London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

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benread
Martinez 1985
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London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

Post by benread » 22:20 Mon 23 Mar 2009

The Vargellathon - a tasting of Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas port from 1964 to 1996. Held at The Crusting Pipe on Tuesday 24th March 2009.

Links:

Review of the evening as a whole
Placemats

1964
1965
1967 (Oporto bottled 1970)
1967 (Corney & Barrow bottled 1969)
1972
1978
1982
1987
1991
1996
Ben
-------
Vintage 1970!

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AHB
Quinta do Noval Nacional 1962
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Re: London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

Post by AHB » 02:15 Wed 25 Mar 2009

What a wonderful evening and a great opportunity to taste a larger range of Vargellas vintages than I have seen in a tasting before. It was great to be able to tray a range of mature and younger vintages side by side. I will post more detailed notes later, but I was very impressed by the elegance that the 40+ year old Vargellas wines gained from their youthful surliness. The 1987 is still in this phase. My wine of the night was the 1965 in the end (Happy Birthday, Derek!) and many thanks should go to Axel for his contribution of the 1996 vintage, despite not being able to attend. Happy Birthday Axel!

And thanks to Ben and Jacob for organising the evening and to The Crusting Pipe for once again looking after us so well.

Alex
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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jdaw1
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Re: London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

Post by jdaw1 » 03:28 Wed 25 Mar 2009

I look forward to reading the tasting notes of these rarely-seen ports.

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benread
Martinez 1985
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Re: London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

Post by benread » 08:22 Wed 25 Mar 2009

I approached this tasting with my usual lack of patience and tried everything fairly quicly before returning slowly. I also had the 1965 (Happy birthday Derek for Saturday) as my wine of the night.

My big lesson from the evening is how much time Vargellas needs to decant and how much air it needs to lise the fire - which most of these had to a greater or lesser extent by the end of the evening. Even the 1965 was firey at the begining but mellowed beautifully as the evening progressed. I am not unhappy to have quite a few Vargellas but they will be left for some years yet and approached with plenty of planning!
Ben
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Vintage 1970!

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JacobH
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Re: London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

Post by JacobH » 11:17 Wed 25 Mar 2009

This was a very interesting evening; there can't be many vertical tastings of SQVP and with these ports becoming increasingly rare (particularly the 64 and 65), I imagine we'd struggle to repeat it.

We also had a few extra guests: the Churchill 1991, one possible "son of Morgan 1991" (the Morgan 1985 of all things...) and the 2007 Niepoort Cask Sample

Looking over the whole evening, it was interesting to see how consistent Vargellas has been over the last 40 years. With the exception of the 1987, there was a clean line of evolution from the youngest to the oldest, with a very distinctive house style, with a few flavours reappearing in many. A bit of peppery heat and toffee (which particularly came up in the 65 but also the 82) were both quite obvious. A nagging question in my mind was what a decent vintage of Vargellas would taste like. Apart from the 1991, none of these wines were from a major year and it's interesting to think what something like a 1977 or 1985 would be like. (I'm deliberately missing out the 1970 as I gather it's a bit of an exception).

I also enjoyed the chance to taste the two 67s next to each other. There were some similarities but, if served blind, I would have had no chance of correctly guessing that they were the same wine. This is, of course, despite the fact that the composition of them should have been pretty much identical coming from the same quinta. I think I'm now going to keep a record of the origins of the older Ports as it does seem quite significant.

I was a great pleasure to meet Ghandi, Wolfang and Nicos and the food and treatment in the Crusting Pipe was as excellent as ever.
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DRT
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Re: London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

Post by DRT » 01:12 Fri 27 Mar 2009

Apologies for the lateness of my contribution to this thread. Those who have still not dropped by to pass comment should hang their heads in shame :roll:

As AHB, Ben and Jacob have said, this was another great :tpf: off-line and a my thanks go to Ben and Jacob for organising the event.

