1994 Tesco

Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
PhilW
Dow 1980
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by PhilW » 15:59 Fri 05 Dec 2014

LGTrotter wrote:The Warre may make a good drink but not yet.
I feel the same way about the Tesco 94 I have tasted (rider: I may only be talking about the older version of Tesco 94).

I'm not sure we're in that much disagreement though; Alex's note says he guessed it to be G2000, which whatever you feel about its possible future potential is definitely not ready to drink yet. The Warre LBV (for £21 vs the Te94 at £20, so yes dearer, but by... not much) will also improve considerably with more age, but I think is in a better place for current drinking, though they are both currently too young for my taste. However if the only choices were W2001 and Te94, either for immediate drinking, or for purchasing to drink in 15years, I'd take the Warre both times (except I wouldn't, I'd have a mix, but weighted strongly in favour of the Warre).

Admittedly I am a Warre fan, but if you repeated the above argument with, say, a Graham '94, I'd take that as my choice. If I look at what I have bought as evidence, I have a couple of bottles of W2001lbv, and no Te94, after trying them both previously; while I have bought other '94s (including Graham) for the future.

LGTrotter
Dalva Golden White Colheita 1952
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by LGTrotter » 17:58 Fri 05 Dec 2014

PhilW wrote:I'm not sure we're in that much disagreement though;
I'm not sure either. I note you are sticking with the example of the Warre LBV, which is rather a cut above most LBVs. And for me this was the rub; somebody stumbling across this thread might have gone away with the idea that you could buy any old LBV and get a better wine than the Tesco 94. I do not think this is the case.

The reason I called Alex as witness is that he is widely respected on this forum for his experience of tasting. That he thought it might be a Graham 2000 highlights the quality the wine rather than the shortcomings of the taster (with due acknowledgement of all the errors and omissions Daniel has referred to). To me the Tesco 94 is a reasonably well found youngish port and Alex's note reflects this.

To return to the lack of disagreement I would broadly concur with Phil, Tesco 94 is a perfectly respectable port which won't break the bank, will probably drink better in a few years and won't set too many hearts ablaze. My balance between Warre and Tesco would be slightly more towards Tesco than Phil's but I can certainly understand why he might favour the Warre. In some ways it is a more striking and characterful port.

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RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by RAYC » 18:55 Fri 05 Dec 2014

Looking back through the TNs of Tesco 94, you do seem to have picked somewhat of an outlier to quote (even if you restrict yourself to AHB's TNs)!

I'd love to try one of the good bottles (I may have had one or two back in 2008...), but based on current experience (all very stewed) I would not now buy Tesco 94, even at £12.50. Current release Warre, Noval, Niepoort, Smith Woodhouse, Offley and Quevedo LBVs, to name the few that instantly spring to mind, are in my view better value even at nearly double that price (whether for drinking now or in the medium term). Certainly I think that people coming new to port this Christmas via Tesco 1994 stand a good chance of being disappointed.

Having said all that, I won't be too surprised if these words come to haunt me in 10 years when I pull my case of Tesco 94 out of storage...
Rob C.

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djewesbury
Graham’s 1970
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 19:20 Fri 05 Dec 2014

Agree with all this, most especially with both of the last points - it's a very poor port to use to introduce people to the glories of VP, but it's one that could conceivably be good in a decade.
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LGTrotter
Dalva Golden White Colheita 1952
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by LGTrotter » 19:42 Fri 05 Dec 2014

I've had enough of this 'outlier' business;
PopulusTremula wrote:Erroneously guessed to be V92 by me. Dark ruby, 70% opaque. Nose of warm, slightly stewed fruit and some caramel. Palate with ripe black fruit, toffee and then a nice warming heat. This is a very pleasant port which should hold up well over the next 10 years at the very least. 89 points with some room for upward movement.
AHB wrote:Deep red in colour, very dark but just starting to lighten on the rim. Either opaque or 99% opaque - I can't quite make my mind up. Soft aromas on the nose, a hint of blackcurrant, a hint of applemint. Restrained and dry impact but sweet, ripe fruit floods through in the mid-palate. Soft tannins and gentle acidity deliver a very pleasant mid-weight palate that grows and develops in flavour. Hot acidity dominated aftertaste before this gives way to a very long finish of mild coffee and yellow gooseberries. Perhaps a modest 86/100 as it shows.
jdaw1 wrote:?, at D+0. To behold 90% opaque, purple at center and red at the edge. Looks young. Nose closed, with plum juice. The mouth a mix. Initially that same plum, immediately followed by mint/menthol, then a brief flash of acridity. Then mid-weight purple fruit to the long ending. Bodes well.
jdaw1 wrote:1994 Tesco (Symington), bottle labelled stars, at D + 11 hours. Dark red, 95% opaque. Nosing of dry plums. To taste initially quite sweet, then giving way to a mid-palate mustiness. The sweetness resumes late palate.

