krakow wrote:The line is not discounted, so is £14 or so, but I'm wondering if the older ones might be worth picking up...
Late Bottled Vintage Ports represent something of a compromise, in that they're matured for slightly longer in oak casks than true Vintage Ports (nominally 4 years for LBVs - it could be slightly longer - versus only 2 years or so for Vintage Ports), and are often drawn from years when there weren't general declarations for Vintage Ports.
The whole idea of the exercise is to bring to market, in larger quantities, a Port that exhibits some
of the characteristics of a Vintage Port, but that also offers greater value and
drinkability upon release
. These sorts of Ports rarely benefit from further bottle ageing. (Note that this qualification does not
apply to Vintage Character Ports, which are usually unfiltered and can, on occasion, improve with further maturation.)
I'd say, therefore, that there is little to be gained by searching out older editions of LBVs, which will only possess the 'virtue' of having sat on the shelves for a longer period.
One more thing... Late Bottled Vintage Ports, in that they are rather fruit-driven as opposed to structured (i.e. not containing higher acidity and tannic levels that will further integrate with ageing) are meant to be consumed within a relatively short time-frame once opened. They will tend to deteriorate thereafter. So drink up!