The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

What happened?
Post Reply
User avatar
jdaw1
Taylor 1900
Posts: 19292
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by jdaw1 » 22:22 Fri 14 Dec 2012

On Thursday 13th December 2012 a subset of the obvious suspects gathered at the Bell, Wendens Ambo CB11 4JY, to taste some treasures.

Links: Previously at the Bell: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.

User avatar
jdaw1
Taylor 1900
Posts: 19292
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by jdaw1 » 23:18 Fri 14 Dec 2012

So we arrived. Some arrived singly, almost empty-handed. Others came with multiple decanters, some with port tongs, other in a group who had been warming up since lunchtime. And we tasted. There was much under-guessing of ages, with red fruity concoctions being estimated as 1955, rather than 1920s. Silly us! We had four 1927s. The best 1927 is, of course, Niepoort. But that can’t be had for love nor money, so put aside that foolish ambition. (‟Riemann hypothesis, my son? Don’t be silly. See if you can do better than 43 ≤ R(5,5) ≤ 49.”) Next best ’27 ever tasted by me had been Cockburn, several of my four samplings of that being excellent. But those were dwarfed by bottle #12, from the fine cellar of Mr. B., a Taylor 1927, which was astonishingly youthful and vibrant. The Sandeman 1922 was had a very convincing cork, that bottle having been lying for a long time, but can a 1922 a workaday vintage of moderate repute really be so young? One had to wonder whether Herr Rodenstock had helped? But the cork was convincing.

Dirk brought his VV, a blend of very old wines from cask, which was massive and excellent. There will be 999 bottles of this, which, I suspect, will cost a pretty penny or few.

So, all in all, a wonderful evening with some fantastic oldies.

User avatar
DRT
Graham’s 1948
Posts: 14878
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Contact:

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by DRT » 08:56 Sat 15 Dec 2012

27 appears to have been a very important number for this tasting. Not only does it feature a number of times in the line-up and in jdaw1's colourful description of the evening, it is also the number of text messages I received from jdaw1 letting me know what a wonderful time you were all having whilst I was at work :cry:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

User avatar
Axel P
Niepoort 1977
Posts: 1636
Joined: 08:09 Wed 12 Sep 2007
Location: Langenfeld, near Cologne, Germany
Contact:

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by Axel P » 10:50 Sat 15 Dec 2012

Tom, Julian,

now back in Germany again I do have a huge problem, being that my Warre 1970, which I had yesterday, tastes much too young to be fully appreciated :(

This was again an absolut spectacular tasting. Next time I will be extremely careful when saying that the guy who brings the youngest Port should be doing something nasty. Bringing a 1931 to be the second youngest wine of a tasting never really happened to me yet.

Thanks again all of you, especially Tom and Julian for setting this whole thing up and allowing me to be part of it.

Axel
worldofport.com
o-port-unidade.com

User avatar
jdaw1
Taylor 1900
Posts: 19292
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by jdaw1 » 15:41 Sat 15 Dec 2012

DRT wrote:the number of text messages
Just keeping you updated, old chap.
Axel P wrote:Tom, Julian, ! especially Tom and Julian
Err, not me. Tom definitely, and probably others, but not me.

PhilW
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2267
Joined: 14:22 Wed 15 Dec 2010
Location: Near Cambridge, UK

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by PhilW » 18:07 Sat 15 Dec 2012

DRT wrote:27 appears to have been a very important number for this tasting. Not only does it feature a number of times in the line-up and in jdaw1's colourful description of the evening, it is also the number of text messages I received from jdaw1 letting me know what a wonderful time you were all having whilst I was at work :cry:
There were one or two attempts to disuade; mostly along the lines of "Julian; you definitely shouldn't send Derek another text to let him know the next one is *another* '27 - and don't forget not to tell him this one's a Dow..."

A superb evening, with an amazing lineup of ports. Couple of queries from my notes on the list of what we had:
- I believe #5 should be Unknown 1922, perhaps Sandeman? (i.e. not known/confirmed, with some believing it might be another shipper [Mz])
- I believe #4 should be Unknown 1928 Crusted, perhaps Cockburn? (I might just have missed the reveal on this one though)
- I have #8 down as Quinta das Lamelas 40yr+ Very Old White Port (maybe same thing, just additional detail)

From a great start (the 28 Crusted) the evening just got better and better, with an unexpected mini-1927 horizontal (Dow, Croft, Taylor x2). The second of the two T27s had an amazing amount of colour and was delicious, though pipped for me for VP of the night by the Cr27 (thanks again to AHB for the adoption) - I was going to say "and just behind were..." but I realised I'd have to list most of the bottles! A superb selection, with Dirk's VV as the last bottle opened bringing an auspicious line-up to completion in a delicious manner.

