Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

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jdaw1
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Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by jdaw1 » 20:04 Sun 26 Jan 2014

At Wolfgang’s excellent instigation, we gathered in the Bung Hole to quality-assure a batch of Taylor 1985.

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by jdaw1 » 00:51 Tue 28 Jan 2014

Fascinating. What does Taylor 1985 taste like? Well, like any of these (α β γ δ ε ζ), no two of which tasted quite the same. One corked (γ), one bacterially wrong (ζ), three excellent (δ ε α), and one lighter than it should have been but still a pleasure to drink (β).

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by jdaw1 » 11:53 Tue 28 Jan 2014

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by jdaw1 » 11:54 Tue 28 Jan 2014

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by jdaw1 » 11:54 Tue 28 Jan 2014

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Why is the level of ζ so low? Because RAYC had used of lot of it in trying to understand it, rather than because it was particularly favoured.

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by jdaw1 » 11:55 Tue 28 Jan 2014

We voted early and then voted late, PhilW recording both sets of votes on the one page.
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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by jdaw1 » 14:13 Tue 28 Jan 2014

What an interesting experiment. Six bottles handled as identically as we could manage, and no two tasted the same. A decanting experiment done with these six would have been meaningless. Three, α δ ε, were excellent Port (and RAYC reported that another bottle from this batch was on a par with the good three); one, β, was satisfactory drinking; and two, γ and ζ, had faults.

Is this variability a feature of the eighties (not VP’s most glorious decade), or a feature of VP? It was generally agreed that the type of tasting, christened ‘Bung Hole’, would be well worth repeating. Perhaps next with F70, or a Symington 1980.

What an interesting experiment.

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by PhilW » 15:01 Tue 28 Jan 2014

A interesting evening - and a very good idea. At the outset my expectation was that we would have something like 4-5 very similar bottles and 1-2 showing some difference or possible fault; I think we were all surprised by the degree of variation. It turned out therefore to be a very good idea to have done this, rather than our original plan to compare decant methods based on the assumption of minimal variation within the case.

Regarding the future, I would wholeheartedly agree with any tasting that involves drinking lots of F70! But yes, it would be interesting to do this again with another case of bottles from a known good source, such as this. Thanks to Rob, Wolfgang and Julian for sourcing the bottles and the organisation, and to all for a pleasant, relaxed, sociable and interesting evening. :993300:

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by djewesbury » 18:45 Tue 28 Jan 2014

Do those who attended think that 3.5 out of 6 (and every bottle different from the last) was a good score for this port, given that this came from such a good source? I'm not sure I'd rush out to buy a port with this record.

Also, does this result make the whole business of speaking about 1980s ports as if they were generally the same beast from bottle to bottle (variable conditions notwithstanding) rather meaningless?
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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by jdaw1 » 19:26 Tue 28 Jan 2014

djewesbury wrote:Do those who attended think that 3.5 out of 6 (and every bottle different from the last) was a good score for this port, given that this came from such a good source? I'm not sure I'd rush out to buy a port with this record.
It didn’t impress me.
djewesbury wrote:Also, does this result make the whole business of speaking about 1980s ports as if they were generally the same beast from bottle to bottle (variable conditions notwithstanding) rather meaningless?
To some extent, yes.

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by DRT » 20:45 Tue 28 Jan 2014

My short speed-dating session with these six bottles revealed almost the same level of variability as what was found by those who spent longer with them.

I didn't think that any of them were up to the level of the bottle I purchased from Uncorked for a recent tasting and on this showing I wouldn't buy anything from this batch.

A very interesting experience. Thank you to those who organised it and thank you to all for allowing me to nip in and steal a snifter of each :wink:
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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by PopulusTremula » 13:02 Wed 29 Jan 2014

jdaw1 wrote:Is this variability a feature of the eighties (not VP’s most glorious decade), or a feature of VP? It was generally agreed that the type of tasting, christened ‘Bung Hole’, would be well worth repeating. Perhaps next with F70, or a Symington 1980.

What an interesting experiment.

I recently bought a sixpack G80 which, according to FRW, is supposed to be ex-quinta and only landed in the UK in Jan 2014. I would be happy to supply this if the wine is deemed suitable for this type of tasting and if provenance is adequate.

If so, sometime in March or April perhaps?

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by WS1 » 14:50 Wed 29 Jan 2014

jdaw1 wrote:What an interesting experiment. Six bottles handled as identically as we could manage, and no two tasted the same. A decanting experiment done with these six would have been meaningless. Three, α δ ε, were excellent Port (and RAYC reported that another bottle from this batch was on a par with the good three); one, β, was satisfactory drinking; and two, γ and ζ, had faults.

