Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

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KillerB
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Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by KillerB » 16:38 Tue 06 Jan 2009

Just to keep a track of these things and especially the worst offenders. Please write in duffers from any tastings. Obviously corked Ports a requirement but I do also get fed up with bottle stink that seems to be more prevalent in Port. I know that it blows off but it should be noted. Don't have any to hand at the moment but I know you all have them.
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uncle tom
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by uncle tom » 17:05 Tue 06 Jan 2009

There is a spoilage condition that I've noted very occasionally in port (most recently in a Niepoort '97, which, as Derek witnessed, erupted on me while I was in my DJ - fortunately after the event..) but also in CDP's

The condition renders the wine spritzy and foul on the palate. Gas is produced, but I don't think it is normal fermentation.

There is probably a technical term for the condition, which I imagine is some sort of bacterial contamination.

It might be worth identifying those wines that have a history of this - and also trying to find its causes..

Tom
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RonnieRoots
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by RonnieRoots » 18:37 Tue 06 Jan 2009

Not cork, but VA: Niepoort's ports from 1985, 1994 and 1997 have all had bad showings in the recent and less recent past.

Ports that often seem corked (from own experience):
- Vargellas 1987
- Dow's 1977
- Gould Campbell 1977

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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by DRT » 18:45 Tue 06 Jan 2009

Cockburn 1983 - a corky nightmare!
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by ac-fast » 18:54 Tue 06 Jan 2009

Taylors 1977 -

had to open 3 bottels before it was able to drink

Seems that 1977 have a problem
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uncle tom
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by uncle tom » 01:59 Wed 07 Jan 2009

Poor corks are an issue with T77, - I will be re-corking most of my bottles in the spring..

Tom
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by jdaw1 » 03:22 Wed 07 Jan 2009

This bottle of Fonseca 1985, though it is my first bad one from many excellent bottles.

Great topic.

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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by Axel P » 09:48 Wed 07 Jan 2009

I had that experience with a Grahams 97 once. Since I heard that this seems to be appearing only in the younger VPs, might that have something to do with bottle-age as well? Not that I think that this is somekind of normal....

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AHB
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by AHB » 14:32 Wed 07 Jan 2009

Alex,

For clarification, are you asking for us to name and shame spoiled ports which we taste in 2009 or everything which we have ever tasted which was spoiled?

Also, I think this is a great post. As the person who came up with the idea and also an administrator, could I persuade you to make this post a sticky and also to edit the first post to turn it into a summary of what people put in their replies? I have in my mind something along the lines of:
Just to keep a track of these things and especially the worst offenders. Please write in duffers from any tastings. Obviously corked Ports a requirement but I do also get fed up with bottle stink that seems to be more prevalent in Port. I know that it blows off but it should be noted. Don't have any to hand at the moment but I know you all have them.
  • Corked Ports (TCA)
    Dow 1977
    Gould Campbell 1977
    Taylor 1977
    Cockburn 1983
    Fonseca 1985
    Vargellas 1987
  • Spritzy Ports
    Graham 1997
    Niepoort 1997
  • Poor Corks
    Taylor 1977
    Niepoort 1997
  • Volatile Acidity (VA)
    Niepoort 1985
    Niepoort 1994
    Niepoort 1997
I think this is a fantastic thread and one which I think would be unique as I have never seen "port problems" ever collected together in one place before.

Alex
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by KillerB » 17:14 Wed 07 Jan 2009

Alex,

I'm happy with all Port problems that we've encountered. It should help us keep a track of producers and vintages that are the worst offenders. I will put my other hat on later and make a summary and sticky. The idea occurred to me when I opened up a truly rank Sancerre Rose the other night, the stuff is not cheap but it costs a lot less than a decent VP. I had no choice but to pour it down the sink as I can't remember where I got it. Hence, the posts in both Other Wines and in Port Conversations.

Cheers,

Alex
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by DRT » 18:00 Wed 07 Jan 2009

We have 1100+ TNs on the site which will contain real experiences of bad bottles across a wide range of producers/vintages. Do we have a volunteer to trawl through the TNs? Could we do it electronically by querying the data for key words "corked", "VA", "stink" etc?

To provide balance we should perhaps also be recording what % of the bottles we open are tainted in some way. For example, I recently had a stinky Morgan 91 but it is probably the first bad bottle out of 50+ opened by members of this site.

Derek
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by jdaw1 » 19:18 Wed 07 Jan 2009

A shortlist can be made by machine, but eliminating the likes of ‟unlike last week’s bottle, this had no TCA at all” requires human reading.