Major thanks to Tom for organisation (including the delicious steaks) and to all for a great evening.

User avatar
jdaw1
Taylor 1900
Posts: 19292
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by jdaw1 » 19:02 Sat 15 Dec 2012

I am expecting to do one round of editing all the link posts definitive updated welcomed.

Edit, being a note to self: RAYC’s D27.

User avatar
jdaw1
Taylor 1900
Posts: 19292
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by jdaw1 » 00:48 Sun 16 Dec 2012

In [url=http://www.theportforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=53821#p53821]the thread on [i]Software that makes placemats[/i][/url] jdaw1 wrote:At the Bell AHB and RAYC did not like the layout of the circles on the TN sheets.
Image Image Image Image Image
(Circles are usually fainter, at 0.2× the ink density of the glasses sheets, but on a small bitmap that was too faint, so here have been darkened to 0.5×.)

IIRC, the original complainants liked the first two sheets, diagonals \ and /, but not next two verticals |, and I don’t recall a comment on the fifth. Perhaps they could say more, and others could concur or otherwise.
Please reply in that thread on Software that makes placemats.

User avatar
AHB
Fonseca 1970
Posts: 10656
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by AHB » 21:31 Sun 16 Dec 2012

NEWSFLASH
As is my habit, I collected the corks from my bottles to take home and add to my big jar of old corks. It's also my chance to check the branding of the corks and to make sure that what we thought we read at the Bell was correct.

It seems that I did not pick up my Taylor 1927 cork, but instead I picked up the cork for the Dow 1927...except it wasn't Dow 1927.

After some careful and gentle bleaching, it became clear that this bottle was Dow, but had been bottled in 1947 and was made from the grapes picked during the vintage of 1945.

I can also confirm that the Crusted was Cockburn Crusted, bottled in 1928 by Avery's of Bristol - the label was clear and in good condition.

The cork from the Sandeman(?) 1922 was clearly branded - but not with the name of the shipper. Only with the vintage and bottling date - 1922 and 1924. Perhaps this should be best described as "1922, perhaps Sandeman".

No idea about number 8. I thought it was the Santa Eufemia, perhaps that is also the same as the Lamelas.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

User avatar
jdaw1
Taylor 1900
Posts: 19292
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by jdaw1 » 22:20 Sun 16 Dec 2012

D27 relabelled to D45; and S22 made more tentative.

PhilW
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2267
Joined: 14:22 Wed 15 Dec 2010
Location: Near Cambridge, UK

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by PhilW » 10:30 Mon 17 Dec 2012

AHB wrote:It seems that I did not pick up my Taylor 1927 cork, but instead I picked up the cork for the Dow 1927...except it wasn't Dow 1927.

After some careful and gentle bleaching, it became clear that this bottle was Dow, but had been bottled in 1947 and was made from the grapes picked during the vintage of 1945.
So by Axel's proposed rule, RAYC now has to pay a penalty for bringing the youngest VP of the night, a (superb) Dow 45! I don't think so :)
AHB wrote:No idea about number 8. I thought it was the Santa Eufemia, perhaps that is also the same as the Lamelas.
Hmm, interesting; I'm starting to wonder if there could have been two different bottles, both marked as number 8?
The bottle I noted down had a label identical to the left-hand bottle here; I assume this may be different to the Santa Eufemia mentioned?

User avatar
Axel P
Niepoort 1977
Posts: 1636
Joined: 08:09 Wed 12 Sep 2007
Location: Langenfeld, near Cologne, Germany
Contact:

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by Axel P » 16:57 Tue 18 Dec 2012

Since it the admisson for this tasting is getting earlier and earlier I would like to express my sincerest wish to participate next year again.

Axel
worldofport.com
o-port-unidade.com

User avatar
AHB
Fonseca 1970
Posts: 10656
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by AHB » 07:44 Wed 19 Dec 2012

Axel P wrote:Since it the admisson for this tasting is getting earlier and earlier I would like to express my sincerest wish to participate next year again.

