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Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 22:45 Fri 06 May 2016
by AHB
Owen's recent tasting note on the Croft 2004 LBV made me think it would be worth having a thread where we discuss currently available LBVs which will reward some time in the cellar. The three I will start with are the Sogrape family:
Ferreira
Sandeman
Offley

These are fabulous ports. The current vintages of Ferreira and Sandeman (2011) are brilliant ports. The current vintage of Offley (2010) is a little behind the other two but still darned good. The 2010 vintages are also a real class apart from other years. All three are bottled unfiltered and are real, proper serious ports that were bottled after 4 years in the barrel and so don't qualify to be called vintage port - they are different in style but they are great wines. All three will mature, soften and develop secondary and tertiary flavours over the next 20-30 years.

I recommend all of these to anyone (such as Sweeney) who is looking to start a collection of port for current and future drinking. Bottles such as these could form the core of a great cellar for tomorrow.

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 23:01 Fri 06 May 2016
by LGTrotter
My trouble is that I associate LBVs with my wilderness years for port. Desperately awful wines which I am sorry to say Taylor still produces. There are good LBVs but they are not uniform.

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 23:03 Fri 06 May 2016
by Thomas
Offley Boa Vista has a 2011 LBV, so I don't understand that you write their current one is 2010?

Else great initiative and very interesting thread. I hear that the Ferreira 2010 and 2009 LBV is also really something. Especially the 2009 is supposedly hard to come by.

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 23:07 Fri 06 May 2016
by AHB
Thomas wrote:Offley Boa Vista has a 2011 LBV, so I don't understand that you write their current one is 2010?
You are right, I was being lazy in my writing. The Offley LBV being offered for sale in the UK - according to Sogrape UK - is the 2010 vintage, this despite the fact that the 2011 vintages of Ferreira and Sandeman are the current vintage on the market. I don't know why this is, but it is what I was told at the BFT. It could be that there is a small stock of the Offley 2010 remaining in the UK which needs to be sold before the UK moves on to the 2011 vintage.

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 23:14 Fri 06 May 2016
by AHB
LGTrotter wrote:My trouble is that I associate LBVs with my wilderness years for port. Desperately awful wines which I am sorry to say Taylor still produces. There are good LBVs but they are not uniform.
Taylor's LBV is aimed at a particular market. People who read and post on this board are probably not that market. Taylor's LBV is a good product for the market it is aimed at - it is easy, simple and not an intellectual drink. If you are a restauranteur it is a good choice to offer to patrons by the glass.

Mind you, I rarely buy Taylor LBV if I eat somewhere it is offered. But then I am spoiled as my local restaurant carries Croft Roeda as their port.

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 00:28 Sat 07 May 2016
by AW77
In addition to the Sandeman, I would recommend the following LBVs for cellaring:

- Niepoort
- Noval (unfiltered)
- Rozes
- Warre (unfiltered)

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 03:33 Sat 07 May 2016
by CaliforniaBrad
I totally agree with the notion that there are many LBVs out there that can benefit from bottle aging.

My personal favorites, in no particular order:

Smith-Woodhouse
Niepoort
Crasto (partially because of its very attractive price)
Noval (unfiltered)
Warre (especially many over 20 y/o)


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Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 08:50 Sat 07 May 2016
by Sweeney
AHB, great insight on both this thread and my intro thread which you have posted on.

This is exactly the sort of advice a newbie like me needs, one who perhaps would like to start a reasonable collection but can't really afford to start with a dozen bottles of fine vintage.

You have all been a great help and very friendly. No VP snobbery or sniggering at the new guy who knows nothing.

Great forum. Thanks.

One more question though. I have read somewhere that LBV should be stored upright. However, I am guessing that if it is unfiltered it should be laid flat like any other sedimented Port. Would I be correct in this assumption?

