus group too:
Cálem, Kopke and Barros. Copenhagen
Here are a few notes:
Cálem Vintage 2002: Dark in colour, still young and with fresh fruit, but not with strong tannins. A lot of blackcurrant in the nose, but weak when it came to flavour and with a sweat tail. Cálem was one of the few houses, which declared vintage in 2002. This glass did not convince me, that they did the right thing.
Cálem Vintage 1985: A better quality from at better vintage. Spicy below the fruitiness, still with acidity to give balance to the sweetness. This wine has a bad reputation and has often disappointed, but this bottle was quit good and harmonious – even though I don’t think it will have a long life.
Burmester 10 years Tawny: A bit creamy, light and elegant. Nuts and some oak in the nose. Nice acidity and balanced.
Kopke 10 years Tawny: More discreet in the nose than Burmester but with a longer and nice tail. A bit to low when it comes to acidity.
Kopke 20 years Tawny: A great glass. Toasted with nuts, vanilla and some orange in the nose. Carla told med, that it is stored a while in new oak casks before it is bottled to add some freshness – and with a fine result.
Burmester 40 years Tawny: Now the ports were getting heavier. Nuts and dates, but freshness and elegance in the style as well. The right amount of acidity to balance with the sweetness.
Kopke Colheita 1984: Red brown, lighter and easier going. Good freshness, but not as intense as a wine with 30 years on cask should be. Perhaps some of this can be explained by the fact that it was served after the 40 years. I have tasted it before with a much better result.
Burmester Colheita 1966: A great Colheita. Powerful, full bodied and fresh at the same time. A very balanced glass.
Cálem Colheita 1961: A bit darker and thicker. Very nice, but it needed a bit more acidity to be great. A long, great tail with pepper.
Barros 100 years: Not a 100 years old wine, but a port made for celebrating the 100 years anniversary of the house. The average age is about 65 years, Carla explained. Very beautiful, dark and with caramel and balsamic on the palette. Intense and impressing. An exclusive and great port – and a very nice way to end the visit.