General query on maturity in half bottles

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jdaw1
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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by jdaw1 » 21:01 Wed 07 Jan 2015

flash_uk wrote:I say all the above, having not actually ever owned or opened a 375 of port.
A fabulous boast.

Calculation above is easy. Volume = v. Linear size of bottle ∝ v^⅓, and internal surface area ∝ v^⅔. So volume to surface area varies as v ÷ v^⅔, which is v^⅓. So a factor of 2 in volume changes the internal area/volume ratio by a factor of about 1.26. In other words, a 25.2YO full bottle would taste as a half bottle had 5.2 years before.

The observed effect is larger than that.

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by DaveRL » 21:50 Wed 07 Jan 2015

jdaw1 wrote:In other words, a 25.2YO full bottle would taste as a half bottle had 5.2 years before.

The observed effect is larger than that.
Thank you for the calculations. Yes, significantly larger. Either not the complete answer (wasn't expected to be) or idea was a load of tosh. :D

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by DRT » 23:45 Wed 07 Jan 2015

Glenn E. wrote:I, personally, would not have said that a 375 ages twice as fast as a 750.
+1

I think the gap will widen inconsistently more rapidly with age, which is why I correctly described it as almost exactly exponentially.
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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by DRT » 23:47 Wed 07 Jan 2015

jdaw1 wrote:
flash_uk wrote:I say all the above, having not actually ever owned or opened a 375 of port.
A fabulous boast.
From a man who commented within the past 48 hours that he started drinking Port 12 months ago?
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by djewesbury » 01:26 Thu 08 Jan 2015

Wonderful. Answers can be summarised as "we've no idea, and we can prove it".
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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by LGTrotter » 03:17 Thu 08 Jan 2015

jdaw1 wrote:In other words, a 25.2YO full bottle would taste as a half bottle had 5.2 years before.
As you say:
jdaw1 wrote:A fabulous boast.

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by PhilW » 10:36 Thu 08 Jan 2015

JWEW wrote:If we can approximate the surface area of the liquid to that of a cylinder (which we can only do if the bottle is stored upright) then ...
For en upright bottle or half-bottle, unless it has leaked, surely the surface area will be the cross-section of the neck? Which makes use of a standard cylinder as an approximation for top surface area inaccurate by a significant factor.

(a) If the exposed surface area were the only relevant factor, and the neck on a 375ml bottle is approximately the same size as that on a 750ml bottle, the the SA:VOL ratio for standing half bottles would be double that for standard bottles.

(b) Of course, most bottles would be lying down; I would need to take some measurements to estimate the air volume in order to determine the surface area on the lying bottle and hence ratio in different for half vs standard bottles for this.

(c) If the surface area itself is less relevant, and the primary issue were the volume of air in the bottle, then whether the bottle were lying or standing, it would be the volume of air present in neck, thus a similar amount for both bottle sizes; this would imply an AIR_VOL:LIQ_VOL for half bottles would again be double that for full size bottles.

(a) or (c) would imply maturation at twice the rate for half-bottles, if the scaling is linear (for which there is no evidence to date of which I am aware?).

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by flash_uk » 10:59 Thu 08 Jan 2015

PhilW wrote:
JWEW wrote:If we can approximate the surface area of the liquid to that of a cylinder (which we can only do if the bottle is stored upright) then ...
For en upright bottle or half-bottle, unless it has leaked, surely the surface area will be the cross-section of the neck? Which makes use of a standard cylinder as an approximation for top surface area inaccurate by a significant factor.
Phil - the surface area of the cylinder part of the debate was aiming at a view of the overall surface area available to react with something, for example with the glass bottle, rather than aiming at some view on the impact of oxygen quantity.

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by AHB » 23:49 Fri 09 Jan 2015

The oldest half bottle I've had was a Croft 1904 that Tom brought to one of the Xmas offlines - that was brilliant. I've had some 1927s from half bottles, they were great. Justin K shared an amazingly good bottle of Cockburn 1947 with Derek and me some years back.

Stop dissing half bottles. They can be great as an aperitif while decanting for the evening.

From my experience, half bottles do mature slightly faster than full bottles. The UK cellared SW83 and D85s that I had in halves were mature and have been drunk up while the same wines in my cellar in 75cl format are only about half drunk.

I would love to try an offline where we have halves, bottles, magnums, tappit hens and double magnums of a mature port. Anyone have halves of any of the 1977 vintages? Let's see what we can line up together.
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: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by jdaw1 » 00:13 Sat 10 Jan 2015

AHB wrote:I would love to try an offline where we have halves, bottles, magnums, tappit hens and double magnums of a mature port. Anyone have halves of any of the 1977 vintages? Let's see what we can line up together.
Great idea; you know where to start a thread.

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by djewesbury » 00:36 Sat 10 Jan 2015

I also tried one of Justin's halves of Ck47 and it was indeed excellent. He will be amused at your gender reassignment of him/her.
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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by AHB » 00:38 Sun 11 Jan 2015

djewesbury wrote:I also tried one of Justin's halves of Ck47 and it was indeed excellent. He will be amused at your gender reassignment of him/her.
Whoops. Sorry Justin.
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: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by AHB » 00:39 Sun 11 Jan 2015

jdaw1 wrote:
AHB wrote:I would love to try an offline where we have halves, bottles, magnums, tappit hens and double magnums of a mature port. Anyone have halves of any of the 1977 vintages? Let's see what we can line up together.
Great idea; you know where to start a thread.
If someone provides a positive answer in this thread, I will look to organise an offline.
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: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by djewesbury » 00:48 Sun 11 Jan 2015

AHB wrote:
djewesbury wrote:I also tried one of Justin's halves of Ck47 and it was indeed excellent. He will be amused at your gender reassignment of him/her.
Whoops. Sorry Justin.
Turns out I was wrong as well, the one we drank was a 1950; but from the same batch.
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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by flash_uk » 09:48 Sun 11 Jan 2015

AHB wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:
AHB wrote:I would love to try an offline where we have halves, bottles, magnums, tappit hens and double magnums of a mature port. Anyone have halves of any of the 1977 vintages? Let's see what we can line up together.
Great idea; you know where to start a thread.
If someone provides a positive answer in this thread, I will look to organise an offline.
Would love to do this too, but sadly my cellar does not yet extend to formats beyond 750! Will keep an eye out though from now on. Finding halves and tappit hens from middle aged vintages and older is a rarity now I think.

