Vesuvio 94 Cork shonkyness

Anything to do with Port.
Post Reply
User avatar
richmills
Fonseca Bin 27
Posts: 62
Joined: 15:53 Wed 28 Jul 2010
Location: New Forest

Vesuvio 94 Cork shonkyness

Post by richmills » 15:37 Tue 24 Oct 2017

I opened a bottle of Vesuvio 94 last night and had a right fight with the cork. It was quite dry, very crumbly and stuck to the sides. I ended up drilling the cork out in lots of little bits.

I had exactly the same problem with the previous bottle of Vesuvio 94 I opened from a completely different batch and I'm sure I've read similar reports from folks on the other place.

Is there a recognised problem with the corks on V94? Is it something to worry about for long term storage? And does anyone have a suggestion for how to get the corks out easier in future?

Cheers, Rich

(It's still delicious btw, even after the fight)

Glenn E.
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
Posts: 3349
Joined: 22:27 Wed 09 Jul 2008
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Vesuvio 94 Cork shonkyness

Post by Glenn E. » 22:33 Thu 26 Oct 2017

Your report sounds very familiar: 1994 Vesuvio Vintage Port.

I have not had one in the past quite as bad as the one documented in this link, but they do seem to have strange corks. I'm confident in the provenance of the bottle and I'd been storing it myself for a few years, so I'm nearly positive that the cork hadn't dried out. It was just a very crumbly cork, and as with yours it was also firmly stuck to the inside of the neck.

But as you can see from my score (94), it was still a pretty fantastic bottle of Port. (I tend to score high, but roughly parallel to AHB's scores. Subtract 2-3 points from my score and you'll have a decent estimation of what Alex might have rated the same Port.)
Glenn Elliott

Andy Velebil
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2478
Joined: 22:16 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Los Angeles, Ca USA
Contact:

Re: Vesuvio 94 Cork shonkyness

Post by Andy Velebil » 10:03 Sat 28 Oct 2017

I've had some similar issues from dry wine corks from this era as well. So I don't think it's just a Vesuvio issue.

User avatar
AHB
Quinta do Noval Nacional 1962
Posts: 11405
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Re: Vesuvio 94 Cork shonkyness

Post by AHB » 16:12 Sun 29 Oct 2017

I recently opened a bottle of Gould Campbell 1991 and had the same problem. There was no sign that the cork was defective in any way in terms of keeping port in the bottle and air (mostly) out but it exploded into a thousand fragments when I pulled the cork from the bottle.

I did try experimenting some time ago with heating the glass of the bottle where it surrounds the cork using the steam from a kettle. It's a bit of a faff, but it seems to melt the sugars that have managed to get themselves between cork and glass, which provides a little lubrication and helps the cork slide out of the bottle. It might be worth trying on the next bottle of Vesuvio 1994 you open. Or port tongs.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

User avatar
richmills
Fonseca Bin 27
Posts: 62
Joined: 15:53 Wed 28 Jul 2010
Location: New Forest

Re: Vesuvio 94 Cork shonkyness

Post by richmills » 19:03 Wed 01 Nov 2017

I'll try the kettle and steam idea next time if it looks like the cork is stuck. I don't think I should be allowed near open flames and port, so tongs are probably out :-)

I don't doubt there are many instances of dry and crumbly corks out there, I was just curious about whether it was particularly prevalent in V94 given my experiences and that other example noted by Glenn. It doesn't sound like anyone else has noticed it though so it must just be coincidence.

Post Reply