Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Anything to do with Port.
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Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by mapmap » 20:52 Sat 28 Jan 2017

Good afternoon,

I just opened my first vintage bottle about 10 minutes ago (Graham 70), to let it breath a few hours before drinking. As i removed the plastic cap to see the cork, i could already see that the piece of paper was glued to the bottle, along with a small smell of wine. I could also see a bit of red/ruby-ish color on the top of the cork.

As i read before, i washed the top of the bottle, and as soon as my corkscrew touched the cork, the cork went down completely into the port bottle...

What is strange, is that when i smell the port wine, it feels dead. Like quiet, with no power in it. It does smell a bit like port, but with only 10% of what you would get from a regular bottle of tawny (say 10years old). From a leaked bottle, i expected something more along vinegar, but i dont smell anything like that.

Is the bottle wasted or not?

Here's a picture before the cork goes down into the bottle:
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jdaw1
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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by jdaw1 » 22:04 Sat 28 Jan 2017

You might well be OK. Carry on as if you are, and if you are, hurray!

Some time in a decanter can work wonders. (I always feel rejuvenated after a few hours in a decanter — who wouldn’t?)

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by mapmap » 22:12 Sat 28 Jan 2017

I didn't take any chance and opened my second bottle. I can definately see a difference in power between both of them, the first smelling more like my grandma! ;) I agree that the leaked bottle did gain a bit of strenght in the past hour and a half, but seems to be nothing compared to the good bottle.

I see this experience as a good way to compare two bottles of the same vintage and producer at the same time! It's interesting to see how it faded or became lighter with the leaking. I'm still surprised that it didn't turn into vinegar though!

As for the decanter, well... I never spent a few hours in a decanter, so i can't tell! ;)

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by mapmap » 22:13 Sat 28 Jan 2017

On a side note, i wonder if its normal or usual to be able to push a cork so easily inside a bottle with barely no strenght??

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by DRT » 22:27 Sat 28 Jan 2017

mapmap wrote:
22:13 Sat 28 Jan 2017
On a side note, i wonder if its normal or usual to be able to push a cork so easily inside a bottle with barely no strenght??
This is not normal, but not entirely unusual. If you open enough bottles of old wine this will happen periodically. Sometimes the wine is fine, sometimes it is good or great.

I once opened a bottle of Croft 1966 that had no cork under the capsule! It had fallen in (perhaps three or four decades earlier) and become so sodden that it wasn't even floating in the shoulder. The capsule had formed an airtight seal and the Cr66 was fabulous. You can be lucky or unlucky with this sort of thing.

Doff cap for opening the second bottle before knowing the outcome :wink:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by mapmap » 22:44 Sat 28 Jan 2017

Wow I never thought a cork could fall off by itself!! That's crazy!

I'm sorry but I'm not familiar with your expression "doff cap". What does it mean?

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by Old Bridge » 22:47 Sat 28 Jan 2017

"I salute you!"

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by mapmap » 22:55 Sat 28 Jan 2017

Thank you for the translation SIR :)

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by SushiNorth » 04:41 Mon 30 Jan 2017

I've had this experience -- going to open a bottle and the cork just slips right in. It wasn't forming much of a seal, and as others have said -- sometimes the capsule saves it, sometimes it doesn't. I've even opened one bottle that was corkless. Literally, no cork. Not in the bottle, not in the neck, not behind my ear... gone.

If the wine is in good shape, lucky! If the wine isn't (as it sounds like yours wasn't based on the other thread), sometimes it is just tawnied into a pale -- but enjoyable -- drink. It's not the VP you'd hoped to open, but you've no fear about having some, putting a stopper in it, and having it again next week. Enjoy it for what it is.
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Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by mapmap » 04:51 Mon 30 Jan 2017

I believe VP is an interesting world, nonetheless! I never expected to live such experience, especially when it comes to my very first bottle. Hopefully I won't live that experience too often, especially since the leaked bottle didn't become better after 24hours of breathing!

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by SushiNorth » 14:19 Mon 30 Jan 2017

It's probably been breathing for the last 10 years -- what's a day? :) Was it palatable in its new form?
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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by mapmap » 03:07 Tue 31 Jan 2017

Hahahaha I agree with the past 10 years! The comparison with a good G70 really made me feel like the leaked one was a pale 10% of the good bottle. Therefore, since I bought the bottles only 2 weeks ago from a governmental seller, I'll go get a refund!

To tell you the truth, a 10 years old tawny would have tasted better..! But I really liked the lesson about leaking bottles :)

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by SushiNorth » 21:25 Tue 31 Jan 2017

Go get the refund. Tell them to give you a better bottle of G70 :)
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Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by SushiNorth » 21:27 Tue 31 Jan 2017

Oh, and when purchasing (especially if in person), bring a good flashlight with you. Even the darkest of bottles can be illuminated. You can usually see yellowing/lightening of the port, look for level, and you can tell if the cork is in the bottle, etc.
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Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by mapmap » 04:01 Wed 01 Feb 2017

Good point. I'll definitely bring a flashlight next time. As for the refund, it might be more complicated than I estimated. They currently want to send the bottle to their main center, to analyse it's content. On the other hand, I'm trying to prove two points: 1) the bottle was damaged (leaking cork), and 2) they won't be able to expertise the quality of the wine, since it's gonna be at least 7 days since I opened the bottle. Therefore, how can they know if it was worth the price I paid and if the wine didn't age prematurely... Oh Well! We'll see how it goes!

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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by SushiNorth » 18:59 Wed 01 Feb 2017

There I was (a few years ago), in BBR in london, right in the main room, with a bottle of 50's-ish Croft in one hand and a flashlight in the other. They went through their entire stock (all 4 bottles), and I turned em all down. I don't know who was more embarrassed, me with the flashlight or them with the crazy, demanding american. They'd all turned yellow. I did buy a Noval and a Graham of that age from them -- nice n red. Looking forward to those, BBR! :)
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Re: Port bottle leaked? Still drinkable?

Post by mapmap » 00:05 Thu 02 Feb 2017

Hahaha, well when it comes time to spend a few hundred dollars, I can definitely see why we should be more cautious! And trust, I will be from now on!! In fact, I already gave the trick to a friend who sells wine ;)

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