Legendary Kopke Masterclass

Old Trafford, Manchester 24 February 2014



Founded in 1638 by Christiano Kopke and his son Nicolau Kopke (who had come to Portugal as representatives of the Hanseatic League), Kopke is the oldest port brand, with a particular reputation for aged tawnies and colheitas. For many generations, Kopke was run by the family, but was sold at the end of the 19th century to the Bohane family. The Bohanes sold the company to the Barros family in 1953. And then most recently, Kopke was taken over in June 2006 by Sogevinus.  This fascinating masterclass was led by Kopke winemaker, Carla Tiago.

The 10, 20, 30, 40 year old tawnies are made from wines with an average age of that shown on the bottle: but they are made to a style and to a taste, rather than mathematically.  The finished wines still have to be submitted to the IVP to get their permission to bottle as such.

  • NV Kopke Porto 10 Year Old Tawny
    Leathery, figgy, pruney, furniture polish nose. Good palate: richer than I was expecting for a 10 year old tawny. Figgy, raisiny palate. A fair bit of spirit on the finish. As just a step up from a basic tawny, I'm quite impressed by this. 89/100
  • NV Kopke Porto 30 Year Old Tawny Port
    The nose is much more integrated than the 10 year old tawny. Pruney, dried mixed peel, with a touch of whisky and chocolate - chocolate raisins. Lovely soft palate. Like an unsweet Dundee cake. Spicy, dried fruits and chocolate. A very lovely port. 94/100
  • 1974 Kopke Porto Colheita
    Bottled in February 2014 - a week before I tasted it.
    Leather, prunes, furniture polish, and salted caramel on the nose. A touch spicy on the palate, with orange zest and dried fruit. Very good, but of the five Kopke tawnies at this tasty, I found this the least impressive. 89/100
  • 1966 Kopke Porto Colheita
    The immediate impression on the nose is wood. Old, polished oak furniture. Oak furniture that's been polished since Jacobean times. Also some pruney fruit. Really quite heady, and it's struggle to drag myself away from sniffing it to taste it. But then, it's a lovely, integrated palate. Quite caramelly (in a good way) with dried fruits, vanilla and some wintery spice, especially on the finish. Just feels a bit simpler on the palate than maybe it should. 92/100
  • 1938 Kopke Porto Colheita
    A much headier nose than the 1966 Colheita, with some additional citrussy freshness, sultanas and mixed peel. A bit like opening an old, polished dark oak box containing dried fruit and woody spices. A remarkably fresh, vibrant palate. Dried fruits and lots of dried, candied citrus zest. A very pleasing acidity. A touch of caramel and chocolate on the finish. Brillliant stuff. But so it should be at £350+ a bottle. 95/100
Kopke Colheita 1938

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Last updated: 5 January 2016