I will leave my comments on the specific wines to my TN contributions but here is some data collected from the participants at the end of the evening:

Wine of the Night
  1. 1964 - Ghandi, Uncle Tom, WS1, Christopher & Nicos
  2. 1965 - Benread, JacobH and AHB
  3. 1987 - DRT
Worst of the Night
  1. 1972 - Benread, WS1, Christopher & Nicos
  2. 1982 - JacobH, Uncle Tom, AHB & DRT
  3. 1987 - Ghandi
Glugger of the Night
  1. 1996 - Benread, JacobH, Uncle Tom, WS1, Christopher, Nicos & DRT
  2. 1982 - Ghandi
  3. 1967 - AHB
Derek
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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DRT
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Re: London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

Post by DRT » 02:55 Fri 27 Mar 2009

After typing up my tasting notes I have spotted two Vargellas signatures that may come in handy at future blind tastings. The first is that typical Taylor heat and the second a slight bitterness on the end of the finish.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Ghandih
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Re: London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

Post by Ghandih » 14:12 Fri 27 Mar 2009

Hello,

I'm always late and disorganised and everything (I only learnt this tasting was on Tuesday on Monday, having thought it was on Friday till then, but that's another story). Apologies for being me, I guess.

Very nice to meet Ben, Jacob, Wolfgang, Tom and Nicos for the first time, and thanks again to Tom for my bottle of '72, to Ben and Jacob for the organisation, and to Alex (I think) for settling my part of the bill. Alex, if you'll drop me a note with your bank details, and what's due, I'll reimburse you, cos I'm just that sort of guy.

It's a side point, I guess, but I'd like to observe that the meal before we started was spot on. We're lucky to have found such a fab venue, and I hope we gather there many more times for more of the same.

I'd insert my tasting notes onto the relevant pages, but the world would barely be any richer for knowing my record, diligent as I was in trying to write things down, and effective as I was in not losing those notes.

In previous vertical tastings, I've noticed sometimes a theme from a house over the ages, but always a fair bit of variation, too. What struck me about this tasting was how similar the seven ports were in the 64-82 bracket. They were all full of spice and pepperiness, that rather over-powered the fruitiness that might lurk beneath. Only with the youngsters - 87, 91 and 96 - were things different, and I got the impression that this was just the recklessness of youth, and that they too would mature in time into copies of their forebears.

I'm interested by Ben's note that the ports mellowed over the course of the evening. I found that the initial spice and pepperiness did subside a little, and wonder how much that continued later into the evening (having bailed in time to catch an 11pm train from Marylebone). If the process went a fair distance, I'm intrigued to know how much more mellow they eventually became, and, indeed, whether anyone was diligent enough to take some home and try it the following day.

If the mellowing tailed off and the spiciness remained fairly strong, my conclusion would be that this isn't the single quinta for me. I love a spicy curry, but a port's first duty is to be fruity, in my world.

As ever, I feel privileged to have attended the tasting, and learnt another stack of stuff about the wonderful world of port. I hope I will be able to see you all again soon.


Ghandih
A man who likes vintage ports, and we're not talking Carthage

Andy Velebil
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Re: London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

Post by Andy Velebil » 14:57 Fri 27 Mar 2009

Sounds like everyone had a great time. I can't believe Ghandi didn't like the '87...a stellar Port that is still young...figured that would be right up his alley. Also surprised to read about the '64 being so good.

Glenn E.
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Re: London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

Post by Glenn E. » 17:44 Fri 27 Mar 2009

I am amused that DRT had the '87 as his WotN while Ghandih thought it was the worst of the night. :lol:

That just proves that there's really no such thing as a wrong answer when it comes to Port - to each his own!

I'm also quite happy that the '64 fared so well, as that's my birth year and AHB was kind enough to trade me a bottle of it for my collection.

I just won a bottle of 1967 Vargellas from Brentwood Wines, but I do not know yet where it was bottled. It was only $50 so I couldn't pass it up, and I'm kind of hoping that my wife will enjoy it - she's fond of Tempranillo which also tends to be peppery and spicy.
Glenn Elliott

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jdaw1
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Re: London Quinta de Vargellas tasting - 24th March

Post by jdaw1 » 00:10 Sat 28 Mar 2009

Glenn E. wrote:I am amused that DRT had the '87 as his WotN while Ghandih thought it was the worst of the night. :lol:

That just proves that there's really no such thing as a wrong answer when it comes to Port - to each his own!
It proves no such thing. Indeed, it strongly suggests that at least one of DRT and SRG was wrong.

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