Tawny suggestion pls

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PhilW
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Tawny suggestion pls

Post by PhilW » 09:26 Mon 17 Oct 2011

Hi,

I have a number of friends who would say they "love port", by which they mean they enjoy an occasional glass of whatever Ruby/LBV may be available at the end of an evening at a restaurant. We're planning to have a number of them over for a celebration in a couple of weeks and I thought why not take the opportunity to offer a Ruby/LBV/Tawny/Vintage tasting, which idea has been well recieved.

I have a suitable Ruby (Dow's Reserve), the LBV (Croft 04) and obviously the Vintage port (probably a Churchill 85), but I don't have any tawny (aside from one Colheita, but that doesn't seem to quite fit the plan) and minimal experience with them to know which are the better/weaker candidiates. I would therefore welcome suggestions for a suitable candidate; I had in mind probably a 20yr (maybe 30, but then that's older than the VP...) Tawny available from supermarket to be roughly typical in line with the others for comparison. I noticed the Noval 20yr Tawny in Tesco, although a touch pricey perhaps (£20/half) - are there better options?

Phil.

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RAYC
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by RAYC » 10:30 Mon 17 Oct 2011

Warre Otima 10 from Waitrose? Relatively cheap and readily available. I quite like it as a 10. Taylor 20 is also fairly widely available, if that is the criteria, and will probably be £25-30 for 750ml.

Might be nice to include your Colheita as well to get the full range. Oh, and a crusted...! Maybe also a filtered lbv to contrast with the unfiltered...i can see there is the possibility of getting carried away!
Rob C.

PhilW
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by PhilW » 12:51 Mon 17 Oct 2011

Thanks Rob - Warre Otima 10 looks like a good suggestion, my only concern being whether it would show enough Tawny character at that age to be representative? I notice that Warre also do an Otima 20, though I haven't seen it around (unlike the 10 which I've seen commonly).

Most of the group who would be attending have only ever had Ruby and occaisonal LBV, so I want to provide the opportunity to compare a good Vintage Port alongside these; expanding to include crusted, colheita or (perhaps more likely) other VPs would probably be for a subsequent session depending on the reception of this one.

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RAYC
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by RAYC » 18:42 Mon 17 Oct 2011

PhilW wrote:my only concern being whether it would show enough Tawny character at that age to be representative
I like it, and it definitely feels like a tawny as opposed to a ruby...it would be interesting to know what the average age of its component parts actually is. Can you justify "investing" in some pre-tasting research?

I don't buy many TWIOAs, but thought that the BBR William Pickering 20yr was also nice when i had it. It's made by Noval, though i have no idea how it compares with the regular Noval 20yr blend. £27. But their description ("Matured in oak for 20 years") leaves a little to be desired!

Otherwise Sandeman 20 (from Lea and Sandeman for £30) is supposed to be good, and i seem to remember that Fortnums have the Ramos Pinto 20, which gets good ratings (though it is pricey).

Depends on how "available" you need them to be - I'm sure Glenn could give you a long list of great 10s and 20s but not sure you'd be able to easily find them over here other than by mail order.
Rob C.

PhilW
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by PhilW » 08:00 Tue 18 Oct 2011

I haven't bought many tawnies; they've typically fallen into the same camp as LBVs for me i.e. each time I've tried I've thought "I should have saved my money for VP". That said, I've tried very few tawnies, hence the request for suggestion to ensure I had selected a typical 'decent' one (rather than a cheap crap one or the world's best) for fair comparison against the other port types. For my own interest, it would seem worthwhile to try a top-notch one sometime, but then that's effectively a good Colheita I assume.

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benread
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by benread » 19:46 Tue 18 Oct 2011

Phil,

If I ever see their 25% off when you buy 6 bottles, I normally stock up on Sainsbury's 10YO tawny, which I like a lot at that sort of price!

