Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

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jdaw1
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Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

Post by jdaw1 »

At Bonham’s on 18 February 2016 was sold most of a pipe of Fonseca 1963, not moved since original purchase (lots 324 to 343).

So, on Wednesday 15th June 2016, we gathered in the Boot & Flogger to compare six of these, which were joined by a selection of other English-bottled Vintage Ports.

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Re: Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

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1955 Butler Nephew threads renamed to 1955 Mackenzie; 1970 Gould Campbell threads renamed to 1963 Warre.
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Re: Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

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Re: Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

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Re: Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

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Re: Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

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Re: Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

Post by Constandia »

Alex, and everyone assisting, thank you very much, great tasting once again. Interesting evening alltogether with the same pipe Fonseca showing visible differences in terms of colour, but also nose and palate. Bottle "alpha" aged grecefully, but why did the others not follow its path?
On the English bottled theme- The 1955 Mackenzie was the controversial one, however unanimously similar to other bottles of the same that were previously tasted by members of :tpf:. Looking at my notes I regret not giving any points to the BBR '63, however still sticking by the lovely Fonseca '70 and Warre's '63. The Colheita married great with dessert, excellent tipple- still lovely and lusciously sweet, however should be compared to another single harvest in order to distinguish the differences. Thanks once again :CC3333:
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Re: Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

Post by flash_uk »

many thanks for organising Alex - a very enjoyable evening! Seemed to me that the F63s had 50% in good shape, 50% something not so good, although none of them were so badly flawed as to be undrinkable. The English-bottled ports were in almost all cases very good indeed. And thanks to Axel for contributing the Warre Colheita 1937 - I thought this was really fantastic.
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Re: Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

Post by Andy Velebil »

Very interesting tasting scores/notes. I look forward to others notes in due course as well.

One thing struck me early on...I was surprised that TFP didn't buy up a bunch. After all it's the perfect opportunity to restock an older vintage with known providence. Then I realized why they probably passed, if they were given the chance to buy. There were lots of bottles generally not in good condition given it was all bought, bottled, and stored together. I suspect, while in the same cellar for their life, this is a good lesson that not all cellars are created equally regardless of where they are. Probably a decent assumption that the few better showing bottles were those that were stored more toward the middle of the stack, or a cooler part of the stack, which protected them better. Of course there is always the chance of bad corks and the like, but one would expect a couple off bottles in total and not the large numbers seen in these lots.

It also appears Bonhams mismatched the lots so each one had more or less similar amounts of better fill bottles and not so good fill bottles. No doubt to maximize profits of all the lots and not end up with some that sold for considerably less than others.

BTW, W63 rocks :mrgreen:
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Re: Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

Post by DRT »

Interesting ideas, Andy, all of which are plausible for this lot. My thought on the night was that perhaps the variability was introduced at the bottling stage. This was an unusual lot, bottled at three years specifically for or by the family who sold it. Perhaps the bottles were of variable cleanliness? Or perhaps it was not all bottled on the same day and some were bottled in less than ideal conditions? I have read some old books that say that reputable wine merchants only bottled when the weather was fine, and certainly not in humid or damp conditions. I wonder if there is any science to back that up?
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Re: Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

Post by Andy Velebil »

DRT wrote:Interesting ideas, Andy, all of which are plausible for this lot. My thought on the night was that perhaps the variability was introduced at the bottling stage. This was an unusual lot, bottled at three years specifically for or by the family who sold it. Perhaps the bottles were of variable cleanliness? Or perhaps it was not all bottled on the same day and some were bottled in less than ideal conditions? I have read some old books that say that reputable wine merchants only bottled when the weather was fine, and certainly not in humid or damp conditions. I wonder if there is any science to back that up?
Very possible as well. I'd be interested to know exactly how they were bottled. Though the fill levels and large amounts with prior signs of seepage are indicative of poor storage more than anything.

What family would buy a pipe of a great VP and then not bottle it correctly? One would assume their wine cellar was quite large at that time and they loved wine. That level would indicate more than a passing knowledge of wine and they should have known to bottle them properly. Then again, they should have known to store them correctly too.
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Re: Wed 15 June 2016, a trial of Fonseca 1963, at B&F

Post by Alex Bridgeman »

The pipe was bottled by Findlater, Mackie & Todd, a very respectable wine merchant and one who bottled properly and diligently. I tend to feel that the bottles were not stored in particularly good conditions and probably that they got a little too warm, a little too often.
Top Ports in 2021: Niepoort Garrafeira 1931; Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Cockburn 1969 Single Harvest Tawny

Top Port in 2022 so far: the most stunning bottle of Quinta do Noval Nacional 1931. I have never drunk such a wonderful bottle of Port.
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