Anyone know this Dow? Designation: "Very Very Old"

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actuary
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Anyone know this Dow? Designation: "Very Very Old"

Post by actuary » 19:44 Sat 09 Jan 2021

Hi all!

I recently stumbled across this one, and don't know what to think about it...LBV, Tawny,...

My guess would be Tawny, but wouldn't bet a penny on my opinio...maybe some people around here with better insight?

Thanks

Andy
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jdaw1
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Re: Anyone know this Dow? Designation: "Very Very Old"

Post by jdaw1 » 21:31 Sat 09 Jan 2021

Bottle shape is tawny.

Glenn E.
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Re: Anyone know this Dow? Designation: "Very Very Old"

Post by Glenn E. » 06:52 Sun 10 Jan 2021

A "V.V.O." label implies tawny, as ruby Ports are bottled at a young age and so you would not label them VVO.

I've never seen a label like that, though, nor am I familiar with anything of the sort from Dow.
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Re: Anyone know this Dow? Designation: "Very Very Old"

Post by Andy Velebil » 06:56 Sun 10 Jan 2021

Glenn E. wrote:A "V.V.O." label implies tawny, as ruby Ports are bottled at a young age and so you would not label them VVO.

I've never seen a label like that, though, nor am I familiar with anything of the sort from Dow.
Agree with all

That said. It has a very low fill and heavy signs of seepage, which is not a good sign regardless.

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JacobH
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Re: Anyone know this Dow? Designation: "Very Very Old"

Post by JacobH » 13:52 Sun 10 Jan 2021

“Old Port” was the pre-modern terminology for “tawny” for the reasons Glenn sets out so I don’t think there can be any doubt about what this is.

Indeed, it was potentially quite a nice wine at the time it was bottled. From the Croft 1962 pricelist which I posted elsewhere I think the hierarchy went something like “Fine Old”, then “Very Fine” or “Very Old” and so “Very Very Old” might be saved for something quite special.
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Re: Anyone know this Dow? Designation: "Very Very Old"

Post by actuary » 16:57 Sun 10 Jan 2021

Thanks for your thoughts and replies.

As for age it seems to be clear that VVO is 40+ years, see here

http://www.drturnbull.co.uk/infoportwin ... signations.

"6e. Aged Tawnies (super - 8).
Aged Tawnies or Tawnies with indication of age (Porto com indicação de idade) are blends of Port Wines maturing in casks for long, up to a very long time. The categories are: 10 years, 20 years, 30 years and More than 40 years or Over 40 years. The use of this final indication is not allowed in the USA where it is simply known as: 40 years. It is allowed to indicate Tawnies of 10 and 20 years old with “Velho” or “Old” and those older than 30 years and over 40 years with “Muito velho” or “Very old”."

My guess would be a bottling date sometime in the 70ies; for this age the level/ullage doesn't seem so bad to me, of course o leaker is always risky to buy.

The glass is definetely genuine, embossed with DOW's seal.

Any objective about how much I could risk for the bottle...would 70 USD be appropriate, what do you think?

Thanks

Andy

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JacobH
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Re: Anyone know this Dow? Designation: "Very Very Old"

Post by JacobH » 18:28 Sun 10 Jan 2021

The regulations which are quoted there date from the mid-1980s. I’m not sure if there were similar provisions before that about the labeling of non-vintage ports.

I wouldn’t have any doubt the bottle is genuine. Silva & Cosens (in the bottom left) was the company name through which Dow’s was traded until quite recently for historic reasons.

Putting to one side the debate as to whether tawny Ports are capable of being aged in bottles, considering the low fill level and leakage, I wouldn’t expect it to be drinkable so don’t pay more for it than you think it is worth as an ornament!
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Re: Anyone know this Dow? Designation: "Very Very Old"

Post by Glenn E. » 00:19 Mon 11 Jan 2021

JacobH wrote:
18:28 Sun 10 Jan 2021
Putting to one side the debate as to whether tawny Ports are capable of being aged in bottles, considering the low fill level and leakage, I wouldn’t expect it to be drinkable so don’t pay more for it than you think it is worth as an ornament!
I can almost guarantee that it will be drinkable. Depending on your preferences, you may even like it. However I doubt that it will be spectacular... possibly not even excellent.

I recently purchased and consumed a 1934 Dalva Colheita that was bottled in 1972. 38 years in wood followed by 48 years in bottle. I paid $360 for that bottle, and additional bottles were sold by the same auction site in the same price range. (Bidding started at $350, but I didn't track any of the subsequent auctions as I'd already snagged a bottle.)

It was fine; even good. I tend to give higher ratings that others here on this forum, but I gave it 91 points. If I had to guess, the people here would have probably been in the 87-88 range. Nothing to write home about, but it was a nice Port and a fun experiment. Had someone brought it to a party, I would have happily poured another glass to drink if it were available. I have also described to others as "there was nothing wrong about it at all; the problem, such as it was, was that there was really nothing right about it either." I wouldn't buy more at that price, but I'm not sad that I purchased one to share with friends.

$70 US seems fine risk level for your bottle, more so for the unique experience than for any expectation of superior quality.
Glenn Elliott

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Re: Anyone know this Dow? Designation: "Very Very Old"

Post by JacobH » 10:29 Mon 11 Jan 2021

Glenn E. wrote:
00:19 Mon 11 Jan 2021
JacobH wrote:
18:28 Sun 10 Jan 2021
Putting to one side the debate as to whether tawny Ports are capable of being aged in bottles, considering the low fill level and leakage, I wouldn’t expect it to be drinkable so don’t pay more for it than you think it is worth as an ornament!
I can almost guarantee that it will be drinkable. Depending on your preferences, you may even like it. However I doubt that it will be spectacular... possibly not even excellent.
Sorry: I should have defined “drinkable” as “pleasant if not enjoyable to drink” rather than merely non-toxic!

I think my hit rate for old bottles of filtered port is about 50%. I presume this is mostly a combination of filtration reducing its ability to age and cheaper corks which are more likely to fail. I was particularly pessimistic about this bottle due to the fill level and the leak on the selo!
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