Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

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flash_uk
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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by flash_uk » 00:15 Thu 05 Jun 2014

AHB used some of his basic moderator powers to move the background notes to the Taylor 1863 launch from the Tasting Notes forum to the Port Conversations forum. Unfortunately these basic skills were not good enough to put the first post at the top of this thread! You can find it further down the thread here.
AHB wrote:I hadn't realised that Taylor's have continued to sponsor Jazz FM's dinner jazz programmes over the winter and was delighted to hear that they will be starting a third season of sponsorship this Autumn. Adrian has promised to send me a link to a Taylor / Jazz FM micro site where you can listen to past episodes of the Taylor broadcasts.
Now that gives me a bit of an idea. I wonder if it would be possible to find a venue with live jazz, together with a private room for a port tasting and with restaurant service to provide sustenance?
AHB wrote:Neither had I realised that the current average ex-cellars price for Douro DOC wine is nearly as high as the average ex-cellars price for Port. Given the price of grapes for table wine is substantially less than for Port, this means the margin on table wine is substantially higher than Port.
Do you mean ruby port?

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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by djewesbury » 02:03 Thu 05 Jun 2014

flash_uk wrote:
AHB wrote:I hadn't realised that Taylor's have continued to sponsor Jazz FM's dinner jazz programmes over the winter and was delighted to hear that they will be starting a third season of sponsorship this Autumn. Adrian has promised to send me a link to a Taylor / Jazz FM micro site where you can listen to past episodes of the Taylor broadcasts.
Now that gives me a bit of an idea. I wonder if it would be possible to find a venue with live jazz, together with a private room for a port tasting and with restaurant service to provide sustenance?
Flash, you're getting very close to an idea that Josh and I talked about for NYC in the autumn...
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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by jdaw1 » 16:25 Thu 05 Jun 2014

Please may I move this to the Port Conversations section?

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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by Chris Doty » 19:40 Thu 05 Jun 2014

jdaw1 wrote:Please may I move this to the Port Conversations section?
Permission granted.

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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by AHB » 22:46 Thu 05 Jun 2014

jdaw1 wrote:Please may I move this to the Port Conversations section?
On reflection, that is a better place for this thread. Please feel free to move it.

2 days later...
I've changed my mind. I like having the background to the tasting note.
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by AHB » 22:51 Thu 05 Jun 2014

DJewsbury wrote:
AHB wrote:Neither had I realised that the current average ex-cellars price for Douro DOC wine is nearly as high as the average ex-cellars price for Port. Given the price of grapes for table wine is substantially less than for Port, this means the margin on table wine is substantially higher than Port.
Do you mean ruby port?
No, I think it was the average price for all port types of all qualities from Supermercado own label basic white right up to Nacional 1963. Average price excluding tax and shipping was €4.70 while table wines were €4.60 (I think - I didn't note the prices so I am relying on my imperfect memory. Perhaps a kind person with access to the IVDP website could check these numbers for me.)
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by AHB » 22:59 Fri 06 Jun 2014

Tasting note now added to the foot of the first post in this thread.
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by flash_uk » 23:08 Fri 06 Jun 2014

AHB wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:Please may I move this to the Port Conversations section?
On reflection, that is a better place for this thread. Please feel free to move it.

2 days later...
I've changed my mind. I like having the background to the tasting note.
Would it make sense to carve out the chit chat about Jazz and the relative avg prices of Douro still vs port to a different thread?
Last edited by flash_uk on 10:18 Mon 09 Jun 2014, edited 1 time in total.

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1863 Taylor London Launch

Post by AHB » 11:23 Sun 08 Jun 2014

The London launch of the 1863 Taylor colheita was a very slick and professional presentation. Adrian Bridge provided a commentary over a nicely chosen selection of photographs of Vila Nova de Gaia, the Douro and events around the world from 1863. Adrian also provided some very interesting information about the Port market and the growth of the Tawny With Indication of Age sector.