Another five years in the cellar might bring this together a bit better, but even now, fine drinking.
angeleyes wrote:Dark ruby colour. Nose is leathery and plummy, and in the mouth, thick, sweet. Closed, flavours hidden behind a bitter chocolate finish, but after a couple of hours the nose is showing some herbs and aniseed amongst the fruit. Thick and fruity in the mouth, tannic and liquorice finish. Good moderate sweetness. Not bad stuff.
AHB wrote:1994 Tesco BOB vintage port
Believed to be Quarles Harris. Almost opaque in the centre, deep red in colour but showing just the first signs of bricking on the rim. Raw and alcoholic on the nose, full of tart plums and blackcurrants. Medium weight in the mouth, plenty of acidity and still some tannins. Good fruit up front but with a soapy undertone that seems characteristic of the 1994 vintage. The fruit carries through to the mid-palate and with nice development. A burst of heat on swallowing, followed by a lingering sour cherry and black chocolate aftertaste of good length. Young and with the ingredients to be better in 5-10 years. Try again then. 89/100. Drunk 8 September 2009.
Must I go on?

More on LBVs once tea is on.

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djewesbury
Graham’s 1970
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 20:17 Fri 05 Dec 2014

A dog with a bone.
Daniel J.
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Glenn E.
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by Glenn E. » 20:22 Fri 05 Dec 2014

Glenn Elliott

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djewesbury
Graham’s 1970
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 20:23 Fri 05 Dec 2014

Please Glenn. Don't feed the pigeons.
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Glenn E.
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by Glenn E. » 20:25 Fri 05 Dec 2014

I find it intriguing that there are multiple versions of 1994 Tesco. It breaks my understanding of Port.
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LGTrotter
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by LGTrotter » 21:24 Fri 05 Dec 2014

Glenn E. wrote:Relevant?

1994 Quarles Harris
I seem to recollect some good news for Quarles Harris from a recent Danish tasting. Thank you Glenn, most interesting.
Glenn E. wrote:I find it intriguing that there are multiple versions of 1994 Tesco. It breaks my understanding of Port.
Once again a long disputed, never resolved conundrum; I am not sure there is more than one source.

Now I've got to eat tea. Then LBVs. Ahem.

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djewesbury
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 21:26 Fri 05 Dec 2014

Oh good lord. Pass me that stick to put in his wheel.
Daniel J.
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flash_uk
Dow 1980
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by flash_uk » 21:54 Fri 05 Dec 2014

I was going to ask some questions about port production at the next offline to try and build my understanding of how things work...might as well ask them here, now, as this discussion is quite relevant to what I'm trying to understand better.

My imperfect understanding is currently as follows:
- vintage port gets made from a variety of grape types
- a producer sources grapes from various places, to make the vintage port
- the winemaker brings his/her magic to the whole affair, choosing the "best" mix of grape varieties and sources
- sometimes the producer owns a specific vineyard, planted with certain grape varieties, and chooses to make use of the grapes from that vineyard for certain port products
- as an example, Dow's Bomfim vineyard is the sole source for grapes going into the Quinta do Bomfim SQVP

Now the questions come...
- When someone like Dow produces a declared vintage, are there any rules/stipulations at all, about what went into the port? Or could they technically source grapes from anywhere in the Douro, brew something up, call it Dow's 2012, and declare it? This first question is a hypothetical...I get that one of the fundamentals is that the shippers probably maintain a high degree of consistency over what they input into a vintage, as that is the basis of what defines the brand of the shipper - their signature for want of a better phrase.
- Presumably some shippers own no vineyards? and everything they produce is from grape sourced from various 3rd parties?
- And then, the word shippers is up for debate...are they not really only brands?
- If yes, then, for example, when we read Graham 1985, that is a VP made from a mixture of grape varieties, sourced from various vineyards, which SFE have cooked up, and slapped a Graham's 1985 label on it? And yes yes, it is not any old grapes from any old place. This is a signature brand, so the grapes are the best, mainly from Malvedos, perhaps even in a very specific "recipe" which has been refined over time to deliver what we've all come to know and love as a Graham VP.
- Turning then to QH and Tesco. What does it actually mean to say a port is Quarles Harris? Can that tell you anything for certain about grapes used - variety or source?
- Is it possible/probable that in 1994, SFE bought lots of grapes from lots of places, the winemaker(s) got busy and created some port wines from these grapes. Those creations got bottled. Perhaps one or two creations, perhaps 15 or 20 or more. Those bottles sat happily in VndG. Sometime mid 2000s, Tesco phoned up. "can we have some Tesco branded VP?" "Yes" Some of those bottled creations were shipped to the UK and had Tesco labels slapped on. Then some more were sent. Maybe the same "creations" maybe one of the other 15 or 20. But whatever got sent, got a Tesco label slapped on. Is that possible/probable?
- And then maybe SFE took some of those bottled creations and slapped a QH label on? Is that possible, probable?
- If any of the above is possible/probable, then Tesco 94 may = QH94, or it may not.

That was a lot of typing. My hand is sore.

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djewesbury
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 22:00 Fri 05 Dec 2014

This isn't governed by regulations in the way you ask. There are some port brands that are entirely bought in, and some of these persist. Historically all port was from bought in grapes. The first shipper to become a grower and to integrate vertically in a serious way was Sandeman, and that was comparatively late, not till the 1820s when the Napoleonic Wars meant the shippers could come back into Portugal. Many of the older shippers didn't come back and those who did were much smaller. The incomers - Sandeman, Graham - took very large parts of the market.

But there are still major labels made without any attachment to a particular estate. Skeffington, Gould and so on.
Daniel J.