15th Jan 2009 - London

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DRT
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15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by DRT » 09:11 Sat 17 Jan 2009

According to this thread there was to be an off-line at The Crusting Pipe in London on 15th January 2009 but it appears that none of the participants survived long enough to let us know what happened :shock: :crying:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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benread
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Re: 15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by benread » 10:07 Sat 17 Jan 2009

I can confirm I am alive and well! My best journey home so far from TCP courtesy of some lucky connections on tubes and trains!

In simple terms, Jacob, Alex and I pitched up. Boardroom not made available (or requested) as we were only 3. Very nice waitress (Patricia - pronouned with a lovely European accent) looked after us very well. Found us better table. Food was consumed, followed by 5 different ports. Corkage was not charged. Large tip was left!

I cannot recall all the ports, but they included:

Warre 1970
Quinta de Vargellas 1967 (bottled 1969 as opposed to my 1967 bottled in 1970)
Gonzalez 1985
Fonseca 1963
A "port" from South Africa - AHB will confirm details.

We had a surprise guest as well, when Christopher turned up at 8pm. It was suggested he was earlier unexpected than ever he manages when expected!

The Warre 1970 was a superb wine for us all ( I think ) and great thanks go to Christopher (and Davy's) for that. I actually guessed the year right for that one (more luck than judgement) based on it looking like a fine vintage that would mature further. It was a lovely dark red colour with lots of fruit and tannins.

The Gonzalez 1985 was very enjoyable, but let down slightly by my inability to decant it before arrival at TCP. I will endeavor to provide participants with the opportunity to sample it at its best at some stage in the future.

Finally, Jacob and I discussed the possibility of a future offline them around colheita - Jacob - reminder to you! I will start a thread on that.
Ben
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Vintage 1970!

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JacobH
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Re: 15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by JacobH » 10:47 Sat 17 Jan 2009

I very much enjoyed this evening; great company, great ports and great service from TCP. And, as a bonus, there has been 100% increase in the number of vegetarian options on the menu! :)

As Ben says, we had 5 Ports; two of which were provided in half bottles by Alex (having been decanted from full ones). Despite one bottle needing decanting, and another being purchased from TCP, we managed to do the tasting blind at which, as usual, I was completely useless. :)

Alex brought at Bredell 2000 LBV and a Fonseca 1963. In case you were wondering, that would be Bredell, Somerset West, Helderberg, South Africa. A devious trick, if ever there were one to make us guess a South African Port as assorted major shippers and vintages! :oops: Anyway, I'm not particularly snobby about terroir; my main concern with "ports" has been their use of non-standard blends and production methods, so I was pleased to try something that could stand up to, and quite easily surpass many conventional LBVs. I'm not sure if Bredell is unique in its high qualities, but if it is, then I could quite easily see us having a "judgement of Paris" moment, at least with the younger LBVs.

I hope Alex won't mind if I say that the Fonseca was somewhat disappointing; perfectly acceptable but not matching the greatness that this wine is supposed to have.

The Vargellas was pretty much as I expected it. It contained all the distinctive Vargellas elements but could not pull itself together as one of the great vintages would do.

The Gonzalez was excellent; a lovely bottle and well worth acquiring if you have the chance.

The Warre, too, was absolutely excellent. Many thanks to Christopher for acquiring this at restaurant prices!
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AHB
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Re: 15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by AHB » 22:34 Sat 17 Jan 2009

I've been a bit busy the last couple of days so was not able to post on the tasting until now.

We started on time and found TCP packed. The three of us (Ben, Jacob and I) squeezed around one of the tables in the back and were initially told that we could not eat off the dinner menu unless we sat at one of the dinner tables at the front of the restaurant - and they were all full! Then, luckily, Patrizia recognised us and came to our rescue. She moved us to one of the larger tables in the Cabin and looked after us most capably - to the extent that it's worth enquiring if she will be on duty when we next arrange to meet there. We ate well, decanted Ben's port and had a very pleasant surprise when Christopher arrived unexpectedly - full marks to the standard tasting mat pack which includes the extra guest pages.

