Stanton & Killeen Vintage Fortified 2002 | Review

Stanton & Killeen Vintage Fortified 2002

a totally delicious vintage port style, with an elegance no other young Australian vintage ports approach. (96) JAMES HALLIDAY, TASTED 2021

Stanton and Killeen vintage port is Australia’s best, and most complex vintage port, by a long, long shot. CAMPBELL MATTINSON

I had to dig up an old note I wrote for this, circa 2017, as there was no time to waste waiting for another bottle to drink. Ok, perhaps that isn’t entirely accurate, I mean, this wine will age gracefully for decades to come, so I could have waited… I guess… but when we got offered some I got excited.

Stanton and Killeen VP elicits the same kind of reaction as the best of the region’s Muscat and Tokays, for me. There simply is no other vintage fortified style of this calibre, style, stature, produced in Australia. I will fight my corner on that all day, every day.

Unlike many of our VP styles the late, truly great, Chris Killeen was more forward thinking and planted the traditional Port varieties early on in the piece, assuring old vine stock and great source material for generations to come.

For Australian fortified nerds, like me, Chris Killeen was something of a mythical figure in the trade. A fellow who was leagues ahead of the pack with this kind of wine. I would make an annual pilgrimage to the region, started back when I was at uni, to visit the winery (and a few others, plus the pubs, and the bakery…) and buy my yearly bottle or two. I was poor and a student and these were some of the wines I made sure I saved up for to splash out on for the stash.

The only thing that has changed after all those years is I don’t get the chance to visit as often now and I love these old bottlings even more. There is an old emotional connection for me, but that is a direct correlation with the quality of the wines he produced. They were awesome, I loved them, I bought them and kept visiting to taste and get more, so I am sentimentally attached.

Certainly didn’t fall in love with the place for the romantic cellar door… at times gruff service… the long drive and oft hot days. The wines, all of the fortified but especially the VP are a shining beacon of quality in Australia and deserving of far more attention than they get, even today.

Anyway, my note read;Great colour. Still pretty youthful with plenty of bramble fruit, touch of conserve or liqueur among the array or florals. Sweet baking spices. Excellent concentration. Really long. Balanced. Fresh feeling with excellent structure. Based on its current state and the sense of balance I think this would look even better 20 years from now. One of the best SK VP.

Not my usual flourish, the notes I write for myself. I have had that 02 a number of times and for me it remains one of my favourites from that era. ​​​​​​

I know not everyone drinks Port the way I do, but you should!

Buy cases of this stuff, open it and drink it. Not just at the end of a stuffy meal with your mates, crack one on a Friday night and watch a movie. These aren’t like the thick and unctuous sticky sweet Muscats and Tokays, these are exceptionally well poised and beautifully composed red wines with tremendous aging potential and a natural, seductive, sweetness. At this stage of its life this wine should put the biggest smile on a lot of faces. However, given the appropriate time in a nice cool cellar this will continue to to develop and mature beautifully. The track record for these wines is impeccable and the 02 should prove to be something truly remarkable over the next couple of decades, if you have the patience, which I do not. 

​​​​​​Trust me, you will love them. Even if you don’t believe me, try one.

There is a bunch more available, so if you wanted any specific vintages please let me know, but the 02 is a personal favourite so that is what I thought was worth focusing on today.

Cheers and drink up


Prince Wine Store