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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by DRT » 20:21 Wed 07 Jan 2009

jdaw1 wrote:A shortlist can be made by machine, but eliminating the likes of ‟unlike last week’s bottle, this had no TCA at all” requires human reading.
Perhaps you could volunteer to create the shortlist and others could volunteer to do the human reading?
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by KillerB » 21:15 Wed 07 Jan 2009

DRT wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:A shortlist can be made by machine, but eliminating the likes of ‟unlike last week’s bottle, this had no TCA at all” requires human reading.
Perhaps you could volunteer to create the shortlist and others could volunteer to do the human reading?
I can write the SQL do this and provide a file with the results.
Port is basically a red drink

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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by DRT » 21:36 Wed 07 Jan 2009

KillerB wrote:
DRT wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:A shortlist can be made by machine, but eliminating the likes of ‟unlike last week’s bottle, this had no TCA at all” requires human reading.
Perhaps you could volunteer to create the shortlist and others could volunteer to do the human reading?
I can write the SQL do this and provide a file with the results.
OK:

1. I came up with the idea of using the TNs
2. Jdaw provided a very useful insight into the implications of my suggestion
3. KillerB has volunteered to produce the data
4. We need a volunteer to read, analyse and document the results.

...please form an orderly queue :wink:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by g-man » 23:06 Wed 07 Jan 2009

uncle tom wrote:There is a spoilage condition that I've noted very occasionally in port (most recently in a Niepoort '97, which, as Derek witnessed, erupted on me while I was in my DJ - fortunately after the event..) but also in CDP's

The condition renders the wine spritzy and foul on the palate. Gas is produced, but I don't think it is normal fermentation.

There is probably a technical term for the condition, which I imagine is some sort of bacterial contamination.

It might be worth identifying those wines that have a history of this - and also trying to find its causes..

Tom
I've found this in my beer making experiences. Sounds like a dirty facility /bottling leading to undesired bacteria refermenting the residual sugars in the wine. For my beers, it has this very weird bitterness to it. Curious to know, was the wine cloudy or too dark to notice?
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by AHB » 13:06 Thu 08 Jan 2009

DRT wrote:
KillerB wrote:
DRT wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:A shortlist can be made by machine, but eliminating the likes of ‟unlike last week’s bottle, this had no TCA at all” requires human reading.
Perhaps you could volunteer to create the shortlist and others could volunteer to do the human reading?
I can write the SQL do this and provide a file with the results.
OK:

1. I came up with the idea of using the TNs
2. Jdaw provided a very useful insight into the implications of my suggestion
3. KillerB has volunteered to produce the data
4. We need a volunteer to read, analyse and document the results.

...please form an orderly queue :wink:
If someone gives me the data, I'll do it.

I'll even add in all the duff bottles I've tasted but not posted notes...
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by DRT » 16:57 Thu 08 Jan 2009

AHB wrote:
DRT wrote:
KillerB wrote:
DRT wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:A shortlist can be made by machine, but eliminating the likes of ‟unlike last week’s bottle, this had no TCA at all” requires human reading.
Perhaps you could volunteer to create the shortlist and others could volunteer to do the human reading?
I can write the SQL do this and provide a file with the results.
OK:

1. I came up with the idea of using the TNs
2. Jdaw provided a very useful insight into the implications of my suggestion
3. KillerB has volunteered to produce the data
4. We need a volunteer to read, analyse and document the results.

...please form an orderly queue :wink:
If someone gives me the data, I'll do it.

I'll even add in all the duff bottles I've tasted but not posted notes...
Excellent! This is teamwork at its best - most of the team thrash an idea around and then one poor sod ends up with all the hard work to do :lol:

Thanks Alex

Derek
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Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by AHB » 18:54 Thu 08 Jan 2009

A quick trawl through my notes reveals the following:

Burmester 1970 - 1 TCA tainted
Cavadinha 1988 - 2 bottle stink
Cockburn 1955 - 1 spoiled bottle
Cockburn 1983 - 2 TCA tainted
Cockburn 1985 - 1 TCA tainted
Cockburn 1991 - 1 VA spoiled
Cockburn 1994 - 1 VA spoiled
Crasto 1987 - 1 slight TCA taint
Croft 1966 - 1 VA spoiled
Cruz 1989 - 1 bottle stink
Dow 1955 - 1 bottle stink
Dow 1983 - 1 bottle stink
Dow 1985 - 1 TCA tainted
Fonseca 1966 - 1 very slight TCA
Fonseca 1966 - 1 VA spoiled
Fonseca Guimaraens 1972 - 1 spoiled bottle
Fonseca Guimaraens 1987 - 1 bottle spoiled by VA and bottle stink!
Gould Campbell 1977 - 2 TCA tainted
Graham 1985 - 1 TCA tainted
Hutcheson 1980 - 1 VA spoiled
Kopke Sao Luiz 1983 - 2 TCA tainted
Niepoort 1991 - 1 slight TCA taint
Niepoort 1997 - 1 VA spoiled
Nacional 1997 - 1 TCA tainted
Offley Boa Vista 1963 - 1 TCA tainted
Quarles Harris (Tesco) 1995 - 1 slight TCA taint
Rebello Valente 1977 - 1 bottle stink
Royal Oporto 1963 - 1 VA spoiled
Sandeman 1977 - 1 TCA tainted
Smith Woodhouse 1980 - 2 bottle stink
Taylor 1970 - 1 TCA tainted
Van Zeller 1983 - 1 slight TCA taint
Vargellas 1978 - 1 bottle stink
Vargellas 1988 - 1 bottle stink
Warre 1966 - 1 VA spoiled
Warre 1983 - 1 TCA tainted
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by mosesbotbol » 18:57 Thu 08 Jan 2009

