1963 Quinta do Noval

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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jdaw1
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1963 Quinta do Noval

Post by jdaw1 » 16:06 Sun 03 Feb 2008

1963 Quinta do Noval (Hedges and Butler), in magnum
1963 Hedges and Butler magnum, part of a 1963 horizontal At my father’s in Sussex, on Saturday 2nd February 2008.

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Last edited by jdaw1 on 18:40 Sun 03 Feb 2008, edited 1 time in total.

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H&B 1963

Post by jdaw1 » 16:56 Sun 03 Feb 2008

This not-Noval Hedges and Butler 1963 started by confusing me: Benson and Hedges? Lambert and Butler? But eventually I mastered the name. Not the port though: overall very spirity. To behold light pink fading to yellow, and translucent. Heat. Alcohol. Spirity. Not favoured at all, not in this company. One of the remaining four bottles went to Alex B. (his first magnum apparently), the other three are likely to see service at a CUTwC dinner.

But nonetheless used in an experiment.
[url=http://www.theportforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=9837#9837]Here[/url] jdaw1 wrote:The magnum Hedges and Butler has been bought at Christie’s as one of five magnums of Noval 1963. Not according to the cork, my friends, not at all: feeling a bit robbed by that. Nonetheless, the decanting experiment proceeded.
[url=http://www.theportforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=9349#9349]Here[/url] jdaw1 wrote:A magnum of Noval 1963 will be decanted in five different ways:
  • Freehand into a magnum decanter, stopping before sediment appears. This ‘prime’ N63 will then be split three ways:
    • through nothing;
    • through new muslin;
    • through washed muslin;
  • The remaining sediment-rich ‘non-prime’ N63 will be decanted, with light swishing of bottle to really stir up the muck, in two ways:
    • through an unbleached coffee filter;
    • through new muslin.
All six decanters used will have been recently washed and obsessively rinsed.
So a goodly chunk of the magnum was freehand poured into a large decanter, which was then split three ways through primed funnels into primed decanters. Then the remainder of the magnum went into that same large decanter, with much swishing to ensure the muck, of which there was lots, came too. That was then split, with more swishing, two ways. What a hassle!
The results were imperfectly mixed.
  • Colour was a clear result. Non-prime through muslin was very slightly cloudy; all the others were clear. A coffee filter can remove very heavy sediment (deliberate swishing of muck); the holes in muslin are too large to do so.
  • Most people agreed that the two glasses of non-prime differed. But some said through the coffee filter was smoother and through muslin harsher. Others said exactly the reverse.
  • Of the three versions of the prime, the odd man out was that through washed muslin! New muslin was fine. The unfiltered was the same. But through washed muslin was not. (The washing had been done by hand: clean hands; muslin held under tap; hands holding bits of muslin about an inch apart; vigorous abrading; move hands along and repeat. No detergent.) This was thought to be an odd result.
  • The non-prime was slightly better. The muck might feel bad, but it tastes good.
But the results were close enough for there to be general agreement that the decanting method makes, at most, very little difference.
Last edited by jdaw1 on 21:17 Sun 03 Feb 2008, edited 2 times in total.

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Hedges & Butler’s Noval

Post by jdaw1 » 18:40 Sun 03 Feb 2008

Ahhh, slight embarrassment. It had no label. Nor did the one AHB took away. But I have just retrieved the ones hidden at the top-back of the rack, and one of these similar-looking bottles has a decent amount of label, saying that it is Quinta do Noval, but shipped by Hedges and Butler. I don’t think much of H&B’s bottling standards.

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Post by AHB » 13:51 Mon 04 Feb 2008

Decanted for 3½ - 4 hours before being tasted. English bottled in magnum, by Hedges & Butler. Mid red in colour, light centre and very pale rim. A sprity nose with a slight smell of cough sweets. Very smooth into the mouth, bringing the taste of sweet, steeped raisins but the alcohol was very hot and barely integrated initially. The alcohol does integrate better in the mid palate to reveal some lovely flavours of sweet redcurrant jelly. A fierce burn on swallowing is followed by a soft and lingering aftertaste. A tired wine that is starting to fall apart, perhaps. 4/3 or 90/100.

