1940 Quarles Harris Colheita

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Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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SEAN C.
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1940 Quarles Harris Colheita

Post by SEAN C. » 22:49 Wed 02 Jan 2008

The 1940 Quarles Harris Reserve was bottled in 1981 and had a T-cork, there was no real sediment upon decanting and the color was orange and brownish red with a clear edge. This Port may have been a garrafeira ? as it did not have the woody flavor of a colheita or tawny. It smelled like maple syrup and Madeira, the taste was of green grapes, and light brown sugar. It was thin in the glass and a little dull tasting, maybe just pushing past it's prime but still very good with a 12 second finish.

Sean C. 93/100
Moses B. 89/100
Joe 88/100

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RonnieRoots
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Post by RonnieRoots » 23:09 Wed 02 Jan 2008

Very peculiar that this had a T-cork... why would one age a port for 41 years, and use a type of closure that's only fit for the cheap stuff? :?

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SEAN C.
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Post by SEAN C. » 23:35 Wed 02 Jan 2008

RonnieRoots wrote:Very peculiar that this had a T-cork... why would one age a port for 41 years, and use a type of closure that's only fit for the cheap stuff? :?
My thoughts exactly....and it was actually a decent tasting bottle!

Conky
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Post by Conky » 00:02 Thu 03 Jan 2008

I hope I'm not insulting anything here, but hasn't it got a T Cork, because it is a standard bottle of Reserve Port. It was the cheaper mass produced end, but luckily for Sean and his friends, it didn't get drunk. I also cant understand why the presumably filtered Port was forgotten about and left for 41 years! Does Reserve have such prominent dating? I often have to search for bottling dates,etc on Reserves.
I suspect that this may have been forgotten, or misplaced, and in 81 it was found. Someone realised it would be 'quirky' and more saleable if it was labelled/re-labelled as 1940.

Just a thought.

Alan

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DRT
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Post by DRT » 00:09 Thu 03 Jan 2008

Alan,

This is probably a Colheita rather than what we now know as Reserve Port.

The Reserve's we know today are blended from a number of vintages and, I think, have an average age of 5 to 7 years when bottled.

This bottle looks to be a wine from the 1940 vintage that was aged in cask for 41 years before being bottled in 1981. Today's equivalent would be a 1967 Colheita, which is unlikely to be cheap regardless of who the producer is.

That said, I'm not too surprised at the use of a T-cork as these are regularly used for aged tawny's, including those classified as "over 40 yrs".

...and to add to the speculation about how it came to exist - my money would be on the fact that it would have been ready to bottle as VP in 1942 - slap bang in the middle of WWII - I do not know of any 1940 VP declarations and this bottle is the result of QH deciding to keep their 1940 juice rather than blending it into ruby or tawnys.

Derek
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Re: 1940 QUARLES HARRIS Reserve

Post by DRT » 00:18 Thu 03 Jan 2008

SEAN C. wrote: This Port may have been a garrafeira ? as it did not have the woody flavor of a colheita or tawny.
To add to my theory above. If this was originally intended to be VP it would have been stored in a large oak Tonnel rather than the smaller Pipes used for wine that is intended for prolonged wood ageing. The larger vat would account for the less pronounced woody flavour as less of the wine is in contact with the wood than is the case in a smaller vat.

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Post by Conky » 00:35 Thu 03 Jan 2008

Good theory. It seems to fit.

Mine was just plucked from the air because it seemed odd! :oops:

Have you, or anyone else, seen other examples of old 'Reserve' type bottles, which are clearly not the modern interpretation? I've not.

Alan.

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Post by DRT » 00:48 Thu 03 Jan 2008

Conky wrote:Good theory. It seems to fit.

Mine was just plucked from the air because it seemed odd! :oops:

Have you, or anyone else, seen other examples of old 'Reserve' type bottles, which are clearly not the modern interpretation? I've not.

Alan.
All the best theory's are just made-up :lol:

I have seen examples like this before b ut can't remember what they were.

Derek
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Post by SEAN C. » 04:16 Thu 03 Jan 2008

Yeah..this bottle was remarkably similar to the only other 1940 Port I have ever had (twice) and that was the Neipoort 1940 garrafeira.
More info here http://www.fortheloveofport.com/ftlopfo ... 0+neipoort
The Neipoort garrafeiras are held in glass though ..no?

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Post by Andy Velebil » 04:27 Thu 03 Jan 2008

I'd also hedge my bet that this was a Colheita. To my knowledge Niepoort was and still is the only one to still do a true Garrafeira since the very early 1900's.

Some producers are also of the mind set that all wood aged Ports are best consumed closest to the date of bottling. So that would account for a T-cork, since it was not intended to be stored for 40+ years.

Either way, not something you see a ton of. So its great to read TN on this oldies. And a great discussion :D

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Post by DRT » 10:02 Thu 03 Jan 2008

SEAN C. wrote:The Neipoort garrafeiras are held in glass though ..no?
Yes, they are. As Andy points out Neipoort are the only shippers who seem to have a documented history of making that style and I would eat my hat if it turns out that Quarles Harris produced one.

I really do believe that this is Colheita, not Garrafeira or what is now classified as Reserve as that style was only entered into the regulations within the past 3 or 4 years. Before then is was simply a word used to add cudos to a particular bottling of other officially recognised styles.

Derek
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RonnieRoots
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Post by RonnieRoots » 11:44 Thu 03 Jan 2008

I must say that Derek's theory sounds very likely. :)

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Post by Simon Lisle » 12:20 Thu 03 Jan 2008

Royal oporto still have Garrafeira stocks that are pre twentieth century

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Post by Andy Velebil » 14:04 Thu 03 Jan 2008

Simon Lisle wrote:Royal oporto still have Garrafeira stocks that are pre twentieth century
But if I'm not mistaken, I believe these have already been bottled. :?:

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Post by Simon Lisle » 15:02 Thu 03 Jan 2008

possibly because the most recent one I'ce got was bottled in 86

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mosesbotbol
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Post by mosesbotbol » 21:15 Thu 03 Jan 2008

SEAN C. wrote:Yeah..this bottle was remarkably similar to the only other 1940 Port I have ever had (twice) and that was the Neipoort 1940 garrafeira.
Not as good as the Niepoort, but definetly in that style when tasting. Do they all taste the same at point, whether in wood for 40 years, or done as Garrafeira; that is another thread...

QH would've labeled this Coiheita if it was. Maybe Garrafeira label does not sell well so they called it Reserve with bottling dates?

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Post by DRT » 23:04 Thu 03 Jan 2008

mosesbotbol wrote: QH would've labeled this Coiheita if it was. Maybe Garrafeira label does not sell well so they called it Reserve with bottling dates?
Moses,

It is likely that the reason you give for it not been called Garrafeira would equally apply to the word Colheita, especially it this was originally intended for the UK market when bottled in 1981.

To this day I have not seen a bottle of Colheita on a shelf in a wine store in the UK. No one apart from geeks like us have ever heard of it here and back in the 80's it probably sounded a bit too foreign to be a good marketing description.

Another thing to consider is that Garrafeira is so rare and the ageing process so different from any other style of port I can't really see anyone spending 41 years making and then not calling it what it is :?

Derek
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Ernest H. Cockburn

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Post by Andy Velebil » 04:57 Fri 04 Jan 2008

Derek T. wrote:
To this day I have not seen a bottle of Colheita on a shelf in a wine store in the UK. No one apart from geeks like us have ever heard of it here and back in the 80's it probably sounded a bit too foreign to be a good marketing description

Derek
WOW :shock: you guys really don't get Colheita's over there? thats amazing!

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Post by DRT » 09:37 Fri 04 Jan 2008

No doubt AHB will be along soon to list all the fancy Wine Merchants in London who regularly stock Colheita's but, like me, 99.99% of the British wine and port buying public never cross the door of these places and rely on supermarkets and local wine stores for our supplies.

Derek
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Post by RonnieRoots » 11:19 Fri 04 Jan 2008

The UK is traditionally not a tawny market. The Netherlands is almost the opposite: we have a very large supply of Colheitas (mostly Kopke), but VP's have only come in fashion recently, so it's very difficult to find older vintages (at sane prices).

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Post by Andy Velebil » 14:22 Fri 04 Jan 2008

To bad, you guys are missing out on some great juice...but more for me then :twisted: :lol:

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Post by AHB » 15:10 Fri 04 Jan 2008

Derek's right in that there are very few high street supliers of tawny or colheita ports in the UK. Stocks of tawny ports seem to be becoming more common in our supermarkets, some with an indication of age, but I have yet to see a UK supermarket offer a colheita.

Having said that, there is no difficulty in getting hold of colheitas in the UK. There are a handful of port merchants who specialise in colheitas, especially the Sogevinus portfolio, and they are available on the High Street through the Nicolas / Oddbins chain who (at least in Guildford) offer a handful of different vintages of Pocas colheitas.

Alex
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Post by mosesbotbol » 18:00 Fri 04 Jan 2008

Derek T. wrote:It is likely that the reason you give for it not been called Garrafeira would equally apply to the word Colheita, especially it this was originally intended for the UK market when bottled in 1981.
I learn something new everyday! Perhaps it's Colheita then? I would like to try some older Colheitas as a reference. I've had several 40 year tawny and Garrafeira, but not Colheita that was more than 20 years old.

The Garrafeira is a more involved process, and I wonder QH ever bothered to do it.

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Post by Roy Hersh » 10:43 Sat 05 Jan 2008

Actually there is ZERO question. This is a Colheita, plain and simple.

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Post by DRT » 15:50 Sat 05 Jan 2008

Roy Hersh wrote:Actually there is ZERO question. This is a Colheita, plain and simple.
Agreed, but what about the question of how it came to be and why it was labelled Reserve rather than Colheita?

Care to postulate?

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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