Feb 01 2010 Off-Line: 75s and Others at Crusting Pipe

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Chris Doty
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Feb 01 2010 Off-Line: 75s and Others at Crusting Pipe

Post by Chris Doty » 15:18 Tue 02 Feb 2010

Informal tasting in London with some new friends. My notes are more impressions, as I was busy being introduced to the Bishop of Norwich. Overall, I viewed the wines in three distinct groups. The 70 Dow (the only 'proper') Vintage Port in the group was a standout. In tier two, we had a few very classy wines that just weren't quite up to the level of VP. In tier three we have the pretenders, which, FWIW, are broadly comprised of lesser 1975s (I had been told this would be a blind tasting of '75 VPs....)

A few memorable lines....

On honesty:
::regarding the 1982 Sandeman he had recently decanted at the table::
Derek: "Bad news, lads. It's corked. You guys go ahead and find a different bottle to drink....don't worry about me."

On international diplomacy
::regarding the organization of bottles/decanters/glasses on the tables::

Julian: "You're a German -- you've got no chance! Just try to stay out of the way" - Julian
Wolfgang: "I know all this. What this is all about. This is about football. You're still bitter about 1966"

On bread:
"Do you happen to know the Bishop and Sandwich?"

On assorted tastings....
Ray: "Would you say that was a three day horizontal?"

__________________

1970 Dow -- This was the clear POTN for me. Pretty dark caramel and just a bit of spice on the nose. Good weight in the mouth, smooth transition from attack to mid to finish. How I like my women -- rich and elegant, but somehow understated and comfortable. A bit of heat on the finish, but so many truckloads of bright red cherries all around you hardly care. 91
_________________

1986 Taylor Vargelles -- Quite a nice combination of walnuts and rose pedals on the nose. A bit lighter in the mouth than the Dow, but no slouch. Supple. Firm tannins still in place, with a bit of alcohol that suggests you can hold this guy for quite a few years still. While only two points lower than the Dow, a noticeable notch down in quality (IMHO). 89

1982 Sandeman -- group buy-in towards the end of the night for ~45gbp, this was quite an interesting port to finish with. I got what I can only describe as "Fall Forest Floor" (F^3) on the nose. A combination of dried leaves, dirt/mud, wood, and a bit of an almost decomposition-al component. Not bad, and certainly not flawed, but really quite curious. Actually not too dissimilar in a way from some 97 right bank claret I've had lately. In the mouth, it gives a very soft, almost floral/perfume component. Quite nice indeed. A different style than the Taylor, but of a similar caliber. 88

_________________

1975 Cockburn -- Like the other 75s, this was quite pale in color. Hints of vanilla and dark cherries on the nose. Fairly light in the mouth -- I got almost a cinnamon component about half way through. Someone also chimed in with red liquorices, which struck a chord. Lightweight, but not stupid. I would have been temped to write something like 'a burgundy lover's kind of port' -- except the person who liked it most hates burgundy. [shrug.gif] 85

1980 Croft Quinta do Roeda -- Fairly muted nose. Some maple syrup component which is rather interesting, if a bit feint. Very smooth in the mouth. Not a tremendous amount of flavor, but it is quite silky. More weight than the 75s, which stood out at first blush, but over time, the lack of flavor/complexity became increasingly clear. 82

1975 Martinez -- Again -- a bit of sugar syrup on the nose. Very thin in the mouth, and largely lacking in fruit. I believe 'grapefruit sugar water' hit this one quite squarely. 81

1975 Kopke St. Luiz -- Not hot, or difficult to drink in any way, but not the least bit interesting. Totally devoid of any flavor/complexity. At least it is an unusual bottle. 80.
Last edited by Chris Doty on 12:09 Thu 04 Feb 2010, edited 1 time in total.

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JacobH
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Re: TNs: OL Last Night at Crusting Pipe

Post by JacobH » 23:48 Tue 02 Feb 2010

Sounds like a fun night! Has Julian finally admitted defeat on the ’75 question?
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Chris Doty
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Re: TNs: OL Last Night at Crusting Pipe

Post by Chris Doty » 00:11 Wed 03 Feb 2010

Rather on the contrary, for better or worse.