There was a lot of discussion as to the affect or otherwise of the decanting method on the port that was being tasted (and this was the port tasted first so as to make sure that our palates were as fresh as possible for the subtle differences - if any - we were expecting to find). My impression was that the port that had gone through the coffee filter paper was slightly flatter on the nose that the equivalent that had gone through new muslin, but was clearer as the new muslin had left behind a trace of cloudiness from the particulate in the port. I also felt that the port that had gone through the new muslin was sharper and slightly more tannic that the filtered version.

I couldn't really tell apart the versions that had been decanted straight off the sediment to those that had been poured through muslin, although there might have been a slight dusty hint in the one that had been poured trhough washed muslin.

But what this really revealed to me was ... the differences were not pronounced enough to worry me at all in the future. I can now relax and be less obsessive about the way that I decant and hope others decant - now it just means that I can choose the easiest thing to do.

And that will be to stand the bottle up for 2 weeks before freehand decanting! Otherwise I would have to find somewhere to store my coffee filter paper or bundles of muslin or tea bag paper.

But it was tremendous to have the chance to try all these methods against each other and see for myself if I thought there was a difference.

Alex
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2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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the hoped-for result

Post by jdaw1 » 21:07 Tue 05 Feb 2008

AHB wrote:But what this really revealed to me was ... the differences were not pronounced enough to worry me at all in the future. I can now relax and be less obsessive about the way that I decant and hope others decant - now it just means that I can choose the easiest thing to do.
This was the hoped-for result.

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2nd Feb 2008: HB (Noval) 1963, level

Post by jdaw1 » 21:08 Tue 05 Feb 2008

I forgot to photograph the level of the HB (Noval) 1963 until after I had started with the corkscrew.
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2nd Feb 2008: HB (Noval) 1963, cork

Post by jdaw1 » 21:09 Tue 05 Feb 2008

HB (Noval) 1963, cork
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DRT
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Re: the hoped-for result

Post by DRT » 10:19 Wed 06 Feb 2008

jdaw1 wrote:
AHB wrote:But what this really revealed to me was ... the differences were not pronounced enough to worry me at all in the future. I can now relax and be less obsessive about the way that I decant and hope others decant - now it just means that I can choose the easiest thing to do.
This was the hoped-for result.
I sincerely hope that neither of you are suggesting that there will be an overall reduction in obsessiveness as a result of these findings? My assumption is that you will both simply re-direct any surplus obsessiveness towards another activity, such as glass rinsing, cork rebuilding etc.

Derek
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Ernest H. Cockburn

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Thread split

Post by jdaw1 » 05:23 Tue 25 Mar 2008

Comments on a new decanting experiment split by jdaw1 into new thread Decanting experiments.

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Re: 1963 Hedges and Butler’s Quinta do Noval, in magnum

Post by DRT » 00:27 Thu 28 Oct 2010

We need to repeat this experiment with a young vintage port to see whether or not the varying degrees of removal of the more abundent solids that exist within a young port have a more significant effect than on a mature port.

JDAW: do you remember our decision to use Monopri filters for young VP and others for old VP at the Vesuvio vertical? There was a reason for that decision, which is the same reason why I thought of this. (I can't explain the 12 month delay)

I have a Mag of Vesuvio 2006 that can be donated to the cause.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 1963 Hedges and Butler’s Quinta do Noval, in magnum

Post by jdaw1 » 08:43 Thu 28 Oct 2010

I have magnums of W85 and T85, already de-capsuled and standing (intended for the evening ahead of the Warre vertical, but we were too few).

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Re: 1963 Hedges and Butler’s Quinta do Noval, in magnum

Post by AHB » 13:50 Thu 28 Oct 2010

Can I suggest we split the thread to a new one in the "Organising Offlines" area of the forum?

What comprises a young vintage port? I have lots of magnums from 1977 and but only one from 1966.

Is this an offline to which anyone from the industry should be invited so that we may be able to convince those who produce the wines we love that we do not strip and neuter them before drinking them?

And how many can be at such a demonstration? A magnum can be shared acceptably between 28 people. If prepared in 2 different ways (freehand vs unbleached coffee filter paper), then 14. If prepared 4 ways (freehand, unbleached coffee filter, monoprix filter, unwashed muslin) then we would be down to 7 people with decent portions. 7 people, 4 glasses per person per magnum - perhaps 2 magnums for the experiment? (And 1 or 2 more for drinking afterwards?)
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Re: 1963 Quinta do Noval

Post by griff » 12:07 Mon 14 Mar 2016

Has the second experiment taken place? I am curious.

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