Finding a new favourite vintage port

Anything to do with Port.
PhilW
Dow 1980
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Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by PhilW » 17:13 Sun 28 Aug 2011

Thanks to all for their suggestions and the various ports I have had opportunity to try at a couple of offlines, I currently have a short-list of suitable replacement 'favourite' vintage ports, as follows:

1= Calem 85
1= Morgan 91
3 [runner up] Warre 91

However, since both top choices are essentially unavailable for purchase, the "runner up" of Warre91 is currently top candidate, although it is only really just ready for drinking now, but will likely become a future staple.
A case of Warre77 is planned in the interim while stocks last ;) and I look forward to many more offlines and tasting to discover other delicious ports :D

PhilW.

PhilW
Dow 1980
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Location: Near Cambridge, UK

Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by PhilW » 09:01 Thu 01 May 2014

A recent discussion brought me back to this thread, which I started on joining TPF. Interesting to see how things have changed; Rather than a single replacement "house port", I now effectively have three: Cá85, F83 and Ch85, plus the old favourite W77 though I have that less often. The Mg91 did not stand up to the test of repeated tasting (or availability), and W91 I can still see as an option for the future, but it is still a touch young for now.

LGTrotter
Dalva Golden White Colheita 1952
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Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by LGTrotter » 19:35 Thu 01 May 2014

This is the first time I have noticed this thread (I see the controversy around VA and the '85s raged even in those far off days) and I wondered if you still have the objection to LBVs and crusted ports that you expressed back then. I sort of agree with you about the LBVs but I have been drinking a lovely Graham 98 crusted over the last 2 days. I am fully on board with the Warre 77 and the Churchill 85 but I have always been underwhelmed by the Fonseca 83.

I think your house ports are rather glamorous, I tend to look for something sub £20 as an everyday drinker and so have tended to go for crusted ports, the odd SQVP and supermarket BOBs of which Tesco 94 seems to be the prima inter pares. I think of them as 'cellar defenders', but if I was back then offering a one off recommendation I would have said Warre 80.

LGTrotter
Dalva Golden White Colheita 1952
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Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by LGTrotter » 20:43 Thu 01 May 2014

I am also a bit curious about how many bottles it takes to count as a 'house port', is it one case or more? Or is 'house port' more a state of mind than a number?

PhilW
Dow 1980
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Location: Near Cambridge, UK

Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by PhilW » 21:42 Thu 01 May 2014

LGTrotter wrote:I wondered if you still have the objection to LBVs and crusted ports that you expressed back then.
I still feel the same way about young LBV, but I thoroughly enjoy the older unfiltered LBVs (>25yr old); I've had some old crusted which I would rate as highly as VP, younger crusted (such as the G98crusted which I also had recently) is just too young for my taste though.
LGTrotter wrote:I am also a bit curious about how many bottles it takes to count as a 'house port', is it one case or more? Or is 'house port' more a state of mind than a number?
LGTrotter wrote:I think your house ports are rather glamorous, I tend to look for something sub £20 as an everyday drinker and so have tended to go for crusted ports, the odd SQVP and supermarket BOBs of which Tesco 94 seems to be the prima inter pares. I think of them as 'cellar defenders', but if I was back then offering a one off recommendation I would have said Warre 80.
I think it depends on the individual, in large part depending on the quantity and frequency with which you open bottles. For example, if you had F27x8, F55x12, F70x40 (I wish!) and only drank one bottle every other month, then F70 could be your "cellar defender". In my original post, this wasn't intended to be an "everyday drinker" for me, but a replacement for W77 as a regular favourite treat. Old Warre LBVs had been helping to ensure that I didn't drink too many of these either, until recently when I drank the last of them.

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AHB
Fonseca 1963
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Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by AHB » 11:17 Fri 02 May 2014

LGTrotter wrote:I am also a bit curious about how many bottles it takes to count as a 'house port', is it one case or more? Or is 'house port' more a state of mind than a number?
To me, a house port is more a state of mind than a number. I consider a house port to be a go to port, one of which you have a reasonable stock acquired at a modest price and to which you can turn when you need a comfort drink.

