Fonseca 1920, 63, 66, 70, 75, 77, 80, 83, 85, 92, 2000

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jdaw1
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Fonseca 1920, 63, 66, 70, 75, 77, 80, 83, 85, 92, 2000

Post by jdaw1 » 16:55 Sun 26 Aug 2007

On Saturday 1st September 2007, in sunny St. Helens, five of us—Conky, Alex K., Derek T., jdaw1, and Ghandih—sampled a range of Fonseca vintage ports. This review thread contains pictures and comments on the evening as a whole: for tasting notes see 1920, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1992, and 2000.

Also see the discussion about logistics and people (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) which mentions the team T shirts the design of which echoes the placemats.
Last edited by jdaw1 on 01:32 Thu 30 Aug 2007, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by DRT » 22:36 Sun 26 Aug 2007

These are the 11 Fonseca vintages ready for the Offline on 1 Sep 07.

Image

Please note that the 1985 is a stand-in bottle from my cellar. The 85 that will be used on 1 Sep 07 is already at Conky's house.

The 1920 has an unusual history. I purchased this wine as a Magnum around 3 years ago. The bottle was leaking badly when it arrived. I drank some, without taking a tasting note, and re-bottled the remaining 750ml in the bottle that can be seen in the picture above.

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Bigger picture

Post by jdaw1 » 23:17 Sun 26 Aug 2007

Bigger picture, for those requiring detail.

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Post by DRT » 00:37 Sat 01 Sep 2007

The Cigar Line-up....

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Post by Conky » 01:20 Sat 01 Sep 2007

You can, if you want, report a little more on the cigars. The smell? And have they a springyness to them if you squeeze them in the middle. Or are they dry and rustle?

Look good in the picture, but thats the first two tests. Dont roll it by your ear! People do thinking its what they should do, but you can actually start to break the internal leaves for no good reason.

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Post by DRT » 01:22 Sat 01 Sep 2007

They are all back in their little coffins where they will remain until we all roll and squeeze together tomorrow night :?

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Favourite Fonsecas

Post by jdaw1 » 00:32 Sun 02 Sep 2007

Favourites, in terms of pleasure when drinking now, are, in order:
70 then 63 then 66 (JDAW)
63 then 70 then 77 (DRT)
63 then 77 then 85 (ACC)
70 then 63 then 77 (ARK)
66 then 77 then 63 (SRG)

So, using a Borda count (appropriate to this—challenge me if you really want) then winner is 1963 (11 points), then 1970 (8), then 1977 (6) then 1966 (4) then 1985 (1).

Edit: later I realised that my scores were inconsistent with my ranking. Drinking, eh?

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Post by KillerB » 22:02 Sun 02 Sep 2007

Fantastic night and many thanks to Conky and delightful Debs for hosting it.

There were five Ports that stuck out like a sore thumb, in terms of quality:

1970 - the best for drinking now according to me. Fabulously rich and fruity with great peppery spice at the end;

1963 - Close to being the drink-now winner. Only slightly lighter but an absolutle beauty;

1977 - Rich and fruity, thick, an absolute sweetie;

1966 - Best overall Port, nice tannic backbone with great balance. Many years left;

1985 - One for holding but still immensely enjoyable. Young, good tannins and thick.
Port is basically a red drink

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Thank you Conky and Debs

Post by jdaw1 » 07:51 Mon 03 Sep 2007

Allow me to echo our fearless leader: fantastic night, fantastic line-up of ports. Thank you to Conky for collecting me from the airport, for hosting us, cooking a marvellous dinner and an even better breakfast, and to Debs for tolerating a house full of drunks. A great evening.

And I add, thank you to Tom and Derek for allowing us such bottles from their cellars.

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Post by DRT » 08:42 Mon 03 Sep 2007

What a fabulous line-up that was. The 63, 66, 70 and 77 were outstanding ports with the 66 proving that it is still my favourite overall. I think some of the other ports simply suffered from being in this company. I think only the 92 was a weak specimen, but on its own after dinner one evening would have been perfrectly serviceable.

It was a real pleasure to meet Jdaw and Ghandih for the first time and to see my old drinking buddies Alex and Alan again. Don't be fooled by what Alan has said about Jdaw not being too finnicky. Alan's comments are relative to his own pre-conception, not necessarily relative to Jdaws level of finnickiness. All I can say is that he did not disappoint.

My biggest disapointment of the evening was that Ghandih didn't turn up wearing his bear costume. Maybe next time. :wink:

I think it is worth pointing out that of all the port tasting events I have attended I have only fallen asleep at 3 of them. I have also had the pleasure of sitting next to Conky at all 3 of those offlines. Coincidence? :lol:

A big thanks to Debs for putting up with Alan and allowing us to use her home as a drop-in centre.