AHB wrote:A quick trawl through my notes reveals the following:

Burmester 1970 - 1 TCA tainted
Cavadinha 1988 - 2 bottle stink
Cockburn 1955 - 1 spoiled bottle
Cockburn 1983 - 2 TCA tainted
Cockburn 1985 - 1 TCA tainted
Cockburn 1991 - 1 VA spoiled
Cockburn 1994 - 1 VA spoiled
Crasto 1987 - 1 slight TCA taint
Croft 1966 - 1 VA spoiled
Cruz 1989 - 1 bottle stink
Dow 1955 - 1 bottle stink
Dow 1983 - 1 bottle stink
Dow 1985 - 1 TCA tainted
Fonseca 1966 - 1 very slight TCA
Fonseca 1966 - 1 VA spoiled
Fonseca Guimaraens 1972 - 1 spoiled bottle
Fonseca Guimaraens 1987 - 1 bottle spoiled by VA and bottle stink!
Gould Campbell 1977 - 2 TCA tainted
Graham 1985 - 1 TCA tainted
Hutcheson 1980 - 1 VA spoiled
Kopke Sao Luiz 1983 - 2 TCA tainted
Niepoort 1991 - 1 slight TCA taint
Niepoort 1997 - 1 VA spoiled
Nacional 1997 - 1 TCA tainted
Offley Boa Vista 1963 - 1 TCA tainted
Quarles Harris (Tesco) 1995 - 1 slight TCA taint
Rebello Valente 1977 - 1 bottle stink
Royal Oporto 1963 - 1 VA spoiled
Sandeman 1977 - 1 TCA tainted
Smith Woodhouse 1980 - 2 bottle stink
Taylor 1970 - 1 TCA tainted
Van Zeller 1983 - 1 slight TCA taint
Vargellas 1978 - 1 bottle stink
Vargellas 1988 - 1 bottle stink
Warre 1966 - 1 VA spoiled
Warre 1983 - 1 TCA tainted
Is that just from 2008's notes? You got some bad luck or you're drinking way to much, lol...

Why are drinking 97 Nacional so soon? I guess in this case it was warranted?
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by Axel P » 21:16 Thu 08 Jan 2009

mosesbotbol wrote:Why are drinking 97 Nacional so soon? I guess in this case it was warranted?

Moses,

it actually was as there was a very generous re-tasting with another bottle, which I had to miss for not being in London at this time

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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by uncle tom » 06:06 Tue 13 Jan 2009

Curious to know, was the wine cloudy or too dark to notice?
With the Niepoort it was unclear whether the wine was generally cloudy or if the eruption had raised the sediment.

I recall that affected CDP's lack clarity in the glass, so you may be on to a characteristic of the problem.

Odd that old bottles seem to have no history of this - is it a new bug? - or can wines eventually recover??

Anyone seen references to this type of problem in old writings? - I can't recall any..

Tom
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by RonnieRoots » 05:37 Tue 20 Jan 2009

1977 Quarles Harris - corked.

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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by AHB » 21:02 Sun 01 Feb 2009

At the 1970 tasting on 30 January 2009 in London, the Fonseca 1970 was badly corked.
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Re: Corked/Spoilt Ports - Name and Shame

Post by Glenn E. » 08:21 Mon 02 Feb 2009

At the 2009 Port Gala in Seattle:

1970 Dow's was corked, but covered it well with massive fruits for a while. This is the second such bottle corked in this manner that I have encountered in the last month. In both cases the Port just seemed a little muted to me, but otherwise fine. In both cases others were absolutely sure it was corked.

1983 Cockburn's was so badly corked that some people recoiled physically. This was the first time I've ever been able to smell TCA, and to me it really wasn't that offensive. General concensus is that I'm whacked. :wink:

1970 Ferreira was very mildly corked... there was some argument about whether or not it was actually corked or not. Naturally it tasted and smelled fine to me, and I rather liked it. More proof that I'm whacked.

I also thought that the 1963 Warre's was corked - it tasted strongly of wet cardboard to me - but no one else out of 17 people could smell it or taste it. Since I normally cannot taste or smell it when a bottle is corked unless (like the 1983 Cockburn) it is really horribly corked, me being the only person to note it is probably an aberration. Others thought something was off, but were certain that it was not corked.

I recall there being one other corked bottle during the 3 days, but can't find it in my notes at the moment and cannot remember which one it was. One of the Douro dry reds was also corked, but I didn't take note because I wasn't drinking wine.
Glenn Elliott

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