Which is the best 1991?

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LGTrotter
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Which is the best 1991?

Post by LGTrotter » 13:51 Thu 01 Oct 2015

I am looking for a 1991 port as it is a birth year for my nephew. I am aware that these ports don't have much of a reputation but is there one that seems to be the best of a bad job? Having looked at the tasting notes the Dow seems to have had a good write up, but I wondered if anyone had other ideas. I have tried almost none of these wines.
Last edited by LGTrotter on 00:19 Wed 31 Aug 2016, edited 1 time in total.

PhilW
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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by PhilW » 15:14 Thu 01 Oct 2015

Croft has (probably) the best reputation of the '91s, but is less common to find; I've only ever had it once and on that occasion I wasn't impressed, although others were. I've not had a large number of '91s, but Dow, Graham, and Warre have all been decent.

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DRT
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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by DRT » 19:44 Thu 01 Oct 2015

On the occasions I have tasted it, none of which were recently, I have enjoyed Graham 1991 very much.

I think the Croft is over-rated, and very expensive.
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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by CPR 1 » 20:34 Thu 01 Oct 2015

I have not had many from 1991, but I agree with Derek, the Graham is good/very good

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by TLW » 21:31 Thu 01 Oct 2015

Currently drinking a 1991 Warre, and whilst very drinkable, it is closer to "cellar defender" than treasure. Not complex, not terrible rich, little on the nose, and few flavours. It goes down easily enough, but would not fare well in broad tasting against great ports. Three more left here, and they will all be drunk, but I will not rush out to buy another bunch of cases of it.

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by Andy Velebil » 22:40 Thu 01 Oct 2015

DRT wrote:
I think the Croft is over-rated, and very expensive.
I would disagree with you in regards to the Croft. I think it's one of the top few of the vintage. They did a great job on it.

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RAYC
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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by RAYC » 22:42 Thu 01 Oct 2015

Taylor Vargellas, if you can find / afford it, is far and away the best I've had from 1991 (and one of the best I've had from the entire decade)

In terms of a value for money port that is drinking nicely now / medium term, I think de la Rosa is a very nice 91. I saw Seckfords had some recently at £250/dozen, and was quite tempted (not sure if still available)

1991 Niepoort can be excellent, but I've also had problems with VA. I think we had an outstanding bottle at a recent-ish TPF event.

1991 Graham is a safe bet

From the few occasions I've tried it, I'm yet to understand the fuss about Croft 1991. But I do have a case that came up at a reasonable price simply because so many other people seemed to rate it as a fantastic long term prospect.
Rob C.

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by Andy Velebil » 22:48 Thu 01 Oct 2015

The Fonseca Guimaraens also is very good, though maturing slightly faster than a few other top ones.

LGTrotter
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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by LGTrotter » 23:03 Thu 01 Oct 2015

I looked up Taylor 91 on wine searcher and only found the Quinta de terra Feita and that was over a grand a case, I almost choked on my Bollinger. No results at all for the Vargellas, and I'm not sure that I am that fond of any of my relatives. But I shall keep an eye out, maybe at auction.

I have heard about the fabled Croft, but when I looked at the tasting notes they were all duds. The Dow, Warre and Graham all look cheap enough to be worth a punt. And I do like the Guimarens, but rarity might influence the price rather too much.

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by Andy Velebil » 23:11 Thu 01 Oct 2015

LGTrotter wrote:I have heard about the fabled Croft, but when I looked at the tasting notes they were all duds. .
Maybe not here, but on FTLOP it is generally well liked, as in consistently in the 93-94 point range.

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by LGTrotter » 23:28 Thu 01 Oct 2015

Andy Velebil wrote:
LGTrotter wrote:I have heard about the fabled Croft, but when I looked at the tasting notes they were all duds. .
Maybe not here, but on FTLOP it is generally well liked, as in consistently in the 93-94 point range.
But I can't search the tasting note database of :ftlop2014: without being a member, which is really how I ended up here. My loss perhaps. I comfort myself by thinking that at least port lovers of the world have somewhere to go which is free of my blather.

But back to the point, is there likely to be a difference between what is available in the States and what is available in the UK? I wouldn't have thought so.

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by Andy Velebil » 23:40 Thu 01 Oct 2015

LGTrotter wrote:
Andy Velebil wrote:
LGTrotter wrote:I have heard about the fabled Croft, but when I looked at the tasting notes they were all duds. .
Maybe not here, but on FTLOP it is generally well liked, as in consistently in the 93-94 point range.
But I can't search the tasting note database of :ftlop2014: without being a member, which is really how I ended up here. My loss perhaps. I comfort myself by thinking that at least port lovers of the world have somewhere to go which is free of my blather.

But back to the point, is there likely to be a difference between what is available in the States and what is available in the UK? I wouldn't have thought so.
Opps.

I don't know if there is a difference or not. Anything is possible I guess (such as the UK shipment being left on a dock on a hot day when shipped??). Then again, the UK seems to have gotten the vast majority of corked 1977 Gould Campbell VP's as that issue hasn't been encountered Stateside so far, so there may....

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by Andy Velebil » 23:57 Thu 01 Oct 2015

FYI,
The member notes are free. All one needs to do is register a free account with FTLOP and they're in. The member notes have always been free to any registered guest. You won't see Roy's notes unless you're a paying member. But all others you will see.

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Doggett
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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by Doggett » 09:26 Fri 02 Oct 2015

If you decide to give the Croft 91 a go,and find out which of the tasting notes you side with, Lay and Wheeler have some for just over £50 on this link https://www.laywheeler.com/region/portugal?page=2

Hope you find a good bottle for the celebration.

