So, we seem to have the following variants of LBV:
1) T stopper and presumed filtered, e.g. Taylor, Graham
2) T stopper but clearly stated as unfiltered, e.g. Croft, Fonseca (older Fonseca LBVs have driven corks)
3) Driven corks but no statement on filtration, possibly 'soft' filtered, e.g. Offley, Quevedo, or possibly not, e.g. Niepoort
4) Driven corks and clearly stated to be unfiltered, e.g. Ramos Pinto, Crasto
5) Driven corks, declared unfiltered and late released as bottle matured, e.g. Warre (blue capsule), Smith Woodhouse
This is too complex (and yes, I also found out about the existence of the filtered red top Warre the hard way..)
- Brands having multiple styles of LBV are clearly a problem. To have one variant declared as unfiltered and another with no statement on filtration is obviously confusing. If producers want to market multiple styles under the same brand, they should be obliged to put the word 'filtered' clearly on the label, where appropriate, and not just say nothing.
- T stoppers on unfiltered LBV don't look very clever, and although they can maintain a seal for a good length of time, tend to snap when removed after a decade or so. In the interests of clarity and collective product image, I think the IVDP should outlaw these closures on unfiltered bottles.
- The third type of LBV leaves people guessing, which is not helpful. I'm not sure why Dirk elects to make no statement on filtration, either on his bottles or his website, but as they age very well, it's pretty evident that nothing of significance is stripped from them. Perhaps the IVDP should invite Dirk to pen a definition of 'unfiltered' based on his own practices, so he (and others) can be less hesitant about using the term..
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill