Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mr. Tulkinghorn's Port

"Mr. Tulkinghorn sits at one of the open windows, enjoying a bottle of old port.  Though a hard grained man, close, dry and silent, he can enjoy old wine with the best.  He has a priceless bin of port in some artful cellar under the Fields, which is one of his many secrets.  When he dines alone in chambers, as he has dined today, and has his bit of fish and his steak or chicken brought in from the coffee-house, he descends with a candle to the echoing regions below the deserted mansion, and, heralded by a remote reverberation of thundering doors, comes gravely back enriched by an earthy atmosphere, and carrying a bottle from which he pours a radiant nectar, two score and ten years old, that blushes in the glass to find itself so famous, and fills the room with the fragrance of southern grapes.

"Mr. Tulkinghorn, sitting in the twilight by an open window, enjoys his wine.  As if it whispered to him of its fifty years of silence and seclusion, and it shuts him up the closer.  More impenetrable than ever, he sits, and drinks, and mellows as it were, in secrecy."
Charles Dickens, Bleak House

Port can do that to you.  It's a wine to sit and sip and think about, mostly because I drink it in the evening of shorter, fall or winter days.  The wine here was a 2003 Noval late bottled vintage port.  Warm, grapey nose with cinnamon and wood notes.  Mouth filling sweetness balanced by just the right amount of acid.  Lush and thick with flavors of dark and red cherries.  Lingering finish that begged for a few more pecans and little bit of Stilton cheese.  Two, small  glasses makes a wonderful evening.

$19.5% alcohol and $21.  Good price.

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