I was after an honest opinion from some capable palates on a bottle of Bredell port that I brought back from my last trip to South Africa and so arrived at the tasting with a half bottle of Bredell's LBV 2000 (unfiltered). This is a fortified wine produced principally from Susao and Tinta Barroca and is made in a style very similar to that used in Portugal. As a thank you to those experts who willingly tasted blind the South African wine, I also brought along a half bottle of Fonseca 1963. Disappointingly, this was the poorest showing of a Fonseca 1963 that I have ever had the misfortune to experience - sorry gents!

Ben brought a bottle of 1985 vintage from M.Gonzales. This was delicious and I wine that I have not had before, so it was a real treat. Jacob brought a bottle of Vargellas 1967, which I have had a few times before and is a wine I enjoy, but was strangely disjointed. I kicked myself when Jacob revealed what the wine was as my tasting note starts "Spearmint all over the nose" - but I still guessed a Croft 1975. Go figure.

Christopher's very generous contribution was the Warre 1970, bought over the bar. Even with only an hour in the decanter, this was absolutely delicious and in desperate need of another 10 years in the cellar or another 11 hours in the decanter. For me, this was the star of the night and really enjoyable.

Another fine evening and one which restored my faith in TCP being able to accomodate us in the way that we have grown to enjoy.

Interestingly, I had some of the wines left over the following night and many were better. The Vargellas '67 had pulled itself together and was much better. The oak in the Bredell had faded back and the wine was much better balanced than it had been on Thursday. Sadly, this trend did not also continue with the Fonseca 1963. Oh well.
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2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: 15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by jdaw1 » 00:25 Sun 18 Jan 2009

AHB wrote:full marks to the standard tasting mat pack which includes the extra guest pages
:-)

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JacobH
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Re: 15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by JacobH » 10:11 Sun 18 Jan 2009

AHB wrote:Interestingly, I had some of the wines left over the following night and many were better. The Vargellas '67 had pulled itself together and was much better.
That’s good to know. I’ll have to take that into consideration when I open my other (and, unfortunately, last) bottle.
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Re: 15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by benread » 10:43 Sun 18 Jan 2009

JacobH wrote:
AHB wrote:Interestingly, I had some of the wines left over the following night and many were better. The Vargellas '67 had pulled itself together and was much better.
That’s good to know. I’ll have to take that into consideration when I open my other (and, unfortunately, last) bottle.
How about we do a side by side comparison of your QDV 1967 (bottled 1969) and mine (bottled 1970) as an experiment some time?

:idea: How about a QDV offline theme!
Ben
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Re: 15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by AHB » 17:21 Sun 18 Jan 2009

benread wrote::idea: How about a QDV offline theme!
Nice idea. I have a couple of bottles of mature vintages of Vargellas and it would be great to open them in like company.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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DRT
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Re: 15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by DRT » 18:01 Sun 18 Jan 2009

AHB wrote:
benread wrote::idea: How about a QDV offline theme!
Nice idea. I have a couple of bottles of mature vintages of Vargellas and it would be great to open them in like company.
I have 1965 Vargellas but they can only be opened on 28 March +/-7 days each year.

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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benread
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Re: 15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by benread » 18:54 Sun 18 Jan 2009

DRT wrote:
AHB wrote:
benread wrote::idea: How about a QDV offline theme!
Nice idea. I have a couple of bottles of mature vintages of Vargellas and it would be great to open them in like company.
I have 1965 Vargellas but they can only be opened on 28 March +/-7 days each year.

Derek
My birthday is 26th March! Does that help?!
Ben
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Vintage 1970!

Glenn E.
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Re: 15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by Glenn E. » 19:23 Sun 18 Jan 2009

Brentwood Wines has a '67 Vargellas up for auction right now. Reserve is $200, currently no bidders.

It was in last week's (and the week before's) auction as well and hasn't sold. The reserve has come down from (as I recall) $240 the first week, so we'll see what happens.

They also have 10 bottles of 1937 Warre's Reserve Tawny (Colheita) with a reserve of $315. Those had a reserve of $320 last week... doubt they're going to move this week either with only a $5 change in the reserve.
Glenn Elliott

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Re: 15th Jan 2009 - London

Post by benread » 20:28 Sun 18 Jan 2009

I have started a new thread to discuss the possibility of a Vargellas tasting.
Ben
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