Large bottle sizes: a campaign

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jdaw1
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Large bottle sizes: a campaign

Post by jdaw1 » 22:59 Wed 23 Jan 2008

The IVDP prohibits the sale of port in sizes larger than magnum. This rule is manifestly silly: there are larger bottles than I want to buy; that the port makers want to sell; but sale isn’t allowed. Nuts!

So yesterday I started a campaign to get this rule changed. If you are willing to help, or might be willing to help, please say so in this thread, and if I don’t already have it PM me your email address.

I really do think that I might have found the IVDP’s weak spot.

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AHB
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Post by AHB » 09:51 Thu 24 Jan 2008

Although I have little personal interest in buying larger format bottles (except for a Nebuchadnezzar of 1896 we know of in London), I do think that the rule is eccentric in the extreme. I would be willing to support a campaign to change such a rule just on the principles of supporting free trade.

Alex
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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 11:17 Thu 24 Jan 2008

Julian,

If I recall correctly, when you were last in communication with someone in VNG, they responded by giving you a list of approved bottle sizes that went up to 300cl - which is a double magnum..

..or is the heat getting to me..? :D

Tom
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mosesbotbol
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Post by mosesbotbol » 13:52 Thu 24 Jan 2008

I'd love to be able to buy large format bottles. Imagine a collective group buys on an old barrel and bottles double magnums of Colheita.

Count me in too.

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jdaw1
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You have email containing the secret plans.

Post by jdaw1 » 14:20 Thu 24 Jan 2008

You have email containing the secret plans.

The IVDP prohibition is on sizes above 1.5L. Magnums allowed; tregnums and double-magnums not. But phrasing a bit messy:
By email somebody to jdaw1 wrote:Current legislation (as of 2006) states that for commercial purposes, only glass bottles with the following capacities in centiliters are allowed: 5 thru 10, 20, 37.5, 50, 75, 100 or 150; with exception of colheitas, Crusted, Late bottled vintage e Vintage, which can be bottled in 300 cl.

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RonnieRoots
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Post by RonnieRoots » 22:03 Thu 24 Jan 2008

If I understand correctly from that text, it is allowed to bottle vintage port in double magnum. So, what's the problem?

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jdaw1
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told verbally that magnums are the largest allowed

Post by jdaw1 » 22:11 Thu 24 Jan 2008

I have been told verbally (not in writing) that magnums are the largest allowed. And what about an Imperial? (There are Imperials I want to buy. I am willing to pay money. They aren’t allowed to sell.)

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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 04:12 Fri 25 Jan 2008

Double magnums are handsome bottles that you could decant without too much difficulty, whereas imperials would be just a little too heavy. The occasions when an imperial could be deployed are also few and far between.

I've thought before that getting a limited edition bottling of double mags - maybe 100, with numbered labels and individual cases - would be an interesting exercise.

As this only needs the co-operation of a shipper, rather than a battle royal with the IVDP, this would seem a better avenue to pursue!

Tom
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Axel P
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Post by Axel P » 08:21 Fri 25 Jan 2008

Julian,

as an MBA I strongly believe in the market and would allow everything to be sold which would be bought (maybe I would restrict drugs and firearms).

So: what is the point of the IVDP? Wouldn't it be an outstanding PR to open e.g. a Dows 1896 Nebukadnezar (which I know you are still thinking of) with a pic in the net and lot of Port-lovers around it.

Forget silly restrictions. Germany has way too many and look where it got us. Viva free markets!

Axel
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KillerB
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Post by KillerB » 11:57 Fri 25 Jan 2008

Having opened and poured two Methusela (6l) of Champagne I can say categorically that it is possible but gets tiring after a while. Anything bigger than that will require two people to pour and most of the time you would with the Methulsela.

Thus my recommendation for maximum size is 6 litres, but can see no reason why larger ones couldn't be made if the Quinta wanted. Magnums (Magna? Apparently not) are great but even bigger would be even better.
Port is basically a red drink

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Post by Andy Velebil » 15:54 Fri 25 Jan 2008

My understanding, and what I've been told, is producers cannot SELL any Vintage Port in anything larger than a magnum.

However, they can (and do) bottle larger formats that are given away as gifts (The 3L of Sandeman Vau Vintage most recently comes to mind). I've seen plenty of double mags and some larger formats in the producers cellars, so they do exist in extremely small quantities.

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Re: Large bottle sizes: a campaign

Post by DRT » 00:59 Sat 26 Jan 2008

jdaw1 wrote:If you are willing to help, or might be willing to help, please say so in this thread
I might be willing to help you.

Derek
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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 07:13 Sun 27 Jan 2008

OK, an action plan:

1) Double check whether 300cl VP is OK with the IVDP - yes or no?

2) If OK, find friendly producer - probably easier to strike a deal with one of the 'every year a vintage clan' - how about trying the newly independant van Zeller tribe for a special bottling of Q. Roriz??

3) Work out how many takers there might be for a large format bottling, and talk tough on price with the producer.

4) Arrange a special label design, and get it printed in a range of sizes. Order bottles, cases etc. Number lables, and get those for largest formats signed by the winemaker.