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 11:51 Sat 07 May 2016
by jdaw1
Sweeney wrote:No VP snobbery or sniggering at the new guy who knows nothing.
I remember my first Port, and then knew only two things. ➊ This is good. ➋ I know nothing else.

This is not unusual. We have all been there.

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 12:34 Sat 07 May 2016
by LGTrotter
Sweeney wrote: One more question though. I have read somewhere that LBV should be stored upright. However, I am guessing that if it is unfiltered it should be laid flat like any other sedimented Port. Would I be correct in this assumption?
The general consensus is that they are best stored lying down if you are intending to keep them for any length of time. You tend to get 't' stoppers on LBVs (shorter corks with a plastic bit on the top to get hold of) which I think are fine for storing lying down, as evidenced by the 12yo Croft 2004 which had a 't' stopper. Keep an eye on the necks of the bottles and if any start to weep then drink them. Some LBVs are given a driven cork (Sandeman and Warre are the two which spring to mind) and these certainly should be kept lying down.

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 12:41 Sat 07 May 2016
by LGTrotter
AHB wrote:
LGTrotter wrote:My trouble is that I associate LBVs with my wilderness years for port. Desperately awful wines which I am sorry to say Taylor still produces. There are good LBVs but they are not uniform.
Taylor's LBV is aimed at a particular market. People who read and post on this board are probably not that market. Taylor's LBV is a good product for the market it is aimed at - it is easy, simple and not an intellectual drink. If you are a restauranteur it is a good choice to offer to patrons by the glass.

Mind you, I rarely buy Taylor LBV if I eat somewhere it is offered. But then I am spoiled as my local restaurant carries Croft Roeda as their port.
I take your point but I still think Taylor and Graham are high quality houses which could and should make something better in the LBV line than they do. Perhaps it would get too complicated to do a premium LBV alongside their standard one.

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 14:09 Sat 07 May 2016
by CaliforniaBrad
LGTrotter wrote:
AHB wrote:
LGTrotter wrote:My trouble is that I associate LBVs with my wilderness years for port. Desperately awful wines which I am sorry to say Taylor still produces. There are good LBVs but they are not uniform.
Taylor's LBV is aimed at a particular market. People who read and post on this board are probably not that market. Taylor's LBV is a good product for the market it is aimed at - it is easy, simple and not an intellectual drink. If you are a restauranteur it is a good choice to offer to patrons by the glass.

Mind you, I rarely buy Taylor LBV if I eat somewhere it is offered. But then I am spoiled as my local restaurant carries Croft Roeda as their port.
I take your point but I still think Taylor and Graham are high quality houses which could and should make something better in the LBV line than they do. Perhaps it would get too complicated to do a premium LBV alongside their standard one.
Perhaps, but other houses do, in a sense. Both Noval and Fonseca make filtered and unfiltered versions aimed at different market segments, and I'm guessing they're not the only ones who do so.

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 16:48 Sat 07 May 2016
by John M
CaliforniaBrad wrote:I totally agree with the notion that there are many LBVs out there that can benefit from bottle aging.

My personal favorites, in no particular order:

Smith-Woodhouse
Niepoort
Crasto (partially because of its very attractive price)
Noval (unfiltered)
Warre (especially many over 20 y/o)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalkz. U
+1 on these 5 being favorites and the best and age-worthy. The Crasto I can get, in a case, for $17-$19 per which is quite attractive, and have paid as little as $12 (about 3 years ago in a close out).

Re: Which LBVs are worth cellaring?

Posted: 16:53 Sat 07 May 2016
by Andy Velebil
While I was generally not a big fan of their LBV's in the past, the 2009 Taylor's LBV is excellent. Worth trying it. IMO and experience Taylor's/Fonseca have, in recent years, been improving the quality of their mid-range products (Ruby Reserves, LBV, and tawny's with an indication of age). If you've not had them in a while, worth giving them a go again.

Crasto makes some fantastic LBV's that are better than most of their VP's.