Ben
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JacobH
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by JacobH » 22:19 Wed 19 Oct 2011

PhilW wrote:Thanks Rob - Warre Otima 10 looks like a good suggestion, my only concern being whether it would show enough Tawny character at that age to be representative? I notice that Warre also do an Otima 20, though I haven't seen it around (unlike the 10 which I've seen commonly).
The Otima 10-year-old is really light so there is no danger than anyone would think it was a ruby. I’ve heard good things about the 20-year-old (which I haven’t seen, let alone tried), too, but be aware that they are in 50cl bottles if you are planning a big tasting.

Of the ones mentioned in this thread, my favourite is the Ramos-Pinto 20-year-old but it is quite expensive.

I often find myself thinking tawnies are a little uninteresting (a bit like some LBVs). Not necessarily flawed or bad Ports but just not that interesting to drink since they are made to conform to an ever-continuing house style. Although colheitas can be a bit more hit-and-miss, they are sometimes more interesting because they can be a little more quirky and so do think about whether you could try one instead.
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AHB
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by AHB » 22:46 Wed 19 Oct 2011

I did a similar tasting for the folks at work and used the Graham 10 year old (in the unusual shaped bottles) as my example of a tawny. It proved to be something of a hit, with 2 (out of 16) people deciding to buy some to drink over Christmas that year. And it's available in most supermarkets.
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JacobH
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by JacobH » 22:50 Wed 19 Oct 2011

AHB wrote:I did a similar tasting for the folks at work and used the Graham 10 year old (in the unusual shaped bottles) as my example of a tawny. It proved to be something of a hit, with 2 (out of 16) people deciding to buy some to drink over Christmas that year. And it's available in most supermarkets.
People often seem to prefer tawnies when trying Port for the first time, I’ve noticed. And, in any event, it makes much more sense for occasional drinkers to buy a tawny than a ruby since they last much longer in an open bottle.
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RAYC
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by RAYC » 00:16 Thu 20 Oct 2011

AHB wrote:I did a similar tasting for the folks at work and used the Graham 10 year old (in the unusual shaped bottles) as my example of a tawny. It proved to be something of a hit, with 2 (out of 16) people deciding to buy some to drink over Christmas that year. And it's available in most supermarkets.
Yes - plus the Graham comes in a 750ml bottle as opposed to the Otima 500ml.Though I did have a marginal preference for the Otima when i tasted them alongside each other last year. Plus bottle is more handy to keep in fridge!

Looking at the website, Fortnums actually has an impressive collection, and for some prices aren't as steep as i might have expected:
Ramos Pinto 10 - £18.50
Noval 10 - £18.50
Taylor 10 - £23.50
Fortnum BOB 10 (Niepoort) - £23.50
Ramos Pinto 20 - £33
Fonseca 20 - £40
Fortnum BOB 1986 colheita (Niepoort) - £42.50
Taylor 40 - £105

- might try to get hold of a bottle of the RP20 next time i am around the area.
Rob C.

Glenn E.
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by Glenn E. » 05:37 Mon 24 Oct 2011

RAYC wrote:Warre Otima 10 from Waitrose? Relatively cheap and readily available. I quite like it as a 10.
I would avoid the Warre Otima 10, actually. The Otima 10 is not what I would call a good representation of what a 10-yr old should taste like, and most other people I know who enjoy tawnies have a similar opinion. The Otima 20 on the other hand, is supposed to be quite good though I haven't yet had the opportunity to try it.

I recommend a 20-yr old, as those are typically the peak of the QPR curve for tawnies. The Graham and Taylor are both fine examples. Sandeman also makes one that many people recommend, though it isn't really my style. I find it too acidic.

My favorite is the Ramos Pinto, though I understand it is a bit expensive in the UK. The Ferreira Duque de Braganca is another top-tier example in the Portuguese (more fruit forward) style.
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mosesbotbol
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by mosesbotbol » 22:27 Mon 24 Oct 2011

Glenn E. wrote: I would avoid the Warre Otima 10, actually. The Otima 10 is not what I would call a good representation of what a 10-yr old should taste like, and most other people I know who enjoy tawnies have a similar opinion. The Otima 20 on the other hand, is supposed to be quite good though I haven't yet had the opportunity to try it.
Glenn is spot on; Warre's 10 is not one of the best offerings. The 20 is decent. The best 20's are Ferreira, Sandeman, and Taylor (for the big names).

