After leaving Burmester Friday, we - the board of The Vintage Port Club – went straight to Sandeman´s lodge a bit down the road. It has been many years since I last visited the lodge, so it was nice to be back. We were kindly welcomed by Ligia Marques and Vasco Magalhães, who showed us part of the museum:
bottles, advertisings and posters with the famous Don and some very beautiful
drawings of the good old days. Old Port
Then we were invited upstairs to the tasting room, where George Sandman, the 7th generation of the family who founded the company in 1790, joined us. Together we had a tasting of some of the Ports from Sandeman and the two other companies in the Sogrape group. In March this year I visited Offley´s lodge and the year before Ferreira, a company that both I and The Vintage Port Club will like to know much better – both due to the quality of the Port and the impressing history connected with the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira.
The tasting at Sandeman was both vertical and horizontal. First we had Sandeman Vintage 1977, 1994 and 2003 and in the next flight Vintage 2011 from Offley, Ferreira and Sandeman.
Sandeman 1977: Brownish and matured, but still with some acidity. A taste of cedar tree and spices.
Sandeman 1994: Red berries and fruit, but unfortunately a bit oxidised, lacking some freshness.
Sandeman 2003: A fine balance, nice fruit, blackcurrant and other dark berries. More robust, but a bit closed at the moment.
Sandeman 2011: Black, potent, powerful and concentrated with lots of fresh fruit, blackcurrant, plums, cedar tree and cassis and strong tannins. Impressive now and will sure be great in the future.
Offley 2011: Less complexity, but with a nice taste of plums and black fruit. A fine finish.
Ferreira 2011: More elegant and more character. Red berries, blackberry and flowers, robust but not hard tannins and a good spiciness with a bit curry.
After the tasting we had superb lunch with Ligia, Vasco and George. Among other things we had bacalhau in a small packet of bread, duck and a cake with almonds. The wine served was from Casa Ferreirinha, first a white Vinha Grande 2012, then a red Quinta da Leda
very delicious 30 years Tawny from Sandeman and finally we retasted the bottles
from the tasting.
When we left the lodge we were full of impressions after being welcomed like that and spending some hours in good company with great food, wine and last but not least, Port. The tasting proved that the style and in my opinion the quality of Sandeman has improved during the last two decades.