Advice please Gentlemen

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gonzo
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Advice please Gentlemen

Post by gonzo » 13:48 Mon 13 Oct 2008

As a long time lurker and an infrequent poster I know exactly where to come for great advice on port choices! With Christmas just around the corner i'm thinking about what port to drink and have been offered Vesuvio 1995 for £26 a bottle. Wine spectator has it at 95 points and 4th in the top 100 wines of that year...
so ,two questions: is this indeed a great port to buy and does this seem like a good price?

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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by Axel P » 20:51 Mon 13 Oct 2008

Gonzo,

it always depends on what you expect: Vesuvio 95 is clearly one of the weaker Vesuvio as 95 being one of the weaker years anyway. Though it is fun to drink now, it is not what you expect from a Vesuvio Vintage Port after all. Having drunk almost all the Vesuvios in Dec last year I liked the 95 the least.

26 GBP is not a very high price, though fairly expensive for a Port like this. I would pick up a single bottle, open it and try it myself. That is what Port is all about.

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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by ajfeather » 21:36 Mon 13 Oct 2008

I would agree, my least favoured Vesuvio (and I like them a lot) and I would hope something more interesting could be found north of GBP25.

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uncle tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by uncle tom » 23:39 Mon 13 Oct 2008

Well, err, cough, splutter...

I've not tried the V95, but can say that '95 is a seriously good year that is very much for the long haul. If you have any port from '95 I would advise that you tend it carefully, but for now, drink something else..

For an affordable Xmas quaff, you can't go far wrong with a '70; a vintage that is so consistantly pleasing, even from the less well known houses.

The best quality value ratio on the 70's is probably the Gonzales Byass (yes, they used to make Port as well as Sherry) - and don't pass on a Calem - if you can find one..

Tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by g-man » 00:26 Tue 14 Oct 2008

I've found the 95 vesuvio, the one time i've had it, to be extremely enjoyable and a very worthy port of aging.

But I believe other posters have mentioned that Vesuvio seems to have some consistency issues.
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by RonnieRoots » 09:29 Tue 14 Oct 2008

I would say that for Vesuvio, it's a good price. But if you want a pleasant drink this Christmas you can either do as Tom says and buy something aged, or if you want to try a port from around '95 (and why not, they're a lot of fun to drink) you can probably find some others cheaper. Look for Taylor's Vargellas, Warre Cavadinha or Graham's Malvedos for some nice values. There are many others of course, but these should be widely available. Good luck!

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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by gonzo » 14:36 Tue 14 Oct 2008

As ever gents,some clear advice with some interesting alternatives....thanks

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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by mosesbotbol » 19:51 Tue 14 Oct 2008

When has 1995 been considered a weaker vintage?

1994 was so vaulted, that 1995 relegated to SQ's when it could've been a formally declared vintage. The few 95's I have tried have all been good at minimum. As for Vesuvio 95, I do not think £26 is a deal, but is not robbery either.

Maybe the '94 & '95 is even closer than '83 and '85 were? Most will say the '85 was better, but there's excellent port from both vintages. I think it's worth picking up any 1995 vintage if the price is right. 20 years from now, you'll be glad you did.

I've only had a few of '94 and '95, but own a decent amount.
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by Frederick Blais » 21:54 Tue 14 Oct 2008

mosesbotbol wrote:When has 1995 been considered a weaker vintage?

1994 was so vaulted, that 1995 relegated to SQ's when it could've been a formally declared vintage. The few 95's I have tried have all been good at minimum. As for Vesuvio 95, I do not think £26 is a deal, but is not robbery either.

Maybe the '94 & '95 is even closer than '83 and '85 were? Most will say the '85 was better, but there's excellent port from both vintages. I think it's worth picking up any 1995 vintage if the price is right. 20 years from now, you'll be glad you did.