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by djewesbury » 12:29 Sun 11 Jan 2015

I believe Alex still has tappit hens of some of the 77s. The question would then be whether there are double mags of a 77 sitting in Oporto that the Syms would sell us. I suspect this is not an impossibility but the approach would need to be made.
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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by AHB » 21:35 Sun 11 Jan 2015

djewesbury wrote:I believe Alex still has tappit hens of some of the 77s. The question would then be whether there are double mags of a 77 sitting in Oporto that the Syms would sell us. I suspect this is not an impossibility but the approach would need to be made.
I do have a few tappit hens, but don't recall ever seeing any double magnums. But if we could get some halves of, say, Warre 1977 then we might be able to line up halves, bottles, magnums and tappit hens. But I don't know that I've ever seen half bottles of Symington 1977 ports.
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Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by djewesbury » 02:36 Mon 12 Jan 2015

Who volunteers to ask whether they might be found? And could introducing Oporto-stored halves into this mix risk fouling the water somewhat, since they'd possibly be even more advanced than English-cellared?
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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by RAYC » 03:25 Mon 12 Jan 2015

djewesbury wrote:And could introducing Oporto-stored halves into this mix risk fouling the water somewhat, since they'd possibly be even more advanced than English-cellared?
Personally I don't think that the results will count for much unless they are all oporto-cellared and from one of the recent ex-cellars releases. Too many variables beyond bottle size otherwise.

We did something similar with Vau a couple of years ago I think - if not, that one should be relatively easy to do (half, bottle, magnum, double magnum) if people were interested.
Rob C.

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by jdaw1 » 10:56 Mon 12 Jan 2015

RAYC wrote:We did something similar with Vau a couple of years ago I think - if not, that one should be relatively easy to do (half, bottle, magnum, double magnum) if people were interested.
18 Sep 2012, Vau of various vintages in singles and halves.
• End-Dec 2012, SV00 in half and double magnum.
28 May 2013, SV00 in half and double magnum.

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by idj123 » 13:46 Mon 12 Jan 2015

If the offer is still open (and maybe Alex could confirm?), I see that we could access and purchase GC80 in 37.5, 75 and 150cl formats. These would presumably have the same provenance as each other other and would therefore provide a consistent basis for such an experiment (incidentally, looking at the list, this seems to be the only shipper and realistic year where all three formats are available).

By my reckonong, a group purchase for cases of 12, 6 and 3 respectively, would cost about £80 per person all in (assuming 10 participants in the experiment) and there might even be some left over for a future '80 horizontal or else individual purchase. Any thoughts?

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by Andy Velebil » 03:01 Wed 14 Jan 2015

AHB wrote: .... But I don't know that I've ever seen half bottles of Symington 1977 ports.
I have 1977 Gould Campbell VP in .375ml bottles. I can be persuaded to keep one for a tasting but that would need to be the next time I fly over to London (most likely later this year), or if you all come to L.A.

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Re: General query on maturity in half bottles

Post by PhilW » 08:50 Wed 14 Jan 2015

AHB wrote:
djewesbury wrote:I believe Alex still has tappit hens of some of the 77s. The question would then be whether there are double mags of a 77 sitting in Oporto that the Syms would sell us. I suspect this is not an impossibility but the approach would need to be made.
I do have a few tappit hens, but don't recall ever seeing any double magnums. But if we could get some halves of, say, Warre 1977 then we might be able to line up halves, bottles, magnums and tappit hens. But I don't know that I've ever seen half bottles of Symington 1977 ports.
Warre 1977 sold in half-bottle recently here, and mentioned by New York Magazine (28 Mar 1988) as available at "Chez Louis, where a half-bottle of 1977 Warre costs $21"

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Chris Doty
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what a silly thread!

Post by Chris Doty » 20:01 Tue 27 Jan 2015

Ahh the virtues of half bottles!

among others...
1. less impact from TCA/Spoilage/etc (one $100 750ml bottle of corked wine < two $50 375ml bottles of wine, of which one is corked)
2. more chances to diversify your cellar (explore regions, producers, take gambles, etc)
3. more accessible young (pls see Quevedo 2011 if you don't believe me)
4. more romantic (e.g., if you finish a meal for 2 with a 750 of port, either you're the one taking your trousers off, or they're staying on entirely, whereas...)

In terms of the 'science' of the aging curve, that's beyond my pay grade. I am still very much enjoying 80Ds, 86Gms, 91GCs, 94Ws, and several other 375s that have been available in quantity from the US. My oldest 375 is a 45 (47?) Warre (Dow?) which I would be happy to share at a suitable occasion. My youngest 375s would be the 300 2011s I purchased from Jeff/Oscar :pig: incidentally, those have retained a freshness and accessibly that has been sucked out of their 750ml cousins (to my palate, at least). Again, I would be happy to organize a 375/750/6L tasting of Quevedo in NYC, LON, both, or Other. I could also do 375/750/1.5 of Dow 80, and/or of Taylor 77, if memory serves.

Port pros seem to scoff a 375s. Happily, that just means more for Christopher!

Good Hunting

woo woo

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