mandag den 16. december 2013

Eusébios 70th

Benfica and Port. I like both of them, and recently I had the opportunity to experience the combination. No, I was not drinking port at Estádio da Luz… I tasted a Port wine released as a tribute to the legend of football, Eusébio, when he turned 70 last year.
The Black Panther, as Eusébio was nicknamed, was born in 1942 in Lourenço Marques (Maputo), Mozambique. At first he played football in a local club called Os Brasileiros. Here he was scouted by the Italian club Juventos, but he declined. Instead he chose his favourite team Benfica and moved to Lisbon when he was 18 years old. He played for Benfica until 1975 and managed to win 11 national championships, 5 Cup finals and one Europe Cup final. All in all he scored 638 goals in 614 matches for As Águias – The Eagles.   
During Estado Nova, Salazar decided that the colonies were overseas provinces, and because of that Eusébio could join the Portuguese national team in 1961. During the following years he scored 41 goals in 64 matches for the team. Most legendary was the 1966 World Cup in England, where Portugal ended as 3rd. Eusébio was the top scorer of the tournament with 9 goals, and 4 of them in the match against North Korea. Portugal was behind 0-3, but the final result was 5-3 to Portugal (link below). 
The legend still visits Estádio da Luz, when Benfica is playing, and there is a statue of him in front of the entrance.
At a tasting in The Vintage Port Club his profile and his signature was on the label of one of the bottles of Port on the menu.  
”Eusébio 70th” is a 30 years Tawny from Quinta das Gregocas, near Sambrosa in the Douro. They released exactly 638 Magnums – one for each goal he made for Benfica!
The Port wine was light red brown, some spirit in the nose, dry fruits, floral notes and notes from the oak as well. It was not that powerful and did not have a broad palette compared with others 30 years Tawnies. Drinkable, but I must admit that the history behind and the nice design was more exciting that the port itself.
The tasting was the clubs Christmas tasting, where we usual have Tawny and Colheitas. Here is the full list as they were served:

Maynard Colheita 1982
Feist Colheita 1983
Vista Alegre 30 years Tawny
Kopke Colheita 1984
Kopke 40 years Tawny
Pocas 40 years Tawny
Grahams 40 years Tawny
Andresen 40 years Tawny
Burmester Colheita 1957
Quinta das Gregocas Eusébio 70th
Cristiano van Zellers Millennium Port, Colheita 1880
Feuerheerd Colheita 1990

The best wines in my opinion were Maynard 1982, Kopke 1984, Kopke 40 years, Burmester 1957 and the Millennium Port. Both Kopke and Maynard (Barão de Vilar) are making very good Tawnies with age and Colheitas. It is told, that The Millennium Port was made of wine from a pipe, Cristiano van Zeller found, when he was out visiting Quintas in search for old lagares. He bough it and added some Niepoort Vintage 1945 – and it was approved by the Port and Douro Wines Institute. It was bit unclear, but full of brown sugar, dried plums, cinnamon and burned figs. Powerful but with a short finish.

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