Is this variability a feature of the eighties (not VP’s most glorious decade), or a feature of VP? It was generally agreed that the type of tasting, christened ‘Bung Hole’, would be well worth repeating. Perhaps next with F70, or a Symington 1980.

What an interesting experiment.
Sadly after having had lunch yesterday with EDN and also talking about this experiment I must assume that port from the lost decade can show this pattern of greater variabilty. This has to do with various reasons all of which can make an impact (corks, industrialisation, cellar work etc.)

In our case (T85 experiment), knowing provenance was perfect; such variabilty despite the nice bts is putting me off buying more. This is mainly due to I fear longer term this variabilty gets worse! :roll:
"Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough"
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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by Miguel Simoes » 14:56 Wed 29 Jan 2014

WS1 wrote:Sadly after having had lunch yesterday with EDN and also talking about this experiment I must assume that port from the lost decade can show this pattern of greater variabilty. This has to do with various reasons all of which can make an impact (corks, industrialisation, cellar work etc.)
Perhaps worth testing that assumption w a tasting of something well cellared from the early 70s?

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by WS1 » 15:21 Wed 29 Jan 2014

Generally I liked our small experiment; I also was quite fond of the quality of at least 3 of the 6 T85s. The other two were drinkable one a bit better than the other. Qualitywise I slightly prefered this stock to the bt we had 2 weeks ago since a bit fresher, more chocolaty. But also a bit more restrained which compared to a good bt from Oporto stored stock tasted two weeks ago does leave the open question what is preferable.
What was really negative for me on Monday night was the general variabilty of the port/stash we tried. Aside that I found the ports very drinkable and some even class it leaves a strange feeling potentially having bought a nice port which taste is unpredictable.
This is putting me off buying more despite the excellent provenance since not only I have some spares left but also the question what this port should become (even the good bts)? I fear based on this tasting and its variabilty long term only very few bts will be excellent and even more unpredictable. :|

In total a splendid evening in good company which lead to a lot food for thought. :roll:

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by jdaw1 » 17:58 Wed 29 Jan 2014

WS1 wrote:In total a splendid evening in good company which lead to a lot food for thought.
Most tastings we enjoy, sometimes a lot. But is rare for a tasting to be so interesting.
PopulusTremula wrote:I recently bought a sixpack G80 which, according to FRW, is supposed to be ex-quinta and only landed in the UK in Jan 2014. I would be happy to supply this if the wine is deemed suitable for this type of tasting and if provenance is adequate.
Yes please: start a new thread in the Organising Tastings and Get-togethers section.
Miguel Simoes wrote:Perhaps worth testing that assumption w a tasting of something well cellared from the early 70s?
You have charmed me into it. Yes please.

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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by djewesbury » 17:59 Wed 29 Jan 2014

Please, what was the much-talked-of provenance?
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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by AHB » 22:51 Wed 29 Jan 2014

I'll leave WS1 to comment on the provenance since he was good enough to procure the case we drank.

I found the evening fascinating. There was enough commonality between 5 of the 6 bottles that I could have believed it if I tasted them blind but someone then told me that they were the same shipper. The variation between the bottles surprised me. Fair enough that one of the bottles was corked - that happens - but the differences in flavour of the others was the surprise.

Mind you, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the others (not being convinced that zeta was bacterially contaminated although it was the weakest of the 5). I like the Taylor 1985 and this evening has not changed my mind for me. Port bottled before the late 1990s suffers bottle variation, it's a sad fact but it's one which we have always suspected and have now experienced.

I would love to try this with other ports and the suggestion of trying something from the 1970s, 1990s and perhaps a Symington port from the 1980s is an excellent idea. I volunteer to be part of the tasting team(s).
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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by WS1 » 07:46 Thu 30 Jan 2014

djewesbury wrote:Please, what was the much-talked-of provenance?
WS1 wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:As others have commented, we can’t do everything. So we start at the beginning. In order to design experiments, we need to know more about the within-case variability. So my proposal is that all bottles are treated identically, all being decanted at 13:00. We then drink (and doubtless enjoy) multiple bottles of T85, seeking some measure of the within-case variability.

Later we can design subsequent experiments using that established fact (Starz W. et al, Journal of Port Consumption, 2014).
...

Hence long decanting seems a good idea since feeling the bts of our stash are more restrained than the bt we had last week. Bts came likely into the country in the late 80s (early Deinhard label). Stored in underground cellar near Northhampton.

...
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Re: Mon 27 Jan 2014, Taylor 1985, at The Bung Hole

Post by Chris Doty » 08:08 Thu 30 Jan 2014

AHB wrote: I volunteer to be part of the tasting team(s).
seconded

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