New to Port - Got Carried Away at Auction

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General_Files
Cruz Ruby
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Joined: 17:40 Mon 12 Nov 2018

New to Port - Got Carried Away at Auction

Post by General_Files » 22:38 Mon 12 Nov 2018

Hi, I am new to the forum, to port and am seeking some advice.

I recently returned from a trip to the Douro and had not tried port before then. It seems I have a bit of an obsessive personality, as I have become hooked on the "idea" of vintage port, despite having only tried a single 2016 vintage port during the trip. Nonetheless, I came back from Portugal with 6 bottles of 2016 VP in my bag. Knowing, however, that I should not be opening those bottles anytime soon and wanting to try a proper aged VP, I discovered wine auctions in NYC (where I live) and got a little carried away when I saw the VP selection and the prices compared to retail. I am now sitting on 21 bottles of VP (yes, I know this is absurd), totally in over my head with not much idea of when I should be drinking what, what I've even bought and how to properly store the bottles. In particular, I'm concerned about the 1977 Taylor as the auction site said it showed signs of seepage (no idea what that means besides googling). Should I drink that bottle now? Will I even know if its been spoiled? The bottles I've picked up are listed below. Any advice on what to drink first, what to store away, what to give as gifts, how to store the bottles, etc. would be much appreciated. I have spent 65usd/bottle all-in, so this has been quite an outlay for me. Thanks for any words of wisdom!

2016 Kopke x 2
2016 Vesuvio x 3
2016 Noval x 1
2011 Croft x 1
2007 Taylor x 1
2003 Noval x 2
1997 Fonseca x 1
1994 Vesuvio x 1
1994 Warre's x 3
1990 Vesuvio x 5
1977 Taylor x 1 (signs of seepage)

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DRT
Fonseca 1966
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Re: New to Port - Got Carried Away at Auction

Post by DRT » 00:04 Tue 13 Nov 2018

Hi, and welcome to the forum.

It's not often that we have people who describe themselves as "new to port" and who have also thrown themselves headlong down the slippery slope before getting here :lol:

All is not lost - you have done nothing wrong and the bottles you have bought are all likely to turn out to be very nice indeed.

I would advise you to find somewhere suitable to store all those beginning with a 2 for at least two decades.

The others should make fine drinking and can be used as tickets to join some of our members in NYC at Port tastings where you will be able to taste a wide range of Ports to broaden your experience, ideally before you pick up a paddle at another auction :wink:

"Signs of seepage" is not necessarily terminal, but don't wait too long to drink it as it will oxidise in the bottle or perhaps end up all over the floor if the cork gives way.

Although this is probably a bigger initial outlay than you had planned the good news is you have not over paid for what you have.

Enjoy!
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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SushiNorth
Martinez 1985
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Location: NJ & NY

Re: New to Port - Got Carried Away at Auction

Post by SushiNorth » 15:07 Tue 13 Nov 2018

General_Files wrote:
22:38 Mon 12 Nov 2018
Hi, I am new to the forum, to port and am seeking some advice.

I recently returned from a trip to the Douro and had not tried port before then. It seems I have a bit of an obsessive personality, as I have become hooked on the "idea" of vintage port, despite having only tried a single 2016 vintage port during the trip. Nonetheless, I came back from Portugal with 6 bottles of 2016 VP in my bag. Knowing, however, that I should not be opening those bottles anytime soon and wanting to try a proper aged VP, I discovered wine auctions in NYC (where I live) and got a little carried away when I saw the VP selection and the prices compared to retail. I am now sitting on 21 bottles of VP (yes, I know this is absurd), totally in over my head with not much idea of when I should be drinking what, what I've even bought and how to properly store the bottles. In particular, I'm concerned about the 1977 Taylor as the auction site said it showed signs of seepage (no idea what that means besides googling). Should I drink that bottle now? Will I even know if its been spoiled? The bottles I've picked up are listed below. Any advice on what to drink first, what to store away, what to give as gifts, how to store the bottles, etc. would be much appreciated. I have spent 65usd/bottle all-in, so this has been quite an outlay for me. Thanks for any words of wisdom!
Bravo! That's how many of us got started. My suggestion is that we find an excuse for you to drink that 77, perhaps alongside a few other 77's that we encourage others in the NYC area to bring along. That'll turn your 77 into a chance for you to try a bunch of 77's, which I suspect was the whole point of acquiring some port :)

Signs of Seepage means at worst the bottle drips when sideways, or at least that it shows staining on the capsule -- a mediocre cork might leak just enough to allow some port to stain the selo tag, for example. A "signs of seepage" bottle will be ok for years, especially if it isn't currently seeping. If it leaks when left sideways, stand it upright and potentially wax over the top of it to keep air out (or even just some saran and rubber bands) -- then put it on the shortlist.