While Derek had hoped that by having three blind 75s to 'surprise' Julian with their quality and to unmask them in triumph after Julian had guessed some more majestic vintage, when asked what he thought the masked wines where -- he said something along the lines of 'as they're generally thin and uninteresting, I'm going to guess that they're all 75s.' And, of course, he was right.

FWIW, when asked, people guessed my bottle (the rather unfortunate Kopke 75) was the Fonseca -- so I've made a mental note to steer clear of that effort as well.

Indeed, however, a very fun and educational night. A lovely introduction to the group, and to the Crusted Pipe, which I feel I will be getting to know rather well in upcoming months.

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Re: TNs: OL Last Night at Crusting Pipe

Post by RonnieRoots » 07:03 Wed 03 Feb 2010

Hi Chris, and welcome to The Port Forum! Seems like you had a great inaugeration. :)

If you have time, please add your tasting notes to those of AHB in the TN section, that way they will be available for future reference. Thanks!

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Re: TNs: OL Last Night at Crusting Pipe

Post by JacobH » 12:41 Wed 03 Feb 2010

Chris Doty wrote:While Derek had hoped that by having three blind 75s to 'surprise' Julian with their quality and to unmask them in triumph after Julian had guessed some more majestic vintage, when asked what he thought the masked wines where -- he said something along the lines of 'as they're generally thin and uninteresting, I'm going to guess that they're all 75s.' And, of course, he was right.
He obviously should have quite whilst he was ahead; all the good work with the Croft 1975 (when we played this game the last time) has been undone :cry:
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Re: TNs: OL Last Night at Crusting Pipe

Post by jdaw1 » 23:23 Wed 03 Feb 2010

Fine evening. Dow 1970 my POTN as well, followed by the Vargellas 1986.

CSD: at a previous tasting I thought well of the Croft 1975, blinded on me, and of the Noval 1975, brought by me. So I can’t claim to be 100% on this game.

DRT: enough surprising me with wines of which I’m unlikely to think well. Please, next time surprise me with things I’ll love. Or at least might love.

CSD: please could I impose on you to change the name of the thread. In a year or so, when looking for this review, the term ‟last night” might be less informative than ‟01 February 2010”. Thanks.

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Re: TNs: OL Last Night at Crusting Pipe

Post by DRT » 02:18 Thu 04 Feb 2010

Chris Doty wrote:While Derek had hoped that by having three blind 75s to 'surprise' Julian with their quality and to unmask them in triumph after Julian had guessed some more majestic vintage, when asked what he thought the masked wines where -- he said something along the lines of 'as they're generally thin and uninteresting, I'm going to guess that they're all 75s.' And, of course, he was right.
I'm quite certain that, a few minutes after joining us and before anyone had poured or tasted anything, when Chris said to Julian "I was told this was a blind tasting of nineteen seventy f..." (the last 3 letters were silenced by me raising a hand and uttering a loud "shhh!!") it had no influence on Julian's judgement of the wines. :roll:

That said, the 3 x 75s on show were indeed below par. However, given that no one at the table had ever experienced two of them I still maintain that it was a worthwhile exercise. If such experimentation were never attempted, how else would we have discovered that Croft and Noval 75 are actually quite good wines? Or that Kopke Sao Luiz 1970 is spectacular?
Chris Doty wrote:FWIW, when asked, people guessed my bottle (the rather unfortunate Kopke 75) was the Fonseca -- so I've made a mental note to steer clear of that effort as well.
That would be a mistake. I guessed Fonseca purely on the basis of the colour as F75 is by far the darkest wine from that vintage that I have had. Personally, I would put the Fonseca up with the Croft and Noval.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: TNs: OL Last Night at Crusting Pipe

Post by jdaw1 » 09:37 Thu 04 Feb 2010

What I heard was that DRT had chosen a common theme.

I admit that did suggest something.

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Chris Doty
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Re: TNs: OL Last Night at Crusting Pipe

Post by Chris Doty » 12:09 Thu 04 Feb 2010

Derek -- I do not recall mentioning the nature of the theme, but I did mention that I was told that there was a theme.

All -- After reading Alex's notes, and the posts on this thread, it seems that there was pretty strong group consensus on the various attributes of each wine. Is this common in group tastings of port?

