Smith Woodhouse Late Bottled Vintage Port 2002
Creamy and rich, with layers of chocolate mousse, dark plum and cherry flavors. Offers minty notes and a suave finish. Drink now. 900 cases imported.
The 2002 Late Bottled Vintage Port is unfiltered field blend and was bottled in 2006 with a real cork, although dried out and hard to remove without crumbling on the bottles received. It comes in at 103 grams per liter of residual sugar. Given the cork circumstances, I will leave a "?" at the end of the rating, just in the exercise of caution, but it certainly didn't give much evidence of notable oxidation or decay typical of cork failures. It showed quite well all things considered. That means, apart from the dried cork, it also came from a vintage that I have generally thought was the worst since I've begun studying Portugal in detail. It still opened with a nice rush of sweet fruit, although also a bit of lanolin underneath. It did seem a bit lacking in concentration, a touch thin as it aired, and the grip on the finish was modest. There wasn't much left in the way of backbone, but it was capable of waking up with aeration and seemed livelier in time. Other than a slightly eccentric nuance in the background, that touch of lanolin, it still tasted great and even had a certain freshness to it. Overall, though, I'd still suggest drinking this up over the next few years, however long it theoretically holds.