Taylor 77 likely is at its prime now, and will stay there for another 5-10 years (depending on who you ask here).

If you're in NYC proper, then space is an issue. A small wine fridge will suffice, as will "beverage fridges" that aren't quite shaped for wine bottles but you can pack a lot more in (i was squeezing 40 bottles in something made for 25). Put a little dish of water in there to add some extra moisture, and aim for a temp of 55-60. Most important part is that the temp is consistent.

Finally, welcome. And I was serious about the first part -- the best way to discover port is to find people to drink it with, and who'll expand the breadth of a tasting.
SushiNorth
Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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differentdave
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Location: Long Island, New York

Re: New to Port - Got Carried Away at Auction

Post by differentdave » 18:04 Tue 13 Nov 2018

Welcome to the board. There is a small group of NYC port lovers here that will gladly guide you (via offlines, emails, here on the boards, etc) to more ports and such. I am located on the nassau/suffolk border and have an active wine cellar which I would be happy to store some of your ports for you (i.e. everything from 2000 forward) until a time you want to remove them for consumption or when you have your own cellar to properly store them in.
Generally speaking i like my vintage ports with at least 20 if not 30 years on them before drinking so all of of 90's are in that drinking window.
I am happy to attend a offline.
I have stored wine for winespectator.com and wineberserker.com forum members at no charge and am happy to do so for you as well.
Lastly I suggest you save up a few dollars and take a trip to Lisbon wines in queens (we can plan it so I can meet you there). They have a massive port collection (largest I have seen in North America retail) and have some stock in their passive basement which wont set you back to much but allow you to increase port collection from 90's and early 2000's to increase wines you can drink now.
Congrats and happy to have another New Yorker here.

My very last comment. Grab a port book that Julian just wrote if not to late as in a year or two you will most definitely want it and wont be able to get it then (limited printing based on pre-orders)!

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DRT
Fonseca 1966
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Re: New to Port - Got Carried Away at Auction

Post by DRT » 01:44 Wed 14 Nov 2018

Bravo to the :tpf: NYC collective! 88)

Now declare an emergency and organise a tasting!!!! :wink:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

General_Files
Cruz Ruby
Posts: 2
Joined: 17:40 Mon 12 Nov 2018

Re: New to Port - Got Carried Away at Auction

Post by General_Files » 19:19 Wed 14 Nov 2018

Thank you all for the kind words of welcome! I will most certainly keep my eyes out for any tastings on the forum taking place in New York! Would be keen to join now that I have a "ticket" 88). Sounds like I should consider a wine fridge as well as I do live in a small apartment without any kind of reliable temperature control. Also glad to hear the signs of seepage Taylor bottle is not necessarily a bust. Looking forward to receiving the wines from the auction and trying some of the older bottles in the upcoming months.

differentdave - thank you very much for the offer to help store the newer bottles and I will certainly keep it in mind!

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jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
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Re: New to Port - Got Carried Away at Auction

Post by jdaw1 » 11:41 Sun 18 Nov 2018

General_Files: there is messaging group New York tasters to which I’ve added you (if that was wrong, say so and you’ll be removed). You could send a message to that group, with a link to this thread, asking whether anybody wants a tasting. Nothing to lose by trying.

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uncle tom
Dow 1980
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Re: New to Port - Got Carried Away at Auction

Post by uncle tom » 18:09 Sun 18 Nov 2018

Be aware - be very aware - that if you put two bottles together in a darkened room, you will suddenly find there are lots of bottles and your bank account is mysteriously empty..

The first time I went to a wine auction I came home with nothing. The second time I came back with seven bottles and the third time I came home with eighty bottles..

I now have just over 10,000 bottles in total, of which 5,970 are vintage port.
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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