I've only had a few of '94 and '95, but own a decent amount.
I've had the Vesuvio 95 twice and I did not consider it a weak Port. As for 95 Vs 94, even though 95 was a great year, we'll never know if it will be better than the Classic declaration as single quinta Port are clearly not made in the same way as the regular blend. But I agree with you Moses that 94 is getting more hype than it should for general quality as a few ports I've tasted are already mature or showing more age than they should after 12-14 years. Even a Taylor served to me blind recently from pristine cellar condition was looking more like a Colheita 95 to me than a 100pts VP, I was shocked as so many taster around the table too.

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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by Axel P » 22:05 Tue 14 Oct 2008

To my experience I would never mention the Vintages 94 and 95 in one sentence. I think 94 is an exceptional Vintage, maybe the best of the second half of the 20th century, while 95, though having produced some "quite nice" VPs, is a classic SQVP-year to me.

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uncle tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by uncle tom » 15:09 Sat 18 Oct 2008

I would judge that '94, '95, '96 & '97 were all declarable years - probably the best string of four vintages in the 20th century.

'94 has been much lauded, but the wines seem a little too approachable at this stage, and may lack the stamina for the long haul, so some may be wilting by the time they turn 40. The '95's are very solid wines, but also firmly closed still. '96's seem more approachable, but have much more to offer. The '97's look promising for the long haul, but are much too young and closed at this stage.

Tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by Andy Velebil » 15:14 Sat 18 Oct 2008

I agree that 1995 is no sluoch of a year.

Tom,
Other than Vesuvio, what other top 94's do you consider too approachable at this stage?

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uncle tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by uncle tom » 20:18 Sat 18 Oct 2008

Other than Vesuvio, what other top 94's do you consider too approachable at this stage?
I'm not sure I've ever tackled the V94, although I have a stash in the cellar. I regard the vintage as a bit young still for my mainstream quaffing, so am only extracting a couple of bottles a year at present (most recently the Ervamoira)

However, comparing my notes with those of others does reveal a consistant theme, and regrets that a '94 was much too young and immature are notable by their absence.

Although I've yet to pop any of my own, encounters with the 2000's at offlines, and in Portugal, make me suspect that they are also fairly forward wines; more so than was predicted when they were released - but still early days yet.

Tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by Andy Velebil » 13:10 Sun 19 Oct 2008

I challenge you to open a bottle of all the top VP's from 1994 and put them side by side and taste them over a few days. I'm sure that will change your mind...and not to be taken the wrong way, but since you've not had a lot of 1994's thats a pretty bold statement, and IMO incorrect, to make about the entire vintage. If a particular Port isn't performing as well as you expect, no problems, lets discuss it. But you're painting a very broad picture with limited experience.

As for the 2000's, almost all i've had over the past year or so have been totally shut down or well on their to shutting down and not showing the best at the moment. I would not recommend drinking them at this time unless a very long decant is given, and even then best to just avoid them for the time being.

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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by uncle tom » 15:16 Sun 19 Oct 2008

I challenge you to open a bottle of all the top VP's from 1994 and put them side by side and taste them over a few days. I'm sure that will change your mind...
I'm not sure what you're trying to prove here

Are you trying to argue that the '94's are closed surly wines that are very much for the long haul? - because that doesn't fit with my notes or those of others.

Historically, wines that have been approachable in their teens have had a tendency to run out of steam relatively early, so there's no rocket science in my conclusions, just historical precedent.

Tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by Andy Velebil » 03:53 Mon 20 Oct 2008

What I'm trying to get at is that you keep making these broad generalizations about things based on little to no first hand knowledge, just what you've read in a book or elsewhere. Which is fine up to the point where you start making assertations that the whole of the vintage is not going to be good soley based on some historical facts and little actual experience.

The 2007 weather and harvest issue comes to mind and so does this thread. We've debated the 2007 to death and so far everyone I've spoken to has unofficially (of course) stated that 2007 will be declared. Irregardless of it ending in a 7, it was a very good year. Having seen the 2006, 2007, and now the 2008 harvest first hand, I can say that the producers were far more excited about 2007 than the other 2. Even seeing the color extraction in the lagars there was a sizeable difference that was immediately noticable.

