Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

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jdaw1
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Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 18:56 Thu 11 Jun 2015

A theme suggested by Flash: the ‘Sweet-Spot Vintages’, being 1966, 1970, and 1977, in each of Dow, Graham, Taylor, and Warre. So on Wednesday 17th June 2015 we gathered at Davy’s Woolgate.

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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:12 Thu 18 Jun 2015

I=T77; II=D70; III=W66; IV=T66; V=G66; VI=D77; VII=T70; VIII=W77; IX=G70; X=D66; XI=G77; XII=W70.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:16 Thu 18 Jun 2015

I=T77; II=D70; III=W66; IV=T66; V=G66; VI=D77; VII=T70; VIII=W77; IX=G70; X=D66; XI=G77; XII=W70.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:16 Thu 18 Jun 2015

I=T77; II=D70; III=W66; IV=T66; V=G66; VI=D77; VII=T70; VIII=W77; IX=G70; X=D66; XI=G77; XII=W70.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:16 Thu 18 Jun 2015

I=T77; II=D70; III=W66; IV=T66; V=G66; VI=D77; VII=T70; VIII=W77; IX=G70; X=D66; XI=G77; XII=W70.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:17 Thu 18 Jun 2015

I=T77; II=D70; III=W66; IV=T66; V=G66; VI=D77; VII=T70; VIII=W77; IX=G70; X=D66; XI=G77; XII=W70.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:17 Thu 18 Jun 2015

I=T77; II=D70; III=W66; IV=T66; V=G66; VI=D77; VII=T70; VIII=W77; IX=G70; X=D66; XI=G77; XII=W70.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:17 Thu 18 Jun 2015

I=T77; II=D70; III=W66; IV=T66; V=G66; VI=D77; VII=T70; VIII=W77; IX=G70; X=D66; XI=G77; XII=W70.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:19 Thu 18 Jun 2015

Twelve points to assign amongst the sweet-spot vintages.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:19 Thu 18 Jun 2015

Six points to assign amongst all the Ports.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:19 Thu 18 Jun 2015

We were rubbish.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:20 Thu 18 Jun 2015

Phil’s finger pointing to where he had been robbed of a fraction of a point.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:21 Thu 18 Jun 2015

Some totalling by Mike, though of what nobody knows.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:21 Thu 18 Jun 2015

Late in the evening I realised that the ambience hadn’t been photographed. Some people had already gone home.
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by flash_uk » 11:23 Thu 18 Jun 2015

jdaw1 wrote:Some totalling by Mike, though of what nobody knows.
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This sheet is the vital evidence for judging the hypothesis on the sweet-spot vintages! The hypothesis was that the 66, 70 and 77 vintages are all currently in a very good place, and in fact might be considered to be all equally in the sweet-spot for consumption. That's not to say that 77 is as mature as 66 and will not sustain present performance for another 11 years and thus fail to achieve what 66 has now. Just that they are all in a good place now, with perhaps a degree of difficulty in preferring one above another.

Well, you can interpret the results for yourself. The scoring allowed for 1 point per person per bottle, and with 11 people voting on 12 bottles, that meant a total of 132 points. If each vintage turned out to be equal, they would each have had 44 points in total.

The scoring sheet shows that the 77 vintage took 35½ points, the 70 vintage took 47½ points and the 66 vintage took 49 points. For me then, the conclusions are:
- all 3 vintages are wonderful, otherwise one would have scored in the teens or twenties
- of the twelve bottles, only the D70 was not at it's best
- even though T77 and W66 only scored 6, they were still very fine, but just the bottom of the pack in a very strong field
- interesting to note that Graham and Taylor were jointly more preferred than Dow and Warre
- and who would have bet that of the four 77s, the unreliable D77 would take the medal!

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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 11:26 Thu 18 Jun 2015

The D70 was my fault, though it came from a batch that had previously shown very well.

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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by flash_uk » 11:33 Thu 18 Jun 2015

Thanks to everyone for a very enjoyable evening, and great to see some new faces round the table. Hats off to Davy's at Woolgate for hosting us perfectly - everything was just as we needed it.

A special thank you to Chris for sharing the Sandeman Cask 33 with us - very much appreciated, and I enjoyed finishing the evening with this. I'd like to thank my family, my agent...no. Thank you Julian, for the usual placemat wizardry.