Simon

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by AHB » 17:14 Fri 02 Oct 2015

I also enjoy the Vesuvio 1991. It's not a blockbuster, but is very pleasant.
Top Ports in 2018 (so far): Niepoort VV (1960's Bottling), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994 and San Leonardo Very Old White (Bottled 2018)
2017 Ports of the year: Fonseca 1927 and Quinta do Noval 1927

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by uncle tom » 20:14 Fri 02 Oct 2015

Turning the question on its head, I have been somewhat disappointed by both Dow and Cockburn, and have experienced some bottles of Noval that are neither corked nor afflicted with VA, yet are so dirty and earthy on the palate as to be barely drinkable. Other bottles of N91 have been tolerable, but not star turns.

I had put down occasional earthiness as an occasional 1991 idiosyncrasy until finding it again writ large in a bottle of N97 - I now worry about the extent of the problem, and where it has come from..
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

LGTrotter
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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by LGTrotter » 21:15 Fri 02 Oct 2015

uncle tom wrote:Turning the question on its head,
I almost put this as a sub-question, as from the notes there seemed A lot of 91s which teetered on awful. Interesting that one of my current front runners (the Dow) is mentioned in this regard.
Doggett wrote:Hope you find a good bottle for the celebration.
Thanks for the Croft pointer Simon. I was thinking more of a case. Something I can open when he is around, which is quite often, gawd bless 'im. I even was thinking about getting a couple, so I could have one to drink with him and one to give him should he decide to get his own place and stop cluttering up his mother's house. I was drawn to the Vesuvio idea to give him as they come in a nice presentation case. I also wonder whether I should give up on trying to find something good from 91 and just drink Fonseca 85 with him, I could spare him half a dozen of them.

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Doggett
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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by Doggett » 15:40 Sat 03 Oct 2015

Doggett wrote:Hope you find a good bottle for the celebration.
Thanks for the Croft pointer Simon. I was thinking more of a case. Something I can open when he is around, which is quite often, gawd bless 'im. I even was thinking about getting a couple, so I could have one to drink with him and one to give him should he decide to get his own place and stop cluttering up his mother's house. I was drawn to the Vesuvio idea to give him as they come in a nice presentation case. I also wonder whether I should give up on trying to find something good from 91 and just drink Fonseca 85 with him, I could spare him half a dozen of them.[/quote]

No problem...I think they have cases available too, but at that price is a risk if it isn't up to scratch. Vesuvio would be a lovely option as would 6 Fonseca 85s. Maybe one bottle of Croft 91 and the Fonseca 85s would be a happy medium?

On another note...I notice that a 91/92 vintage comparison has been previously suggested as a tasting evening. Having got people thinking about the 91s, maybe it is one for 2016?

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uncle tom
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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by uncle tom » 16:01 Sat 03 Oct 2015

On a more positive note, Quinta de la Rosa '91 is a delight..
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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RonnieRoots
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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by RonnieRoots » 01:48 Mon 05 Oct 2015

Vargellas, Guimaraens and Croft are all very good ports.
Many others (including Graham) I found slightly fast maturing and disappointing.

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by kestrel4 » 18:01 Sun 03 Jan 2016

May I ask a follow-up question? Which 1991 VP is the most reliable for the long term? My son, William, was born in 1991 and died in 2015. I want to open a bottle of 1991 each year on his birthday for the rest of my life. Thank you

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by Doggett » 00:38 Mon 04 Jan 2016

kestrel4 wrote:May I ask a follow-up question? Which 1991 VP is the most reliable for the long term? My son, William, was born in 1991 and died in 2015. I want to open a bottle of 1991 each year on his birthday for the rest of my life. Thank you
I am very sorry to hear of your loss. I am not sure that anyone knows which VP would best aid you in this tribute, but as the thread suggests, Taylor Vargellas, Fonseca Guimaraens, Quinta de la Rosa or Croft have all had good reports. Maybe a mixture of those would serve well. Personally i think you can nearly always rely on a mature Taylor or Fonseca, I am yet to be disappointed with a Croft of any vintage and Uncle Tom recommends the Quinta de la Rosa, so it must be good.
Once again I am sorry to hear of William's early passing and wish you all the best.

Simon

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by LGTrotter » 00:40 Mon 04 Jan 2016

kestrel4 wrote:May I ask a follow-up question? Which 1991 VP is the most reliable for the long term? My son, William, was born in 1991 and died in 2015. I want to open a bottle of 1991 each year on his birthday for the rest of my life. Thank you
This must be a terrible thing to live with. But it sounds like the Croft might be the best one to try. It sounds trite but I am sure William won't mind whatever it is, nor will anything spoil his memory.

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by jdaw1 » 00:40 Mon 04 Jan 2016

kestrel4 wrote:May I ask a follow-up question? Which 1991 VP is the most reliable for the long term? My son, William, was born in 1991 and died in 2015. I want to open a bottle of 1991 each year on his birthday for the rest of my life. Thank you
You might wish to peruse the tasting notes of 1991s. A quick scan of those suggests that we have preferred Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1991 and Vesuvio 1991.

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Re: What is the best 1991?

Post by DRT » 00:52 Mon 04 Jan 2016

I am sorry to hear of your loss. Croft 1991 seems to have the greatest reputation as a stellar wine from this vintage and on the few occasions I have tasted it it has seemed too young, so perhaps that is a good sign for long-term development?

Hopefully you have many years left to remember William in this way so perhaps a selection of different shippers might be a good idea? If you stick to big names such as Graham, Warre, Vesuvio, Dow, Fonseca, Taylor & Croft you are unlikely to be disappointed. Port is a very resilient wine and as Owen (LGTrotter) says the ritual is likely to be more meaningful than the wine.
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