As for the 1994's, I don't understand how you can lump the entire vintage into one basket based on very limited first hand knowledge and what some others didn't write in a tasting note. I'm curious as to who else you used to form your opinion? Please, don't get me wrong. I have no issue with you decribing a specific bottle(s) you've had which you felt were no up to par...actually I would welcome it. But I think it is very irresponsable to lump all into one basket based on limited information.

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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by uncle tom » 09:30 Mon 20 Oct 2008

Andy,

I think you're jumping to conclusions here.

I spend a lot of time reading tasting notes, from a wide range of sources, and comparing them with my own. From that cocktail of information, I draw conclusions about individual vintages.

Those conclusions are not cast in stone, it's an evolving story, and from every vintage there are atypical wines. Most vintages exhibit characteristics that most (but not all) the wines share, but there are also some that seem to comprise a fairly random mix of wines, with no general traits - 1980 for example.

I'm careful to qualify what I say, and avoid drawing conclusions when there is too little information to go on.

2007 was anointed as a declaration year before it had even begun. The producers have a love affair with '7' vintages to the total exclusion of '9' years - try working out the probability of that happening by chance, and you realise that it's too small to be credible!

I would love 2007 to be a great year, and am not engaging a blind vendetta against it, but after seeking the truth, and setting the hype to one side, I am not reassured..

Tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by Andy Velebil » 13:04 Mon 20 Oct 2008

I' wasn't jumping to conclusions, Its just the wording of many of your opinions paint far to broad of a stroke for entire vintages. Sure there will always be winners and losers in every vintage, sometimes almost everyone loses (think 1993). But you've still not mentioned what bottles have you had from, say, 1994 that makes YOU feel that way. For example, I've read a lot of negative about Pink Port. I've now tried it and its no where near as bad as some people have made it out to be. Sure I'm not going to run and buy it, as its not my cup of tea personally, but I also rarely, if ever, buy basic Ruby's and Tawny's either. But when making statements that cover entire vintages based on a small amount of second or third hand information is irresponible IMO. At least point to some specific bottles that you've had that can back up that information.

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uncle tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by uncle tom » 14:08 Mon 20 Oct 2008

I don't think it is irresponsible to assess vintages on a broad brush basis, provided you bear in mind that surprises sometime happen.

There are a very large number of wines for which there are no recent TN's available, and sometimes no TN's at all. An active discussion about the general characteristics of a vintage (and of the standing of individual producers) serves only to better inform the buying and drinking choices of the consumer.

You may prefer to have detailed discussions about individual wines, that is your preference, but each to his own..

Tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by Andy Velebil » 20:01 Mon 20 Oct 2008

well it is when you are the only one saying the 07 harvest is not good and only being spoken of because it ends in 7. so how do you talk bad about A wine where's there no tn available? that makes no sense. espe ially when everyone else is saying the opposite.

But if you're going to talk bad about a vintage, 1994 for example, at least give some examples. Which you have still failed to do even after i've asked. When talking good or bad you still need to be able to back up what you are saying with some credible example. Not just generalizations. so what 1994's have you had that help lead you to your opinion?


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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by uncle tom » 22:50 Mon 20 Oct 2008

Andy,

You need to take a break here pal - I do NOT speak ill of a wine that has no TN and I do NOT speak ill of the '94's; only that the 94's are probably, most of them, for consumption in the nearer term rather than the the longer - which many would consider a bonus.

You seem to be drawing wierd conclusions from what I've written - time to take a rest eh?

Tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by jdaw1 » 22:57 Mon 20 Oct 2008

uncle tom wrote:the total exclusion of '9' years - try working out the probability of that happening by chance
Let’s assume that each year has a one-in-four chance of being declared, all years identically independently distributed. Then the probability that, during some particular century, no 9s are declared is (3/4)^10 ≈ 5.63%, Improbable, but not special. But the wrong question. What is the probability that there is a digit, whether 9 or something else, such that in some particular century, no year ending in that digit is declared? The answer is obviously 1 - ( ( 1 - ((3/4)^10)) ^ 10 ) ≈ 43.988%. That’s quite likely.

