An interesting bottle - Quinta da Eira Vehla '43

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PhilW
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An interesting bottle - Quinta da Eira Vehla '43

Post by PhilW » 10:19 Mon 14 Sep 2015

Over the weekend I opened a special bottle to share with friends, which turned out to be unusual for more reasons than expected, so I thought I'd post about it.

The port was a bottle of Quinta da Eira Vehla '43 (or "Quinta Eira Vehla" as per the label), bottled by Hunt Roope & Co. The bottle came from auction a couple of years ago, and was slightly ullaged (upper-shoulder,roughly half-way between mid-shoulder and top-shoulder/base-neck).
QdEV43_bottle.jpg
QdEV43_bottle.jpg (21.54 KiB) Viewed 660 times
In addition to being an uncommon year, and certainly an uncommon year+shipper, the bottle itself is interesting. A three part bottle made of quite old glass, it has a capsule the style of which I have not seen before - it appears to be the original capsule, is intact, made of wax but has grooves down the side giving the appearance of a piece of cloth or paper placed over the top of the bottle and then gathered below; this can just about be seen in the bottle picture above, or a little more clearly in the side-view of capsule with top removed below (the capsule top was round and mostly smooth).
QdEV43_capsule.jpg
QdEV43_capsule.jpg (48.38 KiB) Viewed 660 times
The next surprise was that on removing the capsule, the cork appears to have been branded on its end with a circle:
QdEV43_cork.jpg
QdEV43_cork.jpg (43.54 KiB) Viewed 660 times
When cleaned later, this was a clear circle apparently branded on the end. The rest of the cork was normal, and once extracted (3/4 whole) the cork had "Eira Vehla" and "Vintage 1943" written across its length as normal. I've never seen branding on the end of the cork before though - has anyone else?

On decanting the bottle, the next surprise (particularly given the upper-shoulder level) was that there turned out to be more wine present in the bottle than in a standard 75cl bottle with level to top of neck; the bottle is (significantly) over-sized. The port itself was crystal clear, of an orange colour, with no obvious fault except possibly some light damage; it was pleasant to drink.

Overall, an uncommon bottle with a lot of unusual and interesting features.

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jdaw1
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Re: An interesting bottle - Quinta da Eira Vehla '43

Post by jdaw1 » 10:38 Mon 14 Sep 2015

Thank you for the report.

Some recent corks have had the year branded at the end.

LGTrotter
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Re: An interesting bottle - Quinta da Eira Vehla '43

Post by LGTrotter » 12:34 Mon 14 Sep 2015

An excellent story, quite mysterious. I do not know this for sure but I thought that three part moulded bottles were more a feature of the nineteenth century than the twentieth. As were odd sized bottles. I remember Tom saying he had drunk odd sized magnums but I can't imagine a commercial company filling odd sized bottles at this date. But then again it was the war, when presumably they would have used what they could find.

Could the brand simply be where the cork was driven?

Andy Velebil
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Re: An interesting bottle - Quinta da Eira Vehla '43

Post by Andy Velebil » 13:56 Mon 14 Sep 2015

I've seen the wavy wax capsules before. The red (now kinda more pink) ones from the 63 Dow's are quite similar. I have no idea how or what they use to achieve that.

Many corks are branded on the ends. Though not that many Port corks are.

As for the glass, I assume this was bottled in 1945 or 1946. being just after the war it would still have been hard to get decent glass bottles and one was probably using whatever they could get their hands on.

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djewesbury
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Re: An interesting bottle - Quinta da Eira Vehla '43

Post by djewesbury » 10:39 Sun 20 Sep 2015

What Andy said. There have been several posts about the acute shortage of bottles during the war. Maybe one local plant even began making them in the old style in lieu of having any more recent machinery to hand.

I'm a bit surprised that there are no other examples of cork-end branding. I'm sure I've seen this elsewhere. But a visit to my box of old corks confirms that none have a brand on the end. How strange!
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Re: An interesting bottle - Quinta da Eira Vehla '43

Post by JB vintage » 21:11 Mon 21 Sep 2015

Interesting report. We did taste the Eira Velha 1943 a couple of years ago. However, we did not notice the interesting details you did about the bottle. I think we were more focused on the contents :)

Perhaps your would be interested to know that Quinta Eira Velha was bought by Cable Rope in 1893 and was used as the main supply for their vintage port. Eira Velha was infrequently made as a single quinta. The Newman family bought the Quinta in 1938. Their port wine relation goes further back though though. In 1735, the Newman family had a partnership arrangements with the Holdsworth, who were involved in the port wine trade under the name of Hunt, Roope & Co and became known as Newman, Roope & Co.

You can read some additional facts on http://www.vintageport.se/house/QuintaEiraVelha.php and in addition on http://www.vintageport.se/house/Hunt.php

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