Decanting in Decanter

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djewesbury
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Decanting in Decanter

Post by djewesbury » 18:07 Fri 20 Dec 2013

Does anyone have last Monty's article from Decanter, on decanting port, and have you a scanner or perhaps access to a digital version of it?
Daniel J.
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DRT
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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by DRT » 20:01 Fri 20 Dec 2013

Surely that would be a breach of copyright?
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djewesbury
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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by djewesbury » 20:18 Fri 20 Dec 2013

That's true Derek. I think we should find out if we can get some sort of 'fair use' agreement with the publishers.
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AHB
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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by AHB » 16:16 Mon 30 Dec 2013

I have a copy of the article and would be happy to share the findings of the authors in a manner which did not breach copyright.

On the other hand, Decanter do put a lot of their material on their wesbite - is this series of articles not already available digitally?
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

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AHB
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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by AHB » 16:05 Sat 25 Jan 2014

I was given the December issue of Decanter as a Christmas present and have almost finished reading it. I have read the article on decanting but was rather underwhelmed by it. Obviously I can't breach copyright by reproducing the complete article, but I can report a summary of the article and the conclusions the tasters came to.

The tasters included Margaret Rand, Gerard Basset, Richard Mayson and Mel Jones. The purpose of the experiment was to determine whether decanting was important and - if it was - how long a port should be given in the decanter before being drunk. Strict timing was observed so that ports weren't given the chance to develop in the glass and it was the difference in decanting / bottle opening time that was being experienced.

Bottles were opened in pairs with one of the pair being decanted and the other remaining in the opened bottle. Pairs were opened 4 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour and immediately before being tasted.

3 ports were used for the experiment to try to cover young, middle-aged and mature vintage port. These ports used being Quinta Vale Dona Maria 2011, Taylor 1997 and Graham 1980.

The tasters were asked to determine which of each pair they preferred (decanted or bottle-aired) and which was their preferred length of time of decanting.

To my eye, the results were wholly inconclusive:
Vale Dona Maria 2011 was preferred by 7 of the tasters after a 2 hour decant and 1 after a 1 hour decant.
Taylor 1997 was preferred pop 'n' pour from a decanter by 3 tasters, after 1 hour in the open bottle by 3 tasters and after 2 hours in the open bottle by 1 taster.
Graham 1980 was preferred by 1 taster pop 'n' pour from the bottle, 1 pop 'n' pour from the decanter, 1 after 1 hour in the bottle, 2 after 1 hour in the decanter, 1 after 2 hours in the decanter, 1 after 4 hours in the bottle and 1 after 4 hours in the decanter.

Make of that what you will!

The conclusions are not surprising. Decanter recommends decanting all but the youngest vintage port in order to remove sediment. It also says that very young port is best drunk with less aeration (but my personal experience is completely contrary to that - I really like the 2011s with days of decanting time). Generally four hours of aeration is too long, and 1-2 hours is safest (says Decanter, not me!). The only finding which I did find interesting was that decanting vintage port makes it more aromatic, with aroma being affected by air more than taste is.

Anyone who would like to read the article in full, please let me know and I'll lend you my copy of the magazine. And while I'm feeling generous if anyone wants to borrow my copy of the Billionaire's Vinegar then let me know and I'll bring it with me to an offline.
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

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djewesbury
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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by djewesbury » 19:39 Sat 25 Jan 2014

I have had sight of this article now and like you found it rather limited in its conclusions. Now that these have been summarised here I'm interested to know what others make of them, and of Alex's excellent critique.
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TLW
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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by TLW » 00:18 Mon 27 Jan 2014

In agreement with Alex on the younger ports. If one feels compelled to drink them, my impression is that they tend to show better a day or two or three after decanting, rather than an hour or two or three. I also question the Decanter's view that decanting affects the aroma more than the taste - if anything, I would find the opposite, particularly with the younger ports.

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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by LGTrotter » 00:45 Mon 27 Jan 2014

TLW wrote:In agreement with Alex on the younger ports. If one feels compelled to drink them, my impression is that they tend to show better a day or two or three after decanting, rather than an hour or two or three. I also question the Decanter's view that decanting affects the aroma more than the taste - if anything, I would find the opposite, particularly with the younger ports.
Likewise, but also with older ports, after thirtyish years. But I will allow it takes nerves of steel to leave a decanted but undrunk thirty year old port for a day or two.

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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by jdaw1 » 11:50 Mon 27 Jan 2014

LGTrotter wrote:it takes nerves of steel to leave a decanted but undrunk thirty year old port for a day or two.
The problem is one of self-restraint rather than bravery.

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djewesbury
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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by djewesbury » 16:49 Mon 27 Jan 2014

jdaw1 wrote:
LGTrotter wrote:it takes nerves of steel to leave a decanted but undrunk thirty year old port for a day or two.
The problem is one of self-restraint rather than bravery.
Surely to get round this one simply has to decant a bottle or two every day, for three days hence; and at the start, to satisfy oneself with Billecart Salmon for two days?
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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by Glenn E. » 17:04 Mon 27 Jan 2014

Insufficient decanting across the board. Ergo, results meaningless.

Pop 'n' pour, 1, 2, and 4 hours? Aren't the first three essentially the same thing?

Should have been Pop 'n' pour, 4, 8, and 12 hours. And 12 likely still wouldn't have been enough for the 2011, and might not have been for the 1997.

G80 results are humorous.
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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by JB vintage » 08:20 Thu 30 Jan 2014

AHB wrote: To my eye, the results were wholly inconclusive
Great summary, but inconclusive as you say. What is your own experience? What is the best decanting time for different ages of vintage port?

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Re: Decanting in Decanter

Post by AHB » 00:41 Sat 01 Feb 2014

JB vintage wrote:
AHB wrote: To my eye, the results were wholly inconclusive
Great summary, but inconclusive as you say. What is your own experience? What is the best decanting time for different ages of vintage port?
I think it's a very personal decision. I know that I tend to prefer my ports to have a longer rather than shorter decant, but then I prefer my port to be older rather than younger. If I was decanting a Graham 1980, I would give it at least 4 hours and quite probably 8-12.
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

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