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1994 Tesco

Posted: 20:35 Sun 27 Apr 2008
by benread
1994 Tesco VP (bottled by Symington)
My first contribution to tasting notes.

This was tasted alongside a Quinta Do Castelinho of the same vintage. The Tesco VP was much darker and with a finer sediment - a commercial gauze style filter failed to remove much of it.

As a novice I can report that it seemed less mature than the QDC - quite dark red in colour. It was pleasant to drink and all 3 of us agreed at approx £15 per bottle well worth the investment. I will be buying some more!

We all rated the QDC as a more mature drink - much lighter in colour. Not knowing the scoring system being used here I will not confuse matters by trying to assign a score to either.

I am finishing the bottle this evening and still enjoying it as much as last night - no discernable difference though.

As an aside, can anyone tell me which house is responsible for the QDC - it was not mentioned on the bottle.

Re: 1994 Tesco VP (bottled by Symington)

Posted: 20:49 Sun 27 Apr 2008
by 10Anos
benread wrote:As an aside, can anyone tell me which house is responsible for the QDC - it was not mentioned on the bottle.
After reading some on this site I think the answer to be Castelinho Vinhos.

Posted: 05:56 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by RonnieRoots
Entertaining read, although their take on the quality of Castelinho is somewhat exaggerated. I've found their vintage ports to be ok, but not outstanding. They are quite proud of their aged tawnies, but I dislike them as they are quite volatile. The visitor centre in Regua is rather nice though, and the original Quinta do Castelinho is situated in one of the most beautiful and remote spots of the Douro (next to Quinta do Javali).

Ben, do you know if the Tesco was a special blend made for Tesco by the Symingtons or was is one of their brands, disguised as Tesco? Anyway, sounds like a good bargain.

Posted: 09:36 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by uncle tom
Ben, do you know if the Tesco was a special blend made for Tesco by the Symingtons or was is one of their brands, disguised as Tesco? Anyway, sounds like a good bargain.
For a long time the Tesco own brand vintage port had Quarles Harris' name in the small print, but now it is simply attributed to the Symingtons.

I can only assume that he Syms got IVDP approval for a batch of VP in their own name, laying it down until the likes of Tesco came shopping.

Tom

Posted: 12:05 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by AHB
Ben,

I've had the Tesco 1994 a few times and have enjoyed it on most occasions. If you buy more of these - make sure that you keep your receipt. I have had a bad one creep in to a batch but Tesco were really good and gave me my money back and a replacement bottle.

Alex

Posted: 12:05 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by RonnieRoots
That, or it's a batch of unsold port from one of the company's houses, relabeled to Tesco's. Did it give the name of a producer on the cork?

Posted: 12:12 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by RonnieRoots
That, or it's a batch of unsold port from one of the company's houses, relabeled to Tesco's. Did it give the name of a producer on the cork?

Posted: 12:33 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by benread
The bottle only referred to Symington family but Tesco website says it is Quarles Harris. I am none the wiser!

http://www.tesco.com/winestore/controll ... &R=5531067

Posted: 12:49 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by AHB
The Symington family own a fair number of shipper brands. Among these are Graham (probably at the top of their quality range) and Quarles Harris (probably at the bottom of their quality range - but still very good ports and tending to offer very good value for money).

Traditionally, QH (Quarles Harris) wines are made from grapes that the Symingtons buy in from other growers. They are then used to make the best wines possible from thosepurchased grapes and - I would guess - also from juice that was not used to make port under their other brands. However, the QH name does bring with it certain expectations as to style and quality which may not be consistent with the style, quality and price expectations of a supermarket own brand port.

Around 2 years ago, it seems that the Symington family (and indeed the Taylor Fladgate partnership) created a new company called something like "Symington Family Bottlers and Producers & Ca Lda" and now seem to be using this company name as their reference on supermarket own label wines in place of the QH name.

I didn't keep any of the old Tesco 1994 bottles, but I am sure that I have had some labelled with QH in the small print as well as Symington Family.

Alex

Posted: 12:52 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by RonnieRoots
Well, it probably is Quarles Harris then. Since a couple of years the Symingtons state on all their ports that it's bottled by the Symington Family Estates. Beforehand they used the names of the brands (or in Dow's case Silva & Cosens). Confusing, but there's no reason to believe that the blend for the Tesco's has changed. Very good bargain then. QH tends to age gracefully. The 1977 is lovely now.

Posted: 12:56 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by RonnieRoots
It seems that Alex is a slightly faster typer than me... as our responses are very much alike :wink:

Posted: 17:03 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by 10Anos
I must say that - so far - I have had no bad experiences with BOBs produced by the Symingtons. Some of them even surpirised me. I can't say that of most of the BOBs by other shippers I've tried so far.
There's one more comparison I'm planning: a Warre's Warrior vs. Conqueror Special Reserve...

Posted: 17:17 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by uncle tom
Hang on - looks like Tesco have moved on to another batch - it's a '95 port now..

Tom

Posted: 17:55 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by KillerB
uncle tom wrote:Hang on - looks like Tesco have moved on to another batch - it's a '95 port now..

Tom
Rats

Posted: 22:07 Mon 28 Apr 2008
by benread
However it seems they still have 1994 in the shops just not the wine store. I have just ordered 3 from the Gatwick superstore and got a further £10 total price with a voucher!

http://www.tesco.com/superstore/xpi/3/xpi54959753.htm

Posted: 08:41 Tue 29 Apr 2008
by AHB
My local Tesco has both the 1994 and the 1995 on the shelf. It looks as though warehouse stock control hasn't been great or there was a new batch of the 1995 delivered.

Either way, I suspect that the 1994 supplies are now limited in quantity and that the 1995 will take over quite quickly.

Ben - do you mean that you managed to get £10 off the £45 price for the 3 bottles? ie. 3 bottles of Quarles Harris 1994 at £11.67 a bottle! That's a pretty impressive bargain.

Alex

Posted: 09:02 Tue 29 Apr 2008
by benread
I do mean £35 for 3 bottles of the 1994 Tesco. It was a special offer I received by email as a Tesco customer. Delivery due Thursday!

Posted: 21:49 Fri 23 May 2008
by benread
I opened a second bottle of this last night to share with my brother. He was in the UK for 5 days and Texas is not known as an outpost for Port!

Again, for around £15 this did not disapoint. However, having returned to it tonight after about 27 hours in the decanter, I think it improves with time. It will not last tonight though!

As an aside, I can confirm that Tesco are still selling the 1994 as of yesterday, albeit it now has a black label, not the white one. Still credited to "Symmington family" and note Quarles Harris.

Posted: 20:41 Sat 24 May 2008
by benread
Out of interest, is the very fine sediment indicative of 1994 VP's generally, or just this one? I have seen one or two comments suggesting that certain vintages share traits such as sediment style.

It is too fine for my metal gauze filter! I guess I need unbleached coffee filters!

What does the sediment tell you?

Posted: 22:46 Sat 24 May 2008
by jdaw1
benread wrote:Out of interest, is the very fine sediment indicative of 1994 VP's generally, or just this one? I have seen one or two comments suggesting that certain vintages share traits such as sediment style.
See What does the sediment tell you?.