So the existence of a digit such that, during the last century, no years ending in that digit were declared, proves, in round numbers, nothing.

Let me rephrase: what is the probability that, during the nineteen-eighties, only ’80, ’83 and ’85 were general declarations? Answer: 0.2086%. Less than one percent?! Does that prove a conspiracy? Well, what is the probability that, during the nineteen-eighties, exactly three years were general declarations? Answer: 25%. So be careful about probabilities: a more specific question (‟nines?”) has a lower probability, whereas a question better capturing the whole class of perceived unusualness (‟some digit such that!”) has a higher probability.

(Number of declarations in some particular decadeprobability under the now-traditional assumptions: 0→5.6%; 1→18.8%; 2→28.2%; 3→25%; 4→14.6%; 5→5.8%; 6→1.62%; 7→0.309%; 8→0.039%; 9→0.00286%; 10→0.000095%.)

But we know that at least one of: the assumptions are wrong; or there is prejudice in declarations. If each year has a one-in-four chance of being declared, all years identically independently distributed, then, given that a year is declared, there is a 7/16 = 43¼% chance that an adjacent year is declared. Almost half of consecutive declarations should be part of a consecutive sequence of declarations. So either: the shippers deliberately avoid this; or there is a process going on, such as a year being declaration-worthy so tires the vines that it is less probable that the immediately subsequent year is declaration-worthy. Take your pick.

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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by uncle tom » 23:12 Mon 20 Oct 2008

Julian,

Probability maths does my head in, so i'm glad you've chipped in here, but I was was looking at the three times a decade scenario for the two recorded centuries when there has been no signficant declaration with a year ending in a 9, and that makes the odds of no '9' years come out at something less than 1000:1.

Of course, any one of the digits could fall prey to such discrimination, so the odds should therefore be reduced by a factor of ten.

The bit that gets difficult (for me!) is working out the odds of so many (but not all) '7' vintages being favoured, and the statistically correct way of linking these two eventualities.

In rough and ready terms, it looks like the probability of the least favoured nag winning the Grand National - possible, but very unlikely!

Tom
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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by jdaw1 » 23:21 Mon 20 Oct 2008

uncle tom wrote:two recorded centuries when there has been no signficant declaration with a year ending in a 9, and that makes the odds of no '9' years come out at something less than 1000:1
Assuming a constant declaration frequency of one-in-four, the probability that there is a digit such that, over two particular centuries, no year ending in that digit has been declared, is 3.126%. That alone fails a 99% test. And if the probability of declaration was constant at one-in-five, there is a 10.949% chance of observing this outcome, and one-in-six takes that to 23.2%.

So the hypothesis that there is a shippers’ prejudice against some particular digit is statistically unproven.

Much stronger is the hypothesis that they don’t like consecutives.

Which sevens? ’27, ’77, ’97? 1907 no, ’17 I don’t know, ’37 no; ’47 not generally, ’57 no, ’67 not generally, ’87 not generally. Three or four in the last ten decades. Snorey dull.

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Re: Advice please Gentlemen

Post by Roy Hersh » 01:24 Tue 21 Oct 2008

This discussion has very rapidly digressed to the point of being considered Meaningless Drivel. Whether it actually winds up in that area is anybody's guess, but the poignancy of this entire thread has certainly gone down hill and fast.

What I can't understand, is why Tom has remained so reluctant to give any example of which 1994 VPs have led him to espouse the opinion that the vintage overall won't make for old bones. I know many who believed this for the first five years after the release of the wines ... but I have not read any such opinion about '94s (speaking for the majority of the vintage) in more than half a decade. So like Andy, I'd be really interested to hear which '94s have led Tom to this conclusion.

Looking back at my own TNs from this year, I've had only 9 VPs from 1994 ... and I don't see any of my notes indicating that these VPs lacked the structure and balance to age for the long haul, while continuing to improve and deliver lots of drinking pleasure. I know Tom has a very astute palate and wish he would share his specific experiences from that vintage, so we can gain insight into his conclusion and understand his controversial stance.

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