1851 Unknown

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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DRT
Graham’s 1948
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1851 Unknown

Post by DRT » 23:10 Tue 26 Jul 2011

Tasted at this event on 19th July 2011.

This glass is from a sample bottle that has been in my fridge for one week.

Dark brown/red, slightly cloudy. As dark as the Warre 1970 tasted alongside it, but not quite as much red.

The nose is dusty and quite stale. A thick chewy mouthful with a very surprising amount of citrus fruit, followed by an immensely dry, nutty finish. A minute or so later there is a waxy sensation in the mouth which then develops into acidic sweetness and some raw alcohol.

I remember this being much softer, almost spongy, on the night it was opened and I fear it has fallen apart since then. But this is still a fascinating glass of port and quite unlike anything I have had before.

This wine was made at the height of the controversy around adulteration of port wine with elderberry and other non-grape substances as well as the debate championed by Baron Forrester about whether or not true port should be fortified with spirit. It is quite possible that this wine was made in a way that is completely foreign to what we now think of as Port, which could explain the retention of colour and strange flavour and texture of the wine.

A huge thanks to Tom for his generosity in opening this fantastic old bottle!

Derek
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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DRT
Graham’s 1948
Posts: 14951
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Chesterfield, UK
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Re: 1851 Unknown Shipper

Post by DRT » 23:16 Tue 26 Jul 2011

I have just found my notes from 19th July. My note of this wine reads:

"Amazing colour - dusty nose, very soft in the mouth - not much spirit with a quite dry finish".
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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uncle tom
Dow 1980
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Location: Near Saffron Walden, England

Re: 1851 Unknown Shipper

Post by uncle tom » 05:39 Wed 27 Jul 2011

Aside from the remarkable colour, the notable characteristic of this wine was its dryness. I am tempted to assume that this was the result of it being fermented dry prior to fortification.

The cork incidentally, now bleached; has no branding on it whatsoever. It is also notable that the cork is remarkably white and smooth, and almost entirely without visible defects - far better than we ever see today.

- Does anyone have any idea when corks were first branded?

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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uncle tom
Dow 1980
Posts: 2749
Joined: 23:43 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Near Saffron Walden, England

Re: 1851 Unknown Shipper

Post by uncle tom » 21:48 Thu 28 Jul 2011

I have just made a very close study of the top of this cork, which was cut off prior to the rest being pushed into the bottle; and have discovered that the faint imprint of '1851' was not on the remnants of a wax capsule, as I had originally assumed, but is actually a proud embossing on the cork itself.

- Has anyone seen this done before?

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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