1920 Fonseca

Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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jdaw1
Taylor 1900
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1920 Fonseca Vintage Port

Post by jdaw1 » 17:04 Sun 26 Aug 2007

Fonseca 1920 tasted on 1st September 2007 in St. Helens. Tasted that evening were Fonseca 1920, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1992, and 2000. Also see the review describing the evening as a whole.

From the cellar of Derek T., for the trivial sum of £50. The result of rebottling a leaky magnum into a 750ml some three years earlier.
[url=http://www.theportforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=3469#3469]Here[/url] Derek T. wrote: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: how come the 1920 bottle has such a Fonseca-looking label?

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DRT
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Post by DRT » 22:44 Sun 26 Aug 2007

One of my many mental disorders is a need to have labels on every bottle in my cellar. If they arrive without one I make one. This is a very early example which used the Fonseca logo from their website.

I now realise this design was a mistake and it should have been a simple white stencil font on a plain black background.

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

Conky
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Post by Conky » 23:04 Sun 26 Aug 2007

I understand it has an unusual provenance, and you didn't take TN's. But can you at least confirm it was reasonably drinkable?

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DRT
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Post by DRT » 23:14 Sun 26 Aug 2007

It was definately drinkable at the time otherwise I would not have re-bottled it. What it tastes like now is anyone's guess but I suppose we are about to find out.

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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jdaw1
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F20

Post by jdaw1 » 00:35 Sun 02 Sep 2007

Orange tawny, very orange, slightly hazy. Nosing lightly of madeira (nose sensations were weaker because we were outside). To taste very lightly rancid, short, sweet, off Grand Marnier. Very smooth. Later the orange flavour more prominent.
Last edited by jdaw1 on 10:45 Wed 05 Sep 2007, edited 1 time in total.

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DRT
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Post by DRT » 02:23 Wed 05 Sep 2007

Can't argue with Jdaw's note. Tom, please add some thoughts...
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 09:20 Wed 05 Sep 2007

Faded glory - probably a very good wine in the seventies.

Still sound enough to drink, although some products of decay spoil the nose.

Curiously, this wine has evaded the attention of Mayson, Suckling & Broadbent - so its history is a little opaque...

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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DRT
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Post by DRT » 22:46 Wed 05 Sep 2007

I have only seen 1 reference to it and that was on the web. The only reason I have not questioned its authenticity is the list of shippers quoted by sickling. All premier league so obviously a major declaration.

I am pleased that this didn't get written off as dishwater. I knew it would be very tired but it seems to have enchanted those who have posted here who have appreciated it for what it is, an old relative who had a dodgy ticker a few years ago but stuck around for a while to make is smile.

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 23:24 Wed 05 Sep 2007

The existence of F20 is not in contention.

In my cellar I have an old unmarked bottle that was originally one of a pair - the other, I was told, proved to be F17

Now, find a reference to the existence of that...!

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

Conky
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Post by Conky » 08:18 Thu 06 Sep 2007

As interesting and pleasant as the 20 was, I suspect there's no rush on visiting the 17! :D

But if I'm in the area, I'll make the effort.

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RonnieRoots
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Post by RonnieRoots » 11:33 Fri 07 Sep 2007

Derek, how was this tasting in comparison to three years ago? Do you think the rebottling had any effect on the taste?

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DRT
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Post by DRT » 02:29 Wed 12 Sep 2007

Yes, I think it had an effect. I did not take a note when I first tasted this wine but do not remember it being as oxidised as now.

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

Ernest H. Cockburn

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jdaw1
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Rebottled Fonseca 1920 and the Nebuchadnezzar of Dow 1896

Post by jdaw1 » 00:35 Fri 14 Sep 2007

The poor state of this rebottled Fonseca 1920 makes me concerned about the state of the Nebuchadnezzar of Dow 1896.

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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 00:53 Fri 14 Sep 2007

No-one likes to think that a century old wine is rubbish, but it can easily be so.

Realistically, there is an evens chance that the Neb is going to disappoint, and a significant risk that it will be barely drinkable.

Add to that the problem of constructing an occasion when such a volume might be drunk, and the need to have a Plan 'B' on standby should it prove to be undrinkable.

It would be interesting to explore this bottle - but the price is off the radar...

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

John Danza
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Post by John Danza » 03:48 Fri 14 Sep 2007

uncle tom wrote:In my cellar I have an old unmarked bottle that was originally one of a pair - the other, I was told, proved to be F17

Now, find a reference to the existence of that...!

Tom
Hi Tom,

The 1934 book "Port" by Andre Simon doesn't show Fonseca as a shipper in 1917. He lists the following shippers: Croft, Delaforce, Ferreira, Feuerheerd, Graham, Gonzalez (Quinta de Roriz), Kopke, Rebello Valente, Sandeman, Smith Woodhouse, Taylor, and Van Zellers. He also notes that 76,149 piptes were shipped.

All the best,
John

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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 09:27 Fri 14 Sep 2007

I've checked several vintage lists (but I don't have the book you mention) and Fonseca is never mentioned for 1917.

However, there have been many informal bottlings over the years, and some shippers had rather long (war induced?) gaps between 'official' declarations at that time - eight years in the case of Fonseca (1912-1920) and fifteen years for Cockburn (1912 - 1927).

The likelihood of there having been small interim bottlings from these producers seems quite high.

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

John Danza
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Post by John Danza » 12:42 Fri 14 Sep 2007

uncle tom wrote:The likelihood of there having been small interim bottlings from these producers seems quite high.
I am sure you're quite right, if for no other reason than plain economics due to restrictions during the war.

As an update, Andre Simon's 1945 book "Vintagewise" shows 1917 as only 39,000 pipes shipped. I'm not sure of the disparity.

All the best,
John

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