Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

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DRT
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Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by DRT » 00:34 Mon 22 Feb 2010

"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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benread
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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by benread » 02:17 Wed 24 Feb 2010

A privilege to be the first to reply!

A fantastic evening, with a big thank you to Johnny Symmington for all his insight to Vesuvio. What started as a germ of an idea from WS1 turned into a great evening. I ended up on the last train home!

Without a doub the 1994 was the wine of the night. Not unexpected for many, but my first chance to try it. Indeed my first chance to try most of the Vesuvio. 1989 was up there initially amongst "most enjoyable for immediate drinking" but faded later. What this did prove was:

-Vesuvio is a quinta worthy of more attention;
-There are no 'bad' vintages amongst the 17 produced so far
-Credit to SFE for chosing not to produce years when the product quality is unlikely to have been to the standards they want their consumers to experience.

It also demonstrated (yet again) the ability of TPF to bring together like minded individuals, including complete strangers, for a great evening.

Thank you, one and all!
Ben
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Vintage 1970!

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Cookie
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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by Cookie » 02:31 Wed 24 Feb 2010

I would like to associate myself with the comments of the last speaker...including the last train bit...but... unfortunately mine was not to my home. :x

Anyway an absolute splendid evening and my sincere thanks go once again to Derek, Julian and Alex for organising Woolfgangs idea into a very successful evening and a joy to meet Johnny Symington and the new members as well.

The V94 was indeed the top wine but I think was closely followed by the V04...this wine has legs and will undoubtedly improve over the years.

Thanks again

Cookie
God may have made water...but man made wine. - Victor Hugo

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JacobH
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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by JacobH » 11:47 Wed 24 Feb 2010

This was a really interesting evening. Many thanks to all those involved in organising it and to Johnny Symington for coming over to share the Port with us.

Three things really stuck out at me:
  • There is a marked general improvement in the quality of the Vesuvio wines over the period when the Symingtons have owned it. For instance, whilst the 1989-1992 are all fine Ports, they aren't nearly as great as, say 1996-1999 and those, in turn, do not seem to match those produced in the last five years. The wines from 2003 onwards all seem fabulous and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the lesser years from this period (e.g. 2004) go on to be better than some of the general declarations (e.g. 1997 or 1991).
  • Within the general improvement in the Ports over time, the difference in quality between the years of general declarations and non-generally-declared years is really quite striking. I suppose this ought to be obvious but I hadn't ever experienced it in such a way before, as I don't think I've ever tasted SQVP from both declared and non-declared years in this way before.
  • One difficulty of drinking these wines so young is that they do not seem to have matured for long enough to produce the secondary flavours that give particular Quintas or shippers their house style. One thing I was quite interested in for last night was whether we could find a distinctive "signature" that would identify particular Ports as being Vesuvio but that proved to be almost impossible.
Otherwise, Vesuvio didn't disappoint and it was great to hear from Johnny how committed the Symingtons are to making top-of-the-range single quinta Port like this.

The best wine was, by miles and miles, the 1994. The 2007s also compared really well. Of the lesser years, both the 2004 and 1996 impressed me, along with the 2006; perhaps ones to look out for in the future.
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KillerB
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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by KillerB » 12:05 Wed 24 Feb 2010

Crikey, what a night. As with everybody else, thanks to Alex, Julian and Derek for sorting this one out. Derek's willingness to travel around the country to pick stuff up was truly admirable. Great idea from Wolfgang turned into a momentous tasting. Thanks to Johnny for coming along and giving us such an insight into Vesuvio and Symington's plans, in general.

Wine of the Night - 1994, an absolute diamond of a Port.

Others of note -

1989 is a lovely drink;
1991 is on the back-burner and will become something interesting;
1996 is very fine and I'm glad I've got more;
1998 was surprisingly good and is worth investment;
2000 was heavy and will be great in a very long time;
2003 tastes good now but will get much better;
2007 was better than when we had it just 8 months ago, which is probably just settling into the bottle and looks to have a sound future;
2007 Capela could well be a great star of the future, it certainly has something

Very important to note is that there was not a single duffer in 19 Ports, thus making Vesuvio the single most consistent Port I've come across.

Lastly, I could not drink that amount of young Port. It was fantastic to taste them but I could not finish. Je suis désolé :cry:
Port is basically a red drink

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benread
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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by benread » 12:53 Wed 24 Feb 2010

KillerB wrote:Lastly, I could not drink that amount of young Port. It was fantastic to taste them but I could not finish. Je suis désolé :cry:
I think your embarrassment was spared after you left. A number of people were noted helping finish your glasses :D
Ben
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Axel P
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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by Axel P » 14:45 Wed 24 Feb 2010

I am glad everything went out well. I had a V94 on Monday for a lecture and as well admired it a lot.