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Re: TNs: OL Last Night at Crusting Pipe

Post by KillerB » 14:22 Thu 04 Feb 2010

Chris Doty wrote:All -- After reading Alex's notes, and the posts on this thread, it seems that there was pretty strong group consensus on the various attributes of each wine. Is this common in group tastings of port?
Oh God, no. We all have different things that we like but we can all spot a classy Port. AHB seems to find wonders in Ports that the rest of us have given up as junk, for instance, then posts the most eloquent TNs explaining his findings. I will never be able to find anything good to say about a Port with bottle-stink, I simply can't get over it but AHB and Uncle Tom can. As you know, Julian has a hatred of 1975 and a general dismissive attitude to Andreson, to the effect that he is always being given them, much to his dismay. After the fifth or sixth bottle Derek can be found with a huge grin on his face saying, "This is gorgeous," with his most extended Scottish vowels, at a completely random Port, then dismissing it as "faded" ten minutes later after he's tasted F66.

The above are all made-up scenarios, of course, you will never see any of them happen in real life :?
Port is basically a red drink

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Re: TNs: OL Last Night at Crusting Pipe

Post by DRT » 20:09 Thu 04 Feb 2010

Chris Doty wrote:Derek -- I do not recall mentioning the nature of the theme, but I did mention that I was told that there was a theme.
I often don't recall saying things at port tastings, but I don't ever recall hearing things that were not said :wink:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: Feb 01 2010 Off-Line: 75s and Others at Crusting Pipe

Post by WS1 » 23:56 Thu 04 Feb 2010

Hi there,

it was indeed a great evening. With regards to 75s vintage ports I think the only way to find out if they really are all below par is we need to do a horicontal of the ones we think are very good and compare with some typical kind of "Benchmark ports" (par). One of the bts that should be very good in 1975 is Quarles Harris (based on Uncle Toms suggestion that Berry Brothers choose Quarles Harris in this year as their Port to market under the Berries name). Fonseca can be very good; but I had also bad bts. Grahams 1975 tastes more like rasberry juice and can be used as a refreshing summer cocktail :wink:
Was very positivly suprised by the Cockburn 1975. Luckily I did not bring the bt that is on my drinking shelf for quite a while, was only sidetracked by the Roeda 1980 since its performance seems quite volatile. Had one good bt, one very bad bt and the bt at the tasting. Seem quite a difficult port this :(

regards

WS1
"Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough"
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Re: TNs: OL Last Night at Crusting Pipe

Post by AHB » 22:36 Sun 07 Feb 2010

Chris Doty wrote:After reading Alex's notes, and the posts on this thread, it seems that there was pretty strong group consensus on the various attributes of each wine. Is this common in group tastings of port?
Chris,

I did find it quite interesting that most of the time, you and I were within a point on the score we gave to the ports we tasted that night. It doesn't often happen. It just makes the ports we score very differently even more interesting.

Alex

PS - I don't hate Burgundy, I'm just ambivalent to it and recognise that others will get far more pleasure from it that I do.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
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Re: Feb 01 2010 Off-Line: 75s and Others at Crusting Pipe

Post by jdaw1 » 18:27 Tue 09 Feb 2010

Note to CSD: your tasting notes (TNs) have been copied to the appropriate threads, Simplifies later location.

Note to self: CSD to be added to list of lefties.

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Chris Doty
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Re: Feb 01 2010 Off-Line: 75s and Others at Crusting Pipe

Post by Chris Doty » 15:22 Thu 11 Feb 2010

Thanks!

In future I sense it would be better if I simply post my TNs directly on the litlte TN forum (instead of creating threads to discuss entire dinners).

Left handed and proud!

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Re: Feb 01 2010 Off-Line: 75s and Others at Crusting Pipe

Post by jdaw1 » 15:35 Thu 11 Feb 2010

Generally we do a thread to discuss the evening as a whole, but separate threads to hold the tasting notes of the individual ports. That facilitates their (slightly delayed) entry into the handy-dandy indexes of same, sorted alphabetically and by vintage.

Nothing wrong with being left-handed, but as is illustrated by forthcoming Vesuvio vertical’s placemats, there is handedness that should match that of the drinker.

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Chris Doty
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Re: Feb 01 2010 Off-Line: 75s and Others at Crusting Pipe

Post by Chris Doty » 05:54 Wed 24 Feb 2016

My first TPF OL, ROTFLMAOOMG

good times, good times

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