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Post by KillerB » 13:06 Mon 03 Sep 2007

Best Port for having on Christmas day, so you can really enjoy it for yourself but don't panic when Uncle Fred is necking it like a tequila shot:

Fonseca 1980
Port is basically a red drink

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Post by DRT » 23:38 Sun 23 Sep 2007

This is precisely how well my eyes could focus towards the end of the F-Plan...
Image
:lol:

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Post by Andy Velebil » 02:33 Mon 24 Sep 2007

Now that is what a table should look like after any proper offline :lol:

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The Quotes

Post by Ghandih » 21:48 Mon 24 Sep 2007

I guess I add my comments on the ports to the tasting notes bit (you nargs are so keen on recording everything in the right place, but it's hard for a muppet to remember the rules), but I still have some general remarks, which I think belong here.

I've not really thanked folk properly, but you should know that I am very grateful to have been invited, and feel privileged to have tasted those ports. Many thanks to Conky for hosting - a thoroughly affable chap, who I remember mainly being sat at the other end of the table quietly enjoying the ports he enjoyed, while looking on benevolently and letting us argue about the merits of our favourites, like a father indulging his slightly naughty children.

From Derek and Alex I learnt a lot about port in a single evening, though (silly them) they did try to educate me when a little fuzzy (see previous picture), with the general result that I can't remember anything apart from that 1992 is overrated.

I know Julian far too well to say anything particularly nice about him in such a public forum, but it is his fault I'm interested and able to join these events, and I am grateful for it. And, because he behaved, I still haven't had to spill the beans about his stranger university habits.

I think I've already thanked Uncle Tom somewhere else on the website, but what generosity! The Fonseca 66 is the best port I've ever drunk, and I'm very grateful. I hope we will meet some time soon, so that I can shake your paw and effuse appreciation in your general direction. :D

Gentlemen, I would like to close by presenting the quotes that I recorded for posterity, which ran as follows:

ARK: I'm the only one with the hair for this. (*)
JDAW: Have you tried f-o-u-r-hyphen-h-a-n-d-l-e-s? († )
DRT: At this point in the night, I'm loving port. :lol:
ARK: Port is basically a red drink. :roll:

(*) My notes parenthesise the useful qualifier 'Copa Cabana'.
(† ) Why was this funny?? I know we were talking Two Ronnies, but...
A man who likes vintage ports, and we're not talking Carthage

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Post by DRT » 22:31 Mon 24 Sep 2007

Ghandi,

I agree, F66 is the best port I have ever drunk too, and I've had quite a few good ones to compare it to. That was a truely steller bottle and I have its 2 brothers in my cellar :cool:

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Post by KillerB » 22:34 Mon 24 Sep 2007

Simon,

Thanks for recording the quotes, somebody has to do it.

The Two Ronnies thing was based around our candle site as we considered the old "Four Candles" sketch. We couldn't get any combination of "four candles" or "fork handles" but we needed to explain the sketch to Julian who'd never seen it. When we finally thought that he'd understood the joke he came out with the above quote.

For the unitiated on the 'Copa Cabana' I have thick, blondish hair and am in need of a haircut.

Port is a red drink. I just thought some people needed clarification.
Port is basically a red drink

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Post by DRT » 22:40 Mon 24 Sep 2007

I think you will find that a coppa cabana is a cigar :shock:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Post by KillerB » 22:57 Mon 24 Sep 2007

Simon, by the way, is not the same Simon (Day) from the Fast Show and Powergen adverts, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Port is basically a red drink

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Post by g-man » 01:26 Thu 25 Oct 2007

how did you guys find the 1980 btw?

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Post by DRT » 01:44 Thu 25 Oct 2007

g-man,

Goto the top of this thread and click on 1980 to be taken to tasting notes from Jdaw1 and myself.

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Post by KillerB » 11:03 Thu 25 Oct 2007

g-man wrote:how did you guys find the 1980 btw?
Basically overwhelmed by the company that it was keeping. Turned out quite nice in the end though. Crowd pleaser.
Port is basically a red drink

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Post by AHB » 14:15 Thu 25 Oct 2007

g-man wrote:how did you guys find the 1980 btw?
I wasn't at the F-Plan offline, but I have had the Fonseca 1980 a few times recently and I love it. It's delicate and very unlike a "normal" Fonseca but the way it changes in your glass over the course of an evening is just wonderful. Not a blockbuster wine, but one I love drinking and will buy up when I see it at bargain prices.

Alex
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