Axel
I did sort out the dates for my 2013 team meetings last week, which means that I now know the date I would prefer the 2013 Christmas offline to be held. Is it too early to start the 2013 Christmas offline thread?
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

User avatar
jdaw1
Taylor 1900
Posts: 19292
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by jdaw1 » 19:01 Wed 19 Dec 2012

AHB wrote:Is it too early to start the 2013 Christmas offline thread?
No. But is it too early to post a draft of the 2013 placemats?

User avatar
Axel P
Niepoort 1977
Posts: 1636
Joined: 08:09 Wed 12 Sep 2007
Location: Langenfeld, near Cologne, Germany
Contact:

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by Axel P » 10:19 Fri 21 Dec 2012

AHB wrote: I did sort out the dates for my 2013 team meetings last week, which means that I now know the date I would prefer the 2013 Christmas offline to be held. Is it too early to start the 2013 Christmas offline thread?

As long as we are not doing this prior to the previous tasting, I believe we are allright.

Axel
worldofport.com
o-port-unidade.com

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by RAYC » 05:35 Mon 24 Dec 2012

AHB wrote:NEWSFLASH
As is my habit, I collected the corks from my bottles to take home and add to my big jar of old corks. It's also my chance to check the branding of the corks and to make sure that what we thought we read at the Bell was correct.

It seems that I did not pick up my Taylor 1927 cork, but instead I picked up the cork for the Dow 1927...except it wasn't Dow 1927.

After some careful and gentle bleaching, it became clear that this bottle was Dow, but had been bottled in 1947 and was made from the grapes picked during the vintage of 1945.
Very strange - are you sure it was the same cork? I believe (though Tom can confirm, since i never took possession of the bottle between winning at Bonhams and the tasting) that there was reasonably clear branding on the wax capsule - both of year and bottler (neither of which seem to match your description).
PhilW wrote:
AHB wrote:No idea about number 8. I thought it was the Santa Eufemia, perhaps that is also the same as the Lamelas.
Hmm, interesting; I'm starting to wonder if there could have been two different bottles, both marked as number 8?
The bottle I noted down had a label identical to the left-hand bottle here; I assume this may be different to the Santa Eufemia mentioned?
Correct - Lamelas 40yr White
Rob C.

User avatar
AHB
Fonseca 1970
Posts: 10656
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by AHB » 15:00 Mon 24 Dec 2012

RAYC wrote:
AHB wrote:NEWSFLASH
As is my habit, I collected the corks from my bottles to take home and add to my big jar of old corks. It's also my chance to check the branding of the corks and to make sure that what we thought we read at the Bell was correct.

It seems that I did not pick up my Taylor 1927 cork, but instead I picked up the cork for the Dow 1927...except it wasn't Dow 1927.

After some careful and gentle bleaching, it became clear that this bottle was Dow, but had been bottled in 1947 and was made from the grapes picked during the vintage of 1945.
Very strange - are you sure it was the same cork? I believe (though Tom can confirm, since i never took possession of the bottle between winning at Bonhams and the tasting) that there was reasonably clear branding on the wax capsule - both of year and bottler (neither of which seem to match your description).
It was certainly a cork that I picked up at the table at the Bell. It's also quite clear that it is branded Dow 1945. I can bring the cork with me when we are next both in London.

It is possible that one of the other bottles at the table was a Dow 1945, but I don't know which bottle that might have been. Yours was the only Dow at the table, I think.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

User avatar
AHB
Fonseca 1970
Posts: 10656
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Re: The Bell, Thursday 13th December 2012

Post by AHB » 18:48 Tue 25 Dec 2012

The Bell has always had a big wood fire in the main bar and on the assumption that they would again this year, I decided to take a set of port tongs to open the two unknowns that I was contributing (one for me and one for Phil W). Using port tongs should preserve the corks and maximise the chances of being able to read the branding.

The regular clientele were fascinated to watch a set of tongs first being heated in the glowing embers of the fire and then used - together with a lump of ice - to crack the neck of the bottle just above the base of the cork. The whole process of decanting was completed by Dirk, who overcame his dislike of damaging old bottles to filter their contents through a stainless steel mesh.

The second bottle I brought was opened and decanted in a similar way with great interest from those in the bar. The tongs proved so successful that a couple of other bottles were also opened with them before the crowd in the bar borrowed them for a while and experimented on various other (beer, wine, water, empty port) bottles that were on hand.

It was a very easy place to use tongs to open the bottles and I might well do the same thing next year. It was a very easy way to get the corks out whole.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest