1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

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flash_uk
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by flash_uk » 15:56 Wed 12 Jun 2019

Very enjoyable evening - many thanks to all for the outstanding company. Also, very good to meet two new faces, Nick and George.

On the '94s, I could have handed points to perhaps 10 of the 14 ports on show. Many of these had some vintage consistency - lots of rich fruit, velvety sweetness. Quite a few also had hints of coffee and/or chocolate, and some bitterness alongside these flavours. Many were drinking very nicely now and will also continue to develop and have substantial lives (D, W, G, GC, V, T, F). A couple of others may not go this distance but drinking nicely now nevertheless - SW, Cr. Others had good things to say about Sk, but I wasn't wowed by it. Ch was somewhat more advanced than the others on the maturity curve, and not quite of the same calibre. EV was very mature and evolved, looking more like a '60s or '70s wine. Ts was the stewy variety. Finally Noval - horrible bottle. One would normally conclude that it would be unfair to judge a port on a single bottle, however discussion at the table revealed few instances (any?) where anyone could recall a good N94, with many stories of very poor bottles. I have thus noted to self that N94 doesn't need to find its way into my cellar.

winesecretary
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by winesecretary » 17:45 Wed 12 Jun 2019

It was a most enjoyable and instructive evening. I find horizontals very helpful in helping me understand why I like *this* wine rather than *that* one. I much appreciated the warm welcome I received. My thanks to Christopher for suggesting the tasting.

I echo the comments of flash_uk in that I felt fully half of the wines were point-worthy, and consider that the scoring will flatter the leading trio, as against the next four. For me, on this showing, all of D, W, F, V, T, and G have a fine future ahead but permit of occasional pleasurable sampling now; the GC seems a delicious option for the nearer term but will also last years yet; and the SW and Cr were also entirely respectable ports that I would (and shall) cheerfully drink again.

NickA
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by NickA » 21:40 Wed 12 Jun 2019

Many thanks all for a really enjoyable introduction to ThePortForum. I really hope you’ll have me back! The venue and service were great. Steak cooked just the way I like it too. Really great to hear so many conversations and opinions around the table-plenty of very knowable chaps to be sure! Under pressure to choose 3, I decided the only way that was possible was to ignore the ports that perhaps didn’t show at their best, but surely likely to be the best in future: Fonseca, Taylor and Grahams. I thought the Vesuvio, Gould Campbell, Warre’s and then eventually the Dow’s were really drinking well. Definitely the ones to start drinking in the coming years (Dow’s that is if you have plenty to last or intend to rebuy, as I now will).

winesecretary
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by winesecretary » 09:22 Thu 13 Jun 2019

Incidentally, I sat last night for half an hour sipping the leftover glass of SW. It had deepened and opened out remarkably. It was much more congruent and had lost the slightly disjointed spirity quality. I concluded that the better of these 1994s might benefit from a full 24 hours in the decanter if one plans to drink them any time soon.

Andy Velebil
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by Andy Velebil » 10:49 Thu 13 Jun 2019

Very nice recap and glad to see the 1994's have generally come back out of their respective awkward teenage years. When I last did a horizontal of 1994's on their 20th, many were very awkward and not showing their best at that moment.

I am curious about Flash_UK's comments about the Noval. I've had the regular and Nacional many times, a number of those were served double blind side by side and on their own. Both of these were like many 1994's, in that they stayed open for prime drinking for quite a long time before shutting down. From my experience, the Nacional went into an awkward stage first, followed by the regular. While the Nacional has come out and is beautiful again the regular one still seems to have some trouble getting back on its feet. I would say that normal awkward teenage phase came on a bit late and seems to be lingering a bit longer than we normally expect. However, I have no doubt it will be a fantastic bottle again in time. If you do stop buying that just means more for the rest of us to scoop up :)

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flash_uk
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by flash_uk » 12:20 Thu 13 Jun 2019

Andy Velebil wrote:
10:49 Thu 13 Jun 2019
Very nice recap and glad to see the 1994's have generally come back out of their respective awkward teenage years. When I last did a horizontal of 1994's on their 20th, many were very awkward and not showing their best at that moment.

I am curious about Flash_UK's comments about the Noval. I've had the regular and Nacional many times, a number of those were served double blind side by side and on their own. Both of these were like many 1994's, in that they stayed open for prime drinking for quite a long time before shutting down. From my experience, the Nacional went into an awkward stage first, followed by the regular. While the Nacional has come out and is beautiful again the regular one still seems to have some trouble getting back on its feet. I would say that normal awkward teenage phase came on a bit late and seems to be lingering a bit longer than we normally expect. However, I have no doubt it will be a fantastic bottle again in time. If you do stop buying that just means more for the rest of us to scoop up :)
Just re-reading my post above, I realise I didn't actually say that the bottle had some kind of flaw I think. The nose was near unbearable to begin, but then as the evening progressed, the nose recovered somewhat. Taste was also awful, and perhaps there was more than one flaw.

PhilW
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by PhilW » 15:21 Thu 13 Jun 2019

Well... this was an interesting evening - though not quite what I expected port-wise.

Starting with the good; a very enjoyable evening with friends, as always; nice to see a couple of new faces with Nick joining us for the first time, and the food and service was up to scratch as usual.

On the port front though, the '94s did not show as powerfully as I expected. That is not to say that they were not fine wines, but that based on previous tastings plus press reviews my impression has been that these should "finally" be the first across-the-board blockbuster since '70, which I'm no longer convinced it is.

Certainly there were some fine wines present; the V94 stood out head and shoulders above the rest for me, and was WOTN overall - it was fabulous. The Graham I really enjoyed for drinking now (though it received less points from others); the Dow struck me as not ready yet, and the Taylor was terse, both of which may improve with time. The Fonseca had a lovely flavour, will with a little tannin obviously remaining, though not especially powerful. The Warre, GC and Skeffington were all enjoyable, but after that things were less good; the Croft, Eira Vehla, Tesco and Smith Woodhouse I felt were all unimpressive, the Noval was terrible (faulty - from discussion an apparent common fault with N94?) and the Churchill already seemed over-mature.

My overall impression was thus of a range of ports, some very good, some weaker, but perhaps more reminiscent of the spread of quality of the '77s than of the all-great '70s.

As always, thanks to all for suggesting and organising a very interesting and enjoyable evening, a good call to revisit and taste the '94s in their 25th year.

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AHB
Fonseca 1963
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by AHB » 15:57 Thu 20 Jun 2019

I regret having had to miss this and appreciate the posts on the threas, which have allowed me to get an update on the range of views on the vintage. This is a vintage I love and, in general, it seems that's a shared view.

I have a couple of cases of the Martinez. I think I'll pull one out next year for drinking over the next few years.
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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uncle tom
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by uncle tom » 10:59 Wed 26 Jun 2019

After bleaching, the cork on the ullaged bottled of crusted I brought along to drink through boldly proclaimed:

Henekeys Ltd
Crusted


- But no date..
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

winesecretary
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by winesecretary » 13:26 Wed 26 Jun 2019

Most interesting. Henekeys Ltd bottled from quite a few different houses in the period 1949-1965. A brief internet image search throws them up as bottling Ck47, T55, W58 & 60, Da Silva 58 & 60 (presumably N), Cr60, G60, S60, O62, & D63; but nothing earlier or later. Tasting notes on this forum add N55 to this list.

The view at this tasting was that the bottle was from the fifties or sixties (preponderance of opinion for the latter) and I think that must be right on the above evidence. It is a reasonable (but not verifiable) assumption that one of those shippers who supplied them with vintage also supplied them with crusted. Quite a few of these houses produced a crusted in that era, see Crusted Port Database thread of 2015.

PhilW
Dow 1980
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by PhilW » 15:09 Wed 26 Jun 2019

Very interesting; I'd not come across Henekeys (Henekey's?) before.
In our list of known crusted ports it says:
Henekeys
Reference in 1966/7 catalogue - no bottling date given
A brief googling also shows that Henekeys had been bottling and selling crusted ports for a long time:
Athenaeum.jpg
Athenaeum.jpg (30.21 KiB) Viewed 1610 times
Henekey.jpg
Henekey.jpg (29.02 KiB) Viewed 1606 times
If not clear above, this is an advert from "The Athenaeum" on 17th September 1836, where [GEO. or GKO. ?] Henekey & Company are offering "nearly SIX THOUSAND DOZENS of crusted PORT, in high condition, and fit for immediate consumption, of the shipping of Taylor Campbell, Quarles Harris, Crofts, Offley, Fonseca, Romaneiro, Knowles, &c., from three to six years in bottle". Very interesting shipper list.

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jdaw1
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by jdaw1 » 17:42 Thu 15 Aug 2019

Image

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jdaw1
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Re: 1994s, Tue 11 June 2019, at the B&F

Post by jdaw1 » 18:00 Thu 15 Aug 2019

jdaw1 wrote:
18:00 Thu 15 Aug 2019
I have forgotten how the RV45 arrived at the 1994 tasting. Please could this thread be reminded.
In the RV45 TN thread, please.

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