5) Get the 2007 vintage wine bottled next year in a full range of formats, 37.5cl through to 300cl, plus a handful of 600cl's to be discreetly tucked in the boot of Julian's car.

6) Ship and distribute.

7) Repeat following year and thereafter.

Tom
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KillerB
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Post by KillerB » 18:20 Sun 27 Jan 2008

More than anything I would be interested to know how it develops in the bottle. If somebody had done this 150 years ago we could have been drinking some pretty youthful 19th Century Ports, which would be nice.
Port is basically a red drink

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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 14:38 Mon 28 Jan 2008

While the assertion that large formats evolve more slowly is often repeated, the science behind the claim seems a tad suspect...

I would love to liberate a set of three mature bottles from VNG - half, bottle and magnum - of the same wine, bottled at the same time, and cellared together - so this mantra can be properly put to the test..

Tom
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Post by Axel P » 10:44 Tue 29 Jan 2008

I do have an appointment at the IVDP in March about some other matter. Should I query them about this???

xl
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Post by SimonSaysDrink » 15:33 Tue 29 Jan 2008

xl: Yes.

UT: Do you propose we plan such a tasting? 37,5 vs. 75 vs. 150 vs. 300 (if avail).

I would certainly petition to the allowance of larger formats if I knew without vagary that in nearly all instances large format bottlings far outpaced the qualities so consistently delivered by what's presently available. Is there already empirical evidence stating or at least suggesting this is the case, or shall we be the first to stage such an evaluation?

Growing more curious by the second... :?:
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Post by DRT » 12:52 Wed 30 Jan 2008

It seems we have a supported from within the trade who has very kindly agreed to be quoted as follows:
In an email to me today: Christian Seely, Managing Director of Quinta do Noval wrote:Of course I am in favour of being allowed to put Port into larger formats. If the producer wants to do it, the clients want it, and it is beneficial for the wine (all three of which conditions prevail), there is clearly no reason whatever for it to be forbidden.

When I say it is benefical, obviously I mean that it can help the wine to age for very long periods: we have all come across very old wines that have done better in large formats than in bottles. At any rate, it can certainly do the wine no harm to be in a larger format, and if the winemaker and the winedrinker want it, then it seems quite obvious that it is nobody's business to prevent it.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Post by Conky » 13:34 Wed 30 Jan 2008

Although this is a subject that is not close to my heart, it would seem that we need to find the correct mechanism to ask the IVDP such questions.
They may have reasons, which do not readily spring to mind, as to why they do not allow such large formats to be exported and sold. They may also be able to indicate whether they feel the matter is worthy of revue,etc.

Does anyone know of a procedure? I struggled to find a clue on the English page of the IVDP site.

Alan

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Conky: have you requested the secret plan?

Post by jdaw1 » 11:03 Thu 31 Jan 2008

Conky: have you requested the secret plan? If not, please do so, because it describes how we might persuade the IVDP.

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Post by Conky » 12:33 Thu 31 Jan 2008

Oh Great Riddle Master,

Could I catch glance of Ye fabled Secret Plan on sacred parchment?

Your humble Surf.

Alan, Son of Francis.

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Axel P
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Post by Axel P » 15:32 Thu 31 Jan 2008

Concy: http://www.ivdp.pt/index.asp?idioma=1&

or ivdp.pt and klick on the ENGLISH-Button far up left.

I talked to a couple of guys or they mailed me respectively. Bottom line was that in 96 you could register your more than magnum bottles to sell them in the future. Nowadays this is only possible with quite some difficulties from the IVDP. The main argument was that that big bottles seemed to be un-presitigious, I will ask the IVDP in the beginning of March and get back to you.

Axel
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Post by Conky » 15:50 Thu 31 Jan 2008

Axel,

thanks, I'll look forward to seeing what reaction you get.
Regarding the link, that's what I was refering to in my previous Post. The English page of the IVDP. They sadly dont have a Customer Enquiries department, or even a 'suggestions box'.

Alan

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RonnieRoots
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Post by RonnieRoots » 18:38 Thu 31 Jan 2008

OK, let me throw in a little bit of controversy. Apart from the fact that the IVDP rules are silly and I agree that the market should dictate whether odd bottle sizes are sold or not, I have my doubts about this campaign.

Should this campaign be succesul, then it would be possible for you to buy the first VP to be released in large bottle formats. Let's just assume it's going to be 2008. As Mr. Seely correctly stated, a vintage port will age slower in large bottle format than in a bottle of regular size. Then the question arises: When are you ever going to drink this 2008? If you consider that many of the ports that are now 30 to 40 years old are still too young, it isn't difficult to imagine that your beautiful, very large bottle of VP will be a child still at that age. I don't know about you guys, but I have no intention whatsoever to spend a lot of money on a port that will certainly outlive me. Regardless of how cool that bottle may look in my cellar.

Now, if the port shippers were willing and able to sell some of those big older bottles that I've seen in a number of lodges.... that would be a completely different story.

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Post by Conky » 20:38 Thu 31 Jan 2008

That's precisely why I mentioned it's not dear to my heart. As a protocol for the future, it is obviously correct, but if it's for future generations, I lose a large chunk of enthusiasm.

Alan

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