See you at "Malvedos"

Axel
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Chris Doty
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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by Chris Doty » 15:45 Wed 24 Feb 2010

Agree with everybody on the key points:

1.) Many thanks to Derek, Alex and Julian for organizing such a wonderful event
2.) Thanks to Johnny Syms for his time, insight and passion
3.) Quality of the ports has been improving significantly over time (both in absolute potential of the wine, as well as the consistency from year to year)


For my taste, I thought the 94 was clearly the WOTN, with the 2003 and 2000 in the second tier. Third tier includes both 2007s, the 1996 and 2004. Fourth tier is 1998, 1990 (which I seemed to enjoy more than most) and 2005. And the remainder (89, 91, 97, 99, 01, and 06) I thought were all fine, but didn't really blow any wind up my dress. The 2008 was very fruity and surprisingly nice to drink, but a bit tough for me to evaluate, particularly how late it was in the overall tasting.

Again -- many kudos to Derek and team -- a smashing success of an evening. I look forward to checking in with you all at future events to see how your allocations of Vesuvio have grown.

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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by WS1 » 23:03 Wed 24 Feb 2010

Hi there,

it was a fantastic evening. Thank you all for havings such a good time. Special Thank you to Derek, Julian, Alex and J. Symmington for such a fantastic tasting, serious offline :wink: :lol:
With regards to your ideas about the 1994 Vesuvio being the wine of the night i am not so sure. This was for me the 2003 which was just magnificent. (Balance, Complexity and Power). I fully admit that the 1994 potentially has more power and is a more bold wine, i still think this is not as integrated yet as the 2003. With the 2000 I was impressed and not. It was powerful and quite wild and unbalanced. So if you want my kind of ordering it is:

2003
1994
1996
2007 Capella
2000
2005
1998
2007
1995
2006
1999
1991
1997
1989
2004
2001
1992
1990

On the 2008 I feel not competent enough to make any verdict. It was a lovely cask sample, that I felt was more powerful than 2007 but with less complexity.

regards

WS1
"Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough"
Mark Twain

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DRT
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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by DRT » 00:40 Thu 25 Feb 2010

What a great night this was.

The others have said it all above but the one comment that I think is worth repeating is that of KillerB: "not a single duffer in 19 Ports". I am not sure that any other producer in the Douro could meet that standard over the same or any other time period.

It was great to meet Claire, Daren and Johnny for the first time. Johnny's insights into the context in which these fabulous wines were produced was very special. A big thanks is due to Dom Symington for his outstanding generosity in agreeing to provide the 2008 and a couple of hard to find bottles and, especially, for making his cousin come along to spend the evening with a bunch port drinking of nutters.

As for me driving around picking up bottles and glasses for 9 hours it was a pleasure to make that contribution to such a great evening. But I will confess now that the principle reason for me doing that was in case one of you buggers didn't turn up and "broke" the vertical :lol: - I even packed a few contingency bottles in the car for those considered to be in the "high risk" category :shock:

Control freak? OCD? Me? Never! :roll: :nirvana:

Roll on Malvedos. Is it up to the Vesuvio Test? 19 good'ns from 19 is hard to beat :wink:

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by JacobH » 14:33 Sat 27 Feb 2010

I think, in fairness to some of the other houses which have not quite achieved Vesuvio's level of success at this tasting, it does make quite a bit of difference only tasting very young Ports. When most of the wines are under a decade old, the chances of something nasty developing in the bottle must be far less (in addition to fewer worries due to poor storage / dody bottling in the first place) than what is usually encountered tasting Vintage Port.
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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by Chris Doty » 18:42 Sat 27 Feb 2010

That's a good point Jacob -- and I would add as well that as technology improves, and the business of making ports continues to be refined, the quality (particularly at the lower level) continues to creep up. You rarely see complete plonk being bottled these days, even at the $15-$20 level.

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DRT
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Re: Vesuvio Vertical - 23rd Feb 2010

Post by DRT » 19:36 Sat 27 Feb 2010

I accept both points, but corked bottles are corked bottles a nano second after they are corked. VA is detectable in young wines and wine that just doesn't taste good tends to have that characteristic built in. Perhaps the only way to prove or disprove all of this is to have a simliar tasting from 10 or 15 other quintas? 88)

A discussion on VA and the 1985 vintage was split from this thread and place here by DRT.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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