Lbv vs vintage

Anything to do with Port.
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Ads910
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Lbv vs vintage

Post by Ads910 » 08:43 Fri 22 Jun 2018

Can anyone tell me why lbv is cheaper to buy than vintage. Surely if it’s worth more when it’s bottled after 2 years as a vintage then why wait 6 years to sell it as an lbv for less?

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DRT
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Re: Lbv vs vintage

Post by DRT » 17:23 Fri 22 Jun 2018

Vintage Port is made from the very best wines available to the producer and is intended for long-term ageing so is priced to suit a customer base that is looking for a long term investment and can therefore attract a higher cost. LBV is normally made from the next tier down in quality and normally in much greater volume than vintage port. The vast majority of LBV is intended for immediate consumption so needs to be priced as a day to day commodity. Some LBVs are intended for ageing but they tend to be more expensive.

The anser to you second question is that if all of the wine that is currently used for VP plus LBV was made into VP here would be too much of it and the quality of the VP would be rubbish.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

Ads910
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Re: Lbv vs vintage

Post by Ads910 » 19:42 Fri 22 Jun 2018

Thanks for the reply DRT much appreciated, for a long time I’ve been a fan of drinking port but now I’m quite interested in getting a collection together.

So my understanding is that the grapes are harvested and then made into port, vintage and lbv, I had assumed the same grapes for the vintage port would be used for the lbv, is that not the case?

So the best grapes are used for vintage port and then the next best used for the lpv hence the cheaper price?

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Re: Lbv vs vintage

Post by Andy Velebil » 20:37 Fri 22 Jun 2018

Ads910 wrote:
19:42 Fri 22 Jun 2018
...
So my understanding is that the grapes are harvested and then made into port, vintage and lbv, I had assumed the same grapes for the vintage port would be used for the lbv, is that not the case?

So the best grapes are used for vintage port and then the next best used for the lpv hence the cheaper price?
Not a simple one-size-fits-all answer to your questions. However here's some general info on it.

Producers know their grapes and they generally know what grapes have done really well by the time harvest comes around. Those "top grapes", the ones believed may be used to make a VP, are usually processed differently than the "lesser grapes". It's expensive to foot tread grapes or to use up your best mechanical harvesters on stuff that you know will end up going into a $8-20 bottle. However, often times some of the "left over" top grapes don't make the cut into a final VP blend for whatever reason and they are "downgraded" and used in other things. That can be an LBV, it can be a Reserve Ruby, set aside for tawny use years down the road or sold off to another producer to mention just a few uses.

As for your second question. Not always, it depends on the producer and a given year and their needs at the time.

Ads910
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Re: Lbv vs vintage

Post by Ads910 » 22:39 Fri 22 Jun 2018

Thanks for the info much appreciated.

So it seems to be that the better grapes are used for the vintage, which in turn will hopefully produce a better port, forgive me for sounding a little simple but I'm only just starting out .

On another note I had a grahams 2012 lbv this evening which was very very good!

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AHB
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Re: Lbv vs vintage

Post by AHB » 15:32 Sun 01 Jul 2018

As DRT said earlier, there are some Port producers who make LBV that is only marginally below vintage quality and which is intended to be capable of maturing and improving in the bottle for several decades - although not for as long as vintage port. Some of us on TPF have been enjoying Warre and Smith Woodhouse LBVs from the 1980s, which are drinking superbly. At the Big Fortified Tasting a couple of years ago, Dirk Niepoort did a masterclass on his aged LBV ports.

Other producers make LBV ports which are filtered and/or stabilised and are intended to be drunk very soon after bottling. While these will age for a handful of years (I'd recommend no more than 2-5 years after bottling), they are best drunk with their initial fruit as their main feature. The Graham 2012 is a good example of this style, as is Taylor.

If you're looking for LBV ports as the starting point for a collection which will reward some patience and time in the "cellar", the bottle-matured and unfiltered LBVs are a great place to start and offer astonishing value for money at the moment. Try Sandeman, Offley or Warre from the supermarket shelves or Niepoort, Quevedo or Smith Woodhouse from a merchant. (Beware the Warre though, they make both styles.)

Also, if you're starting a collection, consider buying some Crusted Port. This is Port made from a blend of years, often from the wine left over from making the Vintage Port blend. I've seen Graham in Sainsbury and know that Quevedo, Churchill and Niepoort make this style too.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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