1963 horizontal, 2nd February 2008

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jdaw1
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1963 horizontal, 2nd February 2008

Post by jdaw1 » 16:05 Sun 03 Feb 2008

At my father’s in Sussex, on Saturday 2nd February 2008, we had a little 1963 horizontal.

Links to relevant threads: Arranged as long ago as last July, at the home of father (with commensurate affect on ability to invite lots of people), eight of us (JDAW RAW AHB SRG HEG MRZ PMD SC) started with an alcohol-free dinner of tongue and duck—very excellent indeed—before repairing to taste the ports.

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 five 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!

There was a second experiment. Each drinker had 14 of my usual port glass, the INAO 7.25 oz tasting glass. Each also one extra glass, a Riedel port glass, which could be used in a mini glass test.

So lots of of room for retention.

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DRT
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Re: 1963 horizontal, 2nd February 2008

Post by DRT » 16:53 Sun 03 Feb 2008

jdaw1 wrote:...lots of of room for retention.
An essential requirement for any stellar off-line :lol:

This looks like it would have been fun and I look forward to reading the review and TN's.

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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KillerB
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Post by KillerB » 18:21 Sun 03 Feb 2008

So, if your Lambert and Benson wasn't Noval, what the hell was it? And can you go back to Christie's and swear at them?
Port is basically a red drink

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H&B = Noval

Post by jdaw1 » 18:38 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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Re: H&B = Noval

Post by AHB » 10:45 Mon 04 Feb 2008

jdaw1 wrote: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.
That is very interesting indeed. I had thought that Hedges & Butler were producers in their own right - I clearly need to go back to my reference books and see what was happening. Perhaps they had sold their Douro interests by the early '60s and so were purely importers and bottlers.

However, I agree with Julian's comment on the quality of the Hedges & Butler bottling - the port from the magnum was much more evolved than the bottle of Noval that we also tasted.

It was a great opportunity to try a number of '63 ports that were completely new to me and I am very grateful to Julian for the invitation. It was also interesting to try the decanting experiment and I shall add my comments to that thread later.

My ports, from least impressive to most impressive, of the evening were:
Least - Hedges & Butler bottling of Noval, from magnum
Next - Cockburn
Then - Offley
Followed by - Dow
And - Delaforce
Good was - Taylor
Better - Croft
Excellent - Grahams
Great - Noval (a real surprise to me as I normally rate this in the middle of the pack)
The Best - Fonseca

Alex
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: H&B = Noval

Post by DRT » 10:49 Mon 04 Feb 2008

AHB wrote: That is very interesting indeed. I had thought that Hedges & Butler were producers in their own right
Perhaps you are thinking of Butler's Nephew? :lol:

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Post by Conky » 12:22 Mon 04 Feb 2008

or Benson & Hedges.... Now that was a Smokin Company.

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Post by Ghandih » 14:01 Mon 04 Feb 2008

Julian,

As ever, an excellent event - thanks to the master and mistress of the house once again for top quality hosting. I've not got my notes with me at the mo so cannot transpose the comments, but my main thoughts were:

1. The best port was the Taylor 1963. I remember taking a slurp (sorry, but that's what it was) at around midnight, and just flopping back into my seat in sheer delight, and the fruit and loveliness went on and on and on. What a great port!

2. The Taylor was close pushed by the Graham (ranked 2nd), which knocked me back again a few moments after I had recovered from the pleasure of the Taylor. That could have been my best ever 10 minutes of port (the two mouthfuls took about that long to savour).

3. The Fonseca (3rd) and Noval (4th) were also truly excellent.

4. The Delaforce out-punched its usual status, and I think I rated it sixth (after the Croft). I thought there was a bit of bottle-stink to it, but it did not get in the way of a big and long fruity flavour.

5. Having been lucky enough to attend the 1966 horizontal on Monday, I have a relatively fresh memory of them, too, and would say that, in general, 1966s have much more legs left than the 1963s, which I thought were all (at least) ready to go now, if not previously.

6. Filtering through unbleached coffee filter paper, my previous preferred method, does change the flavour of the port a bit, and for the worse (bother!).

7. Cropwell bishop is still the best stilton there is!

More notes will follow some time. Julian, thank-you.


Ghandih

PS Conky - I see you've reached 'Martinez 85' as your port ranking. Given your particular fondness for this port, can I suggest you never post anything again?! :lol:
A man who likes vintage ports, and we're not talking Carthage

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2nd Feb 3008: people

Post by jdaw1 » 11:35 Tue 05 Feb 2008

Left-to-right: PMD, SRG, AHB (not in red jacket!), MRZ, JDAW, HEG. Camera held by SC.
Image
Last edited by jdaw1 on 14:51 Tue 05 Feb 2008, edited 1 time in total.

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2nd Feb 3008: glasses from above

Post by jdaw1 » 11:36 Tue 05 Feb 2008

Glasses from above:
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2nd Feb 3008: glasses from the side-ish

Post by jdaw1 » 11:37 Tue 05 Feb 2008

Glasses from the side-ish:
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2nd Feb 3008: paperwork

Post by jdaw1 » 11:39 Tue 05 Feb 2008


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KillerB
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Post by KillerB » 13:10 Tue 05 Feb 2008

That is an abomination of everything we know and understand about the Universe: AHB at an off-line and not in a checked shirt.
Port is basically a red drink

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Post by RonnieRoots » 13:41 Tue 05 Feb 2008

Agreed. He could at least have worn a checked tie.

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Post by DRT » 14:08 Tue 05 Feb 2008

This is even more worrying than the emergence of Pink Port :shock:

Derek

PS: I am surprised at how light coloured the 1963s are - is this a camera trick or is that the true colour of the wines?
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Many of the 1963s were light.

Post by jdaw1 » 14:46 Tue 05 Feb 2008

Many of the 1963s were light in colour.

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