'After Cricket' Off-line - 25 June 08

What happened?
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Fonseca 1966
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'After Cricket' Off-line - 25 June 08

Post by DRT » 11:17 Thu 26 Jun 2008

Another excellent :tpf: off-line. It was great to meet Ben and Jacob for the first time.

The wines suffered from the heat and had to be placed in ice buckets. I think we need to find an alternative London venue for any serious tastings as TCP doesn't seem to cope well in summer. Thankfully this off-line had a £15 bottle limit so no one had to get too stressed about things but I am glad we were not drinking 1963s or similar.

Wine of the night was Dalva 1970 supplied by Tom. Vesuvio 96 and Warre LBV 92 can share the runner up prize.


PS: It has been a very long time since I was last involved in a discussion with bar staff about proof of age. You will be unsurprised to know that it wasn't my age that was in question but it is nice to know that in Jacob we have the opportunity to observe the development of the next generation of middle aged port geek.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Post by JacobH » 14:29 Thu 26 Jun 2008

I gatecrashed the end of this off-line. It was great to meet you all and to put some names to faces!

I agree with Derek about the ports, though I was particularly impressed with the Vesuvio and would probably go for that ahead of the Warre, given the opportunity. I also had my first glass of Morgan 1991 and can see why it gets such good reviews here!
PS: It has been a very long time since I was last involved in a discussion with bar staff about proof of age. You will be unsurprised to know that it wasn't my age that was in question but it is nice to know that in Jacob we have the opportunity to observe the development of the next generation of middle aged port geek.
Ah, yes, sorry about that…Though as it approaches half-a-decade since I have been able to produce a genuine ID card to reply to such questions, you will excuse me if my patience is slightly thin!

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Post by benread » 06:11 Fri 27 Jun 2008

My own take on the evening is summed up by my approach to the train home - as on 10th April, little regard for the time resulted in a very tedious journey home that included a taxi from a station not that local to me!

You would be right to assume I was in no rush to leave early!

My own special thanks would go to Uncle Tom for the Dalva 1970 - a "birth year" port for me and very enjoyable.

Yet again, I walked away having learnt something new - stop promising to be home early if I am drinking with the TPF crowd! :lol:
Vintage 1970!

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Post by KillerB » 08:58 Fri 27 Jun 2008

Thoroughly enjoyed the evening, even being out with someone who needed ID to get a drink. :P

The Dalva won it for me too, followed by the Vesuvio with Warre and Morgan fairly even. The Tesco was the biggest disappointment, mostly because I have three. The Dow 1983 was not dissimilar to how I remember it from last time - a bit harsh.

The temperature was a real problem and we may be forced to use buckets of cold water again in the future.

Great to meet Ben and Jacob as well as a fleeting visit from Al B's friend Richard.
Port is basically a red drink

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Post by AHB » 07:49 Tue 01 Jul 2008

It was good to meet Jacob and it was a very interesting experiment to see what a selection of ports we were able to put together for under £15 per bottle.

The Dalva 1970 was lovely and stole the show - but then you can't expect anything else when a 38 year old wine was up against the next oldest of a 17 year old. That extra 21 years of bottle age makes a lot of difference! But I was so impressed by the Warre 1992 LBV...

I echo the thoughts of the others on the venue. My recollection was that the Crusting Pipe had air-conditioning during the summer, but perhaps they don't. Whatever the reason, there was no air conditioning last Wednesday and the ports really suffered (showing hot and flabby) until we got a couple of ice buckets delivered. I will bear this in mind as we approach the next offline on July 11.

My tasting notes:
Dalva 1970 vintage port
Decanted for 30 hours. Pale chestnut colour, slight hint of green on the rim. A touch of VA on the nose; underneath the marzipan are candied fruits, strawberry lozenges and lots of seville orange marmalade. Light into the mouth, delicate and showing elegant strawberry syrup. Nicely balanced from the acidity in the wine now that all the tannins have faded. Long length, dominated by flavours of seville orange marmalade. Very enjoyable wine. 90/100.

Morgan 1991 vintage port
Decanted for 24 hours. Mid- to deep-red colour. Opaque centre and with the colour holding into the rim. A touch of blackcurrants on the nose, very faint eucalyptus, perhaps a bit stewed (it was initially very warm in the room). Nocely balanced in the mouth, initially showing the tannins very strongly. Lots of layers of complexity show when the tannins release their hold on the cheeks. Pure blackberry juice, very sweet but very hot later on in the mouth. The aftertaste takes a long while to start to show. When it does, it is mouth-filling but is only enjoyable once the bite from the alcohol fades to leave a long, bitter-chocolate aftertaste. 88/100.

Quinta do Noval 2001 LBV
Decanted for 24 hours. Unfiltered LBV. Purple, purple, purple in colour … and it was opaque. Lovely scents of kumquats and fresh hyacinth flowers on the nose. Soft texture in the mouth, but tannins come flooding through all the fruit and dominate harshly. The fruit is there, but the tannins dominte everywhere. The aftertaste is hollow at first but gives hints and a ghost of what might be to come. Lots of potential, but also some gaps in what I would expect at this age - I would love to be able to try this again in 10 years. 89/100.

Tesco 1994 vintage port
Blended by the Symington Family. Decanted for 9 hours. Deep red in colour, very slight hint of brown on the rim and with an opaque centre. Stewed nose, smelling quite fruity but not attractive - almost Douro Bake. Sweet in the mouth, vanilla ice cream dominates the flavours but some blackcurrants show through. There is a very noticeable tannic structure but the (fairly bland) sweetness is never out of balance. The aftertaste startes with a burn, hangs around briefly and then vanishes. I have had much better examples that this bottle and continue to worry about the bottle variation, it really is too erratic to be able to rely on this particular port as a choice to introduce people to the joys of vintage port. 84/100.

Quinta do Vesuvio 1996 vintage port
Decanted 24 hours. Deep red, almost opaque in the centre. Blackcurrants dominate a huge nose. Beautiful balance on entry. Lots of fruit early on and in the middle. Acidity provides some elegant structure but the tannins are hiding behind the mask of the youthful fruit. The tannins really come through early in the aftertaste, but only serve to support the chocolate aftertaste. Will be much better in 10 years! 88/100.

Warre 1992 LBV
Decanted 10 hours. Traditional LBV. Deep red colour, very young looking, a centre that is almost opaque. Closed on the nose with some herbaceousness and a little bit of plum. Sweet and very smooth in the mouth. Showing lots of fruit but with a very noticeable tannic structure that still grabs hold of the cheeks. Dominating and fruity aftertaste. Lond and caressing, going through a fruit phase and then a milk chocolate desert. This is very young and still desperately needs more bottle age to improve still further - has massive potential. 91/100.
Top Ports in 2019 (so far): Cockburn 1947 and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
2018 Ports of the year: São Leonardo 1927 White Port (Bottled 2018), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994

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