NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

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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JacobH
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NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by JacobH » 11:04 Tue 10 Feb 2009

Gordon's Wine Bar is one of the few (and possibly only) bars left that still sells Port from the wood. (It was one of the few places that traded without a conventional license until the much lamented s196 of the Licensing Act 2003 came into force.)

The Port is kept in a barrel behind the bar and is described as an "Old Wood Tawny". The colour is a darkish ruby red (the "Old Wood" surely just refers to the barrel :)). There's no indication of where it comes from. I presume that they are filling it out of an assortment of bottles, unless there is some sort of black-market in pipes! In the mouth there is nothing to suggest that this is a tawny. But, taken for what it is, it is quite pleasant as a fruity, better-quality ruby which avoids the problem of badly-integrated spirit that often occurs. However, it is let down with a certain mustiness in the back of the throat, perhaps caused by the barrel. At £4.80 for a 15cl tumbler, I think this might be my drink of choice there in future, rather than braving the (considerably more expensive) Messias line.
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benread
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by benread » 13:28 Tue 10 Feb 2009

My own recollection of this from last night (slightly hazy as a result of the 6 pints beforehand for me!) was of wood! It had a very woody taste suggesting it had been in the cask for some time with lots of air! Drinkable and at the price acceptable!
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AHB
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by AHB » 13:35 Tue 10 Feb 2009

Did either of you fine gentlemen raise the subject with the management of Gordon's of the possibility of their acting as host to an offline? What does the food there look like?
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Andy Velebil
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by Andy Velebil » 17:23 Tue 10 Feb 2009

I would guess that is a palour trick of some sort. Someone I know that lives by me converted a pipe to dispense wine from a hidden bottle inside the pipe with the appearance that it was coming out of a full pipe. If he didn't tell me I would have never know it was a "fake" pipe of port. I would guess this is what they are doing as I highly doubt they are still getting a pipe of Port for commerical sale.

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JacobH
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by JacobH » 11:12 Wed 11 Feb 2009

AHB wrote:Did either of you fine gentlemen raise the subject with the management of Gordon's of the possibility of their acting as host to an offline? What does the food there look like?
Sorry, we failed in that regard. Though the place, as always, was completely packed, so speaking to anyone apart from the person serving was likely to be difficult! The food mostly comes pre-prepared out of canteen-style service stations (c.f. http://www.gordonswinebar.com/hfood.htm). It looks like it is an acceptable standard as pub food, but I think there are better options in the area. The best bet is probably to go just for cheese.
Andy V wrote:I would guess that is a palour trick of some sort. Someone I know that lives by me converted a pipe to dispense wine from a hidden bottle inside the pipe with the appearance that it was coming out of a full pipe. If he didn't tell me I would have never know it was a "fake" pipe of port. I would guess this is what they are doing as I highly doubt they are still getting a pipe of Port for commerical sale.
That sounds like a fun ornament. Did he manage to get a genuine Port pipe (albeit empty)? Is there any chance of a photo? The barrels at Gordon's are a bit smaller than a pipe (I think they are "barrel" size, though my knowledge of English barrel-sizes is pretty sketchy!) and they get through lots of Port so I imagine they just fill it up from bottles.

I can't find a photo of the Port barrel, but they have various sherries available in similar ones which look like this:

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Attr: Gordon's Wine Bar
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by Andy Velebil » 16:10 Wed 11 Feb 2009

I would still say they are just piping it in from a system hooked up to bottles, just like they do for beer. I don't see them dumping in bottles to fill it up. That would be a LOT of bottles. Apart from the issues of trying to clean the barrel out periodically, which you would have to do, I doubt the heath department would be keen on dumping bottles together in an old wood cask to serve to patrons. And a basic tawny Port wouldn't hold up all that well dumped into a large 1/2 full cask. Thats a lot of surface area to airate over a long time. Then again I could be totally wrong.

Please ask next time you are there, I'm curious as to that their answer is.

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JacobH
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by JacobH » 17:48 Thu 12 Feb 2009

Andy V wrote:I would still say they are just piping it in from a system hooked up to bottles, just like they do for beer. I don't see them dumping in bottles to fill it up. That would be a LOT of bottles. Apart from the issues of trying to clean the barrel out periodically, which you would have to do, I doubt the heath department would be keen on dumping bottles together in an old wood cask to serve to patrons. And a basic tawny Port wouldn't hold up all that well dumped into a large 1/2 full cask. Thats a lot of surface area to airate over a long time. Then again I could be totally wrong.

Please ask next time you are there, I'm curious as to that their answer is.
Hmm...perhaps...though if they are it's being done in a fairly subtle way. As you can see from this photo of the bar, there's nothing below or above the barrels:

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They do get through a lot of Port there (a "beaker" is one-fifth of a bottle) so the quantity/oxidisation issues aren't likely to be so great (though I do wonder about the sherry). I will see if I can find out next, though...
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by Andy Velebil » 14:40 Fri 13 Feb 2009

Oh, those are a heck of a lot smaller barrels than I thought. Please do find out, I am most curious as to what they do.

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JacobH
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by JacobH » 12:32 Mon 16 Feb 2009

Andy V wrote:Oh, those are a heck of a lot smaller barrels than I thought. Please do find out, I am most curious as to what they do.
I wonder whether the "Blended" sherry gives a hint as to the source of the Port! :) :shock:
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jdaw1
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by jdaw1 » 21:46 Sun 22 Mar 2009

Please post official guidance on how this should appear in the TN index.

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AHB
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by AHB » 21:57 Sun 22 Mar 2009

I suggest the TN is recorded under "Gordon's" sine we have no better information than the BOB client.
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JacobH
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by JacobH » 22:11 Sun 22 Mar 2009

AHB wrote:I suggest the TN is recorded under "Gordon's" sine we have no better information than the BOB client.
Yes, that makes sense. I think this should also be referred to as a non-vintage tawny.
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DRT
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Re: NV Gordon's Old Wood Tawny

Post by DRT » 10:24 Mon 23 Mar 2009

I see nothing wrong with the name it is listed under now.
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