For 10 year, I really like Ramos Pinto and Ferreira once again...
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RAYC
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by RAYC » 23:29 Mon 24 Oct 2011

benread wrote:If I ever see their 25% off when you buy 6 bottles, I normally stock up on Sainsbury's 10YO tawny, which I like a lot at that sort of price!

Ben
Thanks for highlighting - i picked up a bottle on the weekend to give this a try (though not at 25% off unfortunately)
Glenn E. wrote:I would avoid the Warre Otima 10, actually. The Otima 10 is not what I would call a good representation of what a 10-yr old should taste like,
mosesbotbol wrote:Glenn is spot on; Warre's 10 is not one of the best offerings.
The Otima 10 seems to be better received over here - the two Port Forum tasting notes are much more positive (here and here).

Perhaps they sent a different blend over to your side of the Atlantic...!

For £10, i certainly have no complaints, but i'm not a big tawny drinker. Whilst not up there with the San Leonardo 10 i purchased in Oporto (for my taste probably the benchmark 10), i'd struggle to justify the extra £20 to get hold of the Taylor 20...

Phil - Graham 10 from Waitrose, as AHB suggested, may therefore be your safe option for a tawny available at the supermarket. Or get to Fortnum for the RP20. Ferreira will be hard to find, i think.
Rob C.

PhilW
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by PhilW » 10:26 Tue 25 Oct 2011

Thanks for all the suggestions; I'll be picking up a bottle over the next couple of days ready for this weekend. I think I would definitely like to try a good 20yr tawny myself sometime (to see if I can be convinced) but that a 10yr is probably more suitable for this tasting to fit the right place in the lineup.

Given availability and time, based on all the above I'll probably go for the Grahams 10yr on this occaision (if this, rather than the LBV or VP, turns out to be people's QPR preference, then I may try to compare with a 20yr in future). I did also notice that Tesco currently have an Australian 'Grand Tawny' in half bottles, which could be an interesting ringer but might be missing the point for this tasting I guess; I may well be tempted to open the Colheita (Noval 95) as well though, after all :)

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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by griff » 15:49 Wed 26 Oct 2011

PhilW wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions; I'll be picking up a bottle over the next couple of days ready for this weekend. I think I would definitely like to try a good 20yr tawny myself sometime (to see if I can be convinced) but that a 10yr is probably more suitable for this tasting to fit the right place in the lineup.

Given availability and time, based on all the above I'll probably go for the Grahams 10yr on this occaision (if this, rather than the LBV or VP, turns out to be people's QPR preference, then I may try to compare with a 20yr in future). I did also notice that Tesco currently have an Australian 'Grand Tawny' in half bottles, which could be an interesting ringer but might be missing the point for this tasting I guess; I may well be tempted to open the Colheita (Noval 95) as well though, after all :)
Just thought to mention that the Australian is from James Godfrey at Seppeltsfield (aka Seppelt). Similar to the Para Tawny which is a solera style. Has a bit of VA but still is an excellent representation of the more punchy Australian tawny style. Nice when discounted.