In my mind there is can be a difference between a house port and a cellar defender. The cellar defender is a cheap bottle acquired to provide a good quality drink and to make it easier to resist the temptation of something being saved for another day, or something which really should be left alone for longer as you know it will be better in 10 years, but it tastes so good now... The two could be the same - and perhaps the Graham 1998 Crusted is a good example - but they could also be very different. I tend to use any LBVs I've acquired as cellar defenders (I am still drinking my Croft 2004 LBV in half bottles that were bought from Tesco at £2.49 a half). The closest I have to a house port is Churchill 1985, which is very nice current drinking and was acquired at around £25 per bottle, but I don't open one often enough to really consider it my house port. I aim for variety rather than develop a comfortable and reliable go-to bottle.

Part of the reason why can be seen from my last few ports. We had some fabulous 1996 ports that really set me in the mood for good, mature 40-50 year-old port so I opened a bottle of Dalva 1970. It was lovely, but by the end of the bottle it was tasting a bit flabby and with a touch of VA. So I opened a bottle of Roriz 1995. This is fabulous - so much blackcurrant fruit but with lovely charcoal tannins that give a totally different experience to the Dalva. I'm not sure what will get opened next but it could well be a Croft 2004 LBV, just to see how they are at the moment.
Top Ports in 2019 (so far): Cockburn 1947 and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
2018 Ports of the year: São Leonardo 1927 White Port (Bottled 2018), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994

LGTrotter
Dalva Golden White Colheita 1952
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Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by LGTrotter » 22:27 Fri 02 May 2014

The difference between a cellar defender and a house port is clearer to me now. I am also with Phil that the Graham crusted 98 is too young. I am turning over the idea of a house port in that I have recently stocked up on Graham 77 and though I was tempted by other wines at a similar price (which I don't own) I ended up going with the Graham because I love it and want to see how it goes over the years. I thought that it was all of a piece with my encroaching 'old fart' status that I wanted consistency rather than variety. In this sense the concept of a house port may also be indicative of incipient senility, but I shall rage against the dying of the light by buying some reasonable Quarles Harris I have seen, this is not I realise evidence of being 'down with the kids'.

TLW
Quinta do Noval LBV
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Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by TLW » 02:57 Sat 03 May 2014

LGTrotter wrote:I thought that it was all of a piece with my encroaching 'old fart' status that I wanted consistency rather than variety. In this sense the concept of a house port may also be indicative of incipient senility, but I shall rage against the dying of the light by buying some reasonable Quarles Harris I have seen, this is not I realise evidence of being 'down with the kids'.
Not in the least bit senile (at least as far as I can remember), and in the interest of maintaining a more highbrow conversation, I have let all of my junior staff know that personally prefer being referred to as the slightly more aesthetically pleasing "vintage flatulence".

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jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
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Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by jdaw1 » 06:59 Sat 03 May 2014

TLW wrote:in the interest of maintaining a more highbrow conversation, I have let all of my junior staff know that personally prefer being referred to as the slightly more aesthetically pleasing "vintage flatulence".
An excellent phrasing. I smiled.

idj123
Graham’s Malvedos 1996
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Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by idj123 » 08:39 Sat 03 May 2014

I like the term 'cellar defenders' and right now the Offley 97 LBV (purchased via JDAW) seems to be meeting this definition-certainly as far as weeknights are concerned and before 'something for the weekend sir'...?

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jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
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Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by jdaw1 » 08:57 Sat 03 May 2014

idj123 wrote:Offley 97 LBV (purchased via JDAW)
2007.

idj123
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Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by idj123 » 10:04 Sat 03 May 2014

Yes, 2007 indeed-a case of number dyspepsia!

LGTrotter
Dalva Golden White Colheita 1952
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Re: Finding a new favourite vintage port

Post by LGTrotter » 20:46 Tue 06 May 2014

Having wandered back from cellar defenders to the nub of the issue to whit; what is the house port? Mine has gone from Croft 77 to Graham 85, then onto Graham 77. I love them all, probably because I've seen them all grow up a bit.

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