1994 Tesco

Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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benread
Martinez 1985
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1994 Tesco

Post by benread » 20:35 Sun 27 Apr 2008

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.
Ben
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10Anos
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Re: 1994 Tesco VP (bottled by Symington)

Post by 10Anos » 20:49 Sun 27 Apr 2008

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.
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RonnieRoots
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Post by RonnieRoots » 05:56 Mon 28 Apr 2008

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.

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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 09:36 Mon 28 Apr 2008

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
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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AHB
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Post by AHB » 12:05 Mon 28 Apr 2008

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
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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RonnieRoots
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Post by RonnieRoots » 12:05 Mon 28 Apr 2008

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?

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RonnieRoots
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Post by RonnieRoots » 12:12 Mon 28 Apr 2008

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?

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benread
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Post by benread » 12:33 Mon 28 Apr 2008

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
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AHB
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Post by AHB » 12:49 Mon 28 Apr 2008

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
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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RonnieRoots
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Post by RonnieRoots » 12:52 Mon 28 Apr 2008

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.

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RonnieRoots
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Post by RonnieRoots » 12:56 Mon 28 Apr 2008

It seems that Alex is a slightly faster typer than me... as our responses are very much alike :wink:

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10Anos
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Post by 10Anos » 17:03 Mon 28 Apr 2008

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...
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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 17:17 Mon 28 Apr 2008

Hang on - looks like Tesco have moved on to another batch - it's a '95 port now..

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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KillerB
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Post by KillerB » 17:55 Mon 28 Apr 2008

uncle tom wrote:Hang on - looks like Tesco have moved on to another batch - it's a '95 port now..

Tom
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Port is basically a red drink

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benread
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Post by benread » 22:07 Mon 28 Apr 2008

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
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AHB
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Post by AHB » 08:41 Tue 29 Apr 2008

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
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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benread
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Post by benread » 09:02 Tue 29 Apr 2008

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!
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benread
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Post by benread » 21:49 Fri 23 May 2008

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.
Ben
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benread
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Post by benread » 20:41 Sat 24 May 2008

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!
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What does the sediment tell you?

Post by jdaw1 » 22:46 Sat 24 May 2008

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?.

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