One reflection on the format of the event. Judging 12 blind ports across 3 vintages and 4 shippers was not easy. Had it been 15 with the addition of another shipper, I would have been well and truly lost. I also wrote a grand total of zero tasting notes, partly because I was more focussed on working out what was what, and partly because there was a degree of similarity between many of the wines and I was less able to find distinctions between them, so I didn't.

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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 11:51 Thu 18 Jun 2015

Good comment, quoted and replied to in Sighted, Blind: advantages, disadvantages.

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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by PhilW » 13:51 Thu 18 Jun 2015

I was rubbish. I consoled myself that in my first quick run through I correctly identified 6 of the shippers while ignoring vintages, that should have been the start of an excellent score; then I second guessed everything, changed everything... ah well! I did notice two mistakes on the scoring: That I scored two 1/2pts, not just one; and that on the 12pt assignment it should show 2pts to wine XII, not wine XI (hence on the WOTN sheet the vote for XII not XI also). Quibbles, however, not affecting overall results, conclusions, nor the fact that I was rubbish!

Overall favourites (of the sweet spot ports) for the night for me was 5, then 7, 9 and 12. Unsurprisingly given my general preferences (though not my guesses) these turned out to be G66, G70, W70, T70; the D70 was sadly a duffer (massive TCA). Overall however (the D70 aside) this was a set of lovely ports, all very good and showing well. Looking at my own ratings of the wines but put into a matrix, it shows that I prefer W & G over D & T, and that I prefer 66 & 70 over 77. Interesting, and not especially a surprise.

Additional thanks to Chris for bringing the Cask 33 - which I thought was an extremely well balanced tawny, a little more delicate than some of its peers, and tasty. Also thanks to Rob for bringing the F66 as a bonus bottle, very dark but sadly slightly corked. Cheers to Mike for the organisation, and the staff at Davy's Woolgate did us proud again.

A splendid evening.
And yes, I know, I was rubbish :)

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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 14:07 Thu 18 Jun 2015

PhilW wrote:I was rubbish. … I was rubbish
Don’t beat yourself up: we were rubbish.

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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by AHB » 18:14 Thu 18 Jun 2015

Did anyone leave a Parker fountain pen last night? I picked one up from the table as I was the last to leave.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by DRT » 09:41 Fri 19 Jun 2015

Looks like I didn't miss much so have no need to be bitter that I had to go to Selkirk to eat haggis. Grrrr.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by jdaw1 » 10:10 Fri 19 Jun 2015

DRT wrote:no need to be bitter
DRT, [url=http://www.theportforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=34161#p34161]here[/url], on Tuesday 23 March 2010, in the review of [i]The Graham’s Vertical[/i], wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:Graham’s...famous for its sweet black-fruit flavours and full-weight high-Baumé pleasures.
So why does there seem to have been so much bitterness around on this fine evening?

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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by idj123 » 13:57 Fri 19 Jun 2015

Hugely enjoyable evening (the fact that I almost missed my last train home being testament to this) and good to see new faces. Particular thanks to Chris for the Cask 33 (and for the Seixo). Minor quibbles about the lighting and the jet stream of air conditioning down my neck,aside, this is a great venue for such a tasting with courteous and attentive staff and the food quality exceeds that of the B&F in my opinion. The staff 'pour' is also a good-and should be regular idea (providing the glasses are drained of course) and was, I believe, appreciated.

I'll post more on the blind or not to blind in the other thread but I agree with Mike-my tasting notes are derisory at the best of times on account of my uneducated palate but I also ended up going through the line-up simply on the basis of trying to determine the Shipper according to taste (I had G down five times in the first run through!) However, this is not to criticise as the Ports on display were first class and despite my lack of palate, my WOTN (Mike's T70) agreed the overall verdict. If the D70 had not been slightly faulty, it may have been very close between the 66 and 70 but there's a good bit life in all of these yet.

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Re: Wed 17 June 2015, Woolgate, Sweet-Spot Vintages

Post by flash_uk » 12:08 Mon 06 Jul 2015

AHB wrote:Did anyone leave a Parker fountain pen last night? I picked one up from the table as I was the last to leave.
Alex, it was Rupert's. If you still have it I could grab it next Tuesday?

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