I managed to note the following snippets from Adrian's presentation:
- Junco has been contributing grapes to the Taylor wines since the 2000 vintage.
- Aged tawnies have been stored for a few years (5?) in the new TFP storage facility near Sao Joao de Pesqueira. This is proving to be a very successful facility as temperature and humidity can be perfectly controlled and has also removed pressure on space in Vila Nova de Gaia to the extent that some of the real estate is for sale or is being converted to other uses. Wines to be used for the aged tawnies are treated similarly to the ruby ports - aged in the Douro in the winter to fall bright and then moved to Vila Nova de Gaia / Sao Joao de Pesqueira. There they are allocated to a product range - ruby, ruby reserve, LBV, VP, tawny, 10yo, 20yo, 30yo, 40yo etc. The TWIOA wines are assigned to a product range and aged for the appropriate time. The wines are racked yearly, with an oxidative action - basically splash decanted into a big tub - blended together and then put back into cleaned casks. Each year the blend is adjusted slightly where necessary with a bit of this or a bit of that and then left to slumber for another year until ready to be bottled.
- Taylor's lose around 1,000 litres per year to evaporation from barrels of tawny!
- Asia is growing to become an important market for 40 year old tawny (which currently retails for around £140 per bottle - the price has been increasing following growing demand for a very limited supply with a long lead time to increase output!). 2013 saw sold a total of 3,400 cases of 40 year old - 28% went to the US, 24% to Portugal, 9% to Canada, 7% to the UK, 5% to France, 3% to Russia, 3% to Switzerland, 10% to other parts of Europe and 11% to other parts of the world (mainly Asia).
- Demand for aged tawnies is growing and broke through the 500,000 case per year barrier in 2013.

I also had the chance to chat to Adrian briefly after the presentation. I hadn't realised that Taylor's have continued to sponsor Jazz FM's dinner jazz programmes over the winter and was delighted to hear that they will be starting a third season of sponsorship this Autumn. Adrian has promised to send me a link to a Taylor / Jazz FM micro site where you can listen to past episodes of the Taylor broadcasts. When I receive it I will post it on the main site. We also spoke about the general move of port production towards quality and away from volume and the problems this will cause for farmers and wine producers as the resulting social changes happen. Revenue is growing while volume is dropping, which hopefully means that margins are also growing. Neither had I realised that the current average ex-cellars price for Douro DOC wine is nearly as high as the average ex-cellars price for Port. Given the price of grapes for table wine is substantially less than for Port, this means the margin on table wine is substantially higher than Port.

1863 was a cold winter, remaining cold right up until flowering in May. This was followed by a hot, dry summer. The Douro river was so low and slow that it was reported to be able to be crossed in places without having to roll up your trousers to keep them dry. It was an early harvest - September 14th in the Baixo Douro. The grapes were harvested in the best condition since 1834 although the size of the harvest was quite small because of the drought. Adrian confirmed that this wine was bought in by Taylor's. After the presentation Adrian observed that the Taylor price of circa £3,000 per bottle was cheaper than Wiese & Krohn, who had been offering these to the market at £16,000 for the twin pack of 1896 White / 1863 Tawny.

The tasting note for the 1863 Taylor colheita can be found here. A glass of the Taylor 40 year old tawny was also tasted alongside the 1863 colheita and the tasting note for the tawny is here.
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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Re: 1863 Taylor London Launch (new)

Post by LGTrotter » 11:50 Sun 08 Jun 2014

Admins can you please cease and desist chopping, realigning and generally tinkering with this thread for a minute. It is making me sea sick and I keep having to rewrite my post so it makes sense. I shall type quickly in the hope I may get this out before the thread is renamed and moved to :ftlop2014: .

Firstly I presume that evaporation is proceeds faster in the Douro than in the VNDG as well as producing a wine of different character. As you seem to have tasted every port produced since the flood I wonder Alex (or anybody else) if you could comment on the comparisons between Scion and the 1863.

I also thought about the price, £3000/bottle seems a lot but is much less than the Krohn price. A total of 1600 bottles produces a total of just under £5M, which when you take off marketing, duty, paying somebody to make the decanters and boxes, blah, blah is not that much, or is it? The cachet of marketing 150yo wines may have more to do with this. This is of course entirely separate from whether it is value for the consumer which it does not seem to be (to me). So TFP may have produced a brilliant wine (see Alex's tasting note) as cheaply as is feasible and still have missed the goal by a wide margin.

Any thoughts?

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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by DRT » 12:11 Sun 08 Jun 2014

From a consumer's point of view, I think the prices being charged for "new" old Port like this one are quite ridiculous and will probably result in most of it not being drunk.

If you want a fortified Portuguese wine with 150 years of age you can buy one of these at <10% of the cost.

The price of the bottle linked to will have been driven by consumer demand. The prices for these old Ports is being set by finance directors who hope to inject a few million into the balance sheet rather than providing excellent wines that can be bought or drunk by their normal consumers.

Good luck to them I say - as I have said before times are hard in that trade and it is difficult to argue with banking a few million euros when the opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately, the down side is that most of those bottles will end up in cellars and will never see the light of day, never mind a glass.
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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by LGTrotter » 13:38 Sun 08 Jun 2014

DRT wrote: ...will probably result in most of it not being drunk..
..rather than providing excellent wines that can be bought or drunk by their normal consumers.
This is what troubles me most about these wines, depressing really. What is the point of them? I know I have flogged this horse to death already but the current claret market is a good example of what happens when the separation between what a wine is 'worth' and what a drinker will pay become too detached from each other. It seems such an enormous leap in price between these ports and the next step down. Which I suppose is the good news, I can forget Scion and the 1863 and still drink terrific wines.

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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by DRT » 13:43 Sun 08 Jun 2014

LGTrotter wrote:I can forget Scion and the 1863 and still drink terrific wines.
+1

20 bottles of Taylor's 1963 that I would drink or 1 bottle of Taylor's 1863 that I wouldn't isn't a hard sum for me.
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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by djewesbury » 13:59 Sun 08 Jun 2014

LGTrotter wrote:… the separation between what a wine is 'worth' and what a drinker will pay become too detached from each other. It seems such an enormous leap in price between these ports and the next step down. Which I suppose is the good news, I can forget Scion and the 1863 and still drink terrific wines.
That's the point though isn't it. These are not really wines being released to market, as Derek says they're just vehicles for capital injection, and for building brand presence. We wouldn't normally pay attention to the ways in which the shippers get liquidity into their businesses. If TFP are so silly that to want to edge all Taylor products into a luxury goods market and have them priced alongside Prada and Louis Vuitton (I'm not convinced that they are, I don't think these occasional releases are serious efforts to do that), no doubt there are some people here who'll convince themselves that they are still good value and will continue to buy them. Good luck to them. I know I've contradicted myself on the following point elsewhere on :tpf: (partly because sometimes the active nihilist in me comes out and I just shrug and say, who cares?), but the price that someone - anyone - is stupid enough to be willing to pay for something and the price that it is 'worth', according to our knowledge of the product and its production, its quality and its comparison with similar products, are not the same thing. We all know that, however much we might want to think otherwise.
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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by DRT » 14:06 Sun 08 Jun 2014

These words added to my second to last post in case it wasn't obvious where I am coming from: "From a consumer's point of view, "
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by LGTrotter » 14:13 Sun 08 Jun 2014

Derek, can you clarify your ideas on the thinking behind the pricing of the 1863. Do you imply that it doesn't matter whether these wines sell or not because £5M worth of value has been added to the company? I may have misread you as my understanding of economics you could put in a matchbox without taking the matches out.

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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by DRT » 14:23 Sun 08 Jun 2014

LGTrotter wrote:Derek, can you clarify your ideas on the thinking behind the pricing of the 1863. Do you imply that it doesn't matter whether these wines sell or not because £5M worth of value has been added to the company? I may have misread you as my understanding of economics you could put in a matchbox without taking the matches out.
Just to be clear, I am talking about all of these wines, not just the Taylor 1863.

I'm not suggesting they won't sell. I think they will because collectors in the far east, Russia and to a lesser extent the USA will snap them up as trophies. That said, if they don't sell the producer can declare a significant asset in his stock which far exceeds the price he paid for the raw material. I have no idea how Portuguese accounting policies work but it doesn't seem to be too much of a stretch to imagine an outlay of £1m turning into an asset of £5m on the other side of the accounts. But that is no different to any luxury product apart from those that are made to order as they would never be held as an asset.
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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by LGTrotter » 14:37 Sun 08 Jun 2014

I am not so sure they will sell but I accept they may be in sufficiently small quantities to attract attention and sell through.

But often it is rarity which attracts collectors and I can still buy, for example Scion, at its original release price, I think it may have sold for less at auction. So that's the speculators out of it. And the collectors are not stupid, again as claret has found to its cost, if you can wait and get it cheaper; wait they will. I also do not think that the Asian market is a bottomless money pit as many excited marketeers seem to think (see claret, again).

As the prices rise it seems that more and more old barrels are being flushed out and the rarity factor starts to wane. But what do I know. There seem to be lot of very passionate port collectors on this site and the mood music is not positive.

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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by AHB » 21:09 Sun 08 Jun 2014

TFP has no stocks of Scion left for sale, so from their point of view it has sold out at a price of EUR 2,500 per bottle (although there are still some bottles left in the hands of retailers). If and when a supply comes onto the auction market they may well sell for less than the original price - but that's what happens with Port.

Interestingly for TFP, Scion opened up new markets for them with surprising demand from Asia and Russia. It seems the great age and rarity did bring Port to the notice of a new group of buyers (note I say buyers, not consumers). The increased profile of TFP in these new markets has since seen an increase in demand for their aged tawny ports and the 2011 vintage ports. The increase in demand for products such as the 40 year old tawny has supported an increase in price for that product since volume can't grow as quickly as demand has.

I've no idea how much the sales and marketing behind the 1863 colheita has cost. But if it's less than £5m and TFP get the same increase in profile in their new markets as they got out of Scion, what fabulous value that is! For a net payment received of, say, £3m TFP have got the equivalent of £10m of advertising in Asia and Russia.

No-one is forcing us to buy these rare (and very tasty) old ports and I can't really afford to do so. It's a different group of buyers who are now coming into the market and buying up - and consuming, from what I have been told - these new releases of old Ports. Get used to it chaps, the days of being able to buy 1853 Whitwham's or 1880 Millennium Port for £200 per bottle are gone. There are still some of these around (not at that price though!) so if you want to drink a damned good port from the 19th century then be quick. Whether this is a permanent shift up in the price of these old Ports will only become apparent over the next 20 years as small numbers of bottles come onto the auction market.

My feeling is that we're seeing a shift in the dynamics of the Port market in much the same way as the First Growth Bordeaux market changed 10-15 years ago. First Growth Bordeaux is not as expensive today as it was 5 years ago, but still much more expensive than when I could afford to buy the occasional bottle. I used to be able to buy 19th century Port; I resign myself to the fact that there are new buyers in the Port world who have been attracted by these old wines, who have more disposable income than I do and it will be them and not me who buy these new releases.
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by DRT » 21:23 Sun 08 Jun 2014

AHB wrote:Get used to it chaps, the days of being able to buy 1853 Whitwham's or 1880 Millennium Port for £200 per bottle are gone.
I got used to it a long time ago, but it doesn't stop me having a moan whenever someone pushes the soap box in my direction :P
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Re: 1863 Taylor colheita

Post by LGTrotter » 21:57 Sun 08 Jun 2014

DRT wrote:I got used to it a long time ago, but it doesn't stop me having a moan whenever someone pushes the soap box in my direction :P
Exactly. And in that spirit:
AHB wrote:TFP has no stocks of Scion left for sale, so from their point of view it has sold out at a price of EUR 2,500 per bottle (although there are still some bottles left in the hands of retailers).
Some bottles? A brief tour of the interweb would suggest that there are rather a lot of these which have yet to take their place in the palaces of the oligarchy. And wholesalers and retailers often nod and smile and take the proffered allocation thereby disguising the actual picture.

Despite my constant bleat about claret I do not think that the analogy is an exact one with these ports. 1er Cru wines have become the subject of speculation and I am not sure what the final destination of the price of these will be when they get to someone who will drink them, but I note that the price of new vintages of 1er Cru wines is substantially out of whack with the price of older vintages. I assume this is why Alex counsels us (wisely IMO) to buy older vintages.

The price of things goes up, that's OK, but it is the disparity which is striking here.

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