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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by Zelandakh » 21:19 Wed 26 Oct 2011

The Sandeman 20 is good price in Waitrose at around the 38 mark. As mentioed, lasts for ages after opening in terms of degradation although I can get thirsty which doesn't help its chances :-)
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by griff » 16:19 Thu 27 Oct 2011

Despite being contentious, the Warres Optima 10 year old is currently £7.11 a bottle (500mL) at Tesco. Decent price. Claiming to have the 2005 Noval LBV for £9.46 per bottle. Haven't seen the 2005 about so not sure about that? I presume that it will follow on from the 2004 in being a Quinta do Noval LBV now.

cheers

Carl

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RAYC
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by RAYC » 17:47 Thu 27 Oct 2011

Zelandakh wrote:The Sandeman 20 is good price in Waitrose at around the 38 mark. As mentioed, lasts for ages after opening in terms of degradation although I can get thirsty which doesn't help its chances :-)
Have never seen anything other than the basic Sandeman tawny - obviously the Waitrose in Buckinghamshire cater for a different market than my local one! :lol:
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PhilW
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by PhilW » 08:58 Fri 28 Oct 2011

griff wrote:Despite being contentious, the Warres Optima 10 year old is currently £7.11 a bottle (500mL) at Tesco. Decent price. Claiming to have the 2005 Noval LBV for £9.46 per bottle. Haven't seen the 2005 about so not sure about that? I presume that it will follow on from the 2004 in being a Quinta do Noval LBV now.
Thanks Carl; Sadly neither of the local tescos here (one superstore, one 'megastore') even have it listed on the shelves, never mind having it in stock.

After a quick trawl round the supermarkets and a lot of out of stock shelves :evil: the final lineup is an Offley Special Ruby (thank you morissons, on half-price offer), a Fonseca 2005 LBV, the Warre Otima 10 Tawny (for better/worse, since the graham 10yr is twice the price) and the Churchill 85.

I'll still be tempted to try the Graham 10 and maybe a 20, but tbh given the price, I'd rather have an FG96 @ £26 than a Graham 10yr Tawny at £21, so might not be soon :)

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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by PhilW » 10:23 Sun 30 Oct 2011

We held the ruby/lbv/tawny/vintage tasting last night, and it was a big success. A couple of interesting results:
- all bar one person present placed the Churchill 85 VP in first place, and the other person placed it second,
- after the VP, the room was evenly split in two, with half the room placing the LBV second, the other half placing the tawny second
On the basis of the latter result, plus since we had an additional person who had been able to join us at the last minute, I opened the Colheita as an extra bottle later on as well :) A couple of additional notes:
- the LBV went extremely well with chilli, possibly because the chilli masked the element of flavour that seems to be common to all lbvs and of which I am not a fan, just leaving all of the 'good' LBV flavours when drunk with the food.
- It seems that I'm not really a tawny/colheita fan (but the Tawny-loving half of the group did like the Warre Otima 10, and loved the Colheita).
- The Churchill 85 was a big success again; Medium to dark in centre, medium at the rim; A very pleasant, medium bodied smooth creamy taste (24hr decant), well liked by all.

Thanks again to all for the Tawny suggestions :)

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RAYC
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by RAYC » 20:37 Sun 30 Oct 2011

Glad to hear it went well
PhilW wrote: the LBV went extremely well with chilli, possibly because the chilli masked the element of flavour that seems to be common to all lbvs and of which I am not a fan, just leaving all of the 'good' LBV flavours when drunk with the food.
If you see the Warre 2000 lbv in your local Waitrose, it would be worth a try and interesting to know whether you feel the same way (particularly given that Warre seems to be your sweet spot).

I remember thinking when i tried it earlier this year (alongside the Warre 95 lbv and the 74 lbv) that it would give a good few VPs cause to blush. My local Waitrose has the 2001 out on the shelves at the moment - i have not tried this but picked up a bottle today so that i could give it a go. Although the price is not too far off your benchmark FG96/98 (and i personally don't buy them regularly outside the supermarket offers), there's no doubt (in my mind, at least!) that they can show real quality.
Rob C.

PhilW
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Re: Tawny suggestion pls

Post by PhilW » 09:59 Mon 31 Oct 2011

RAYC wrote:If you see the Warre 2000 lbv in your local Waitrose, it would be worth a try and interesting to know whether you feel the same way (particularly given that Warre seems to be your sweet spot).
I thought I had picked one up previously, though my spreadsheet says not; I shall have to check tonight and see if I simply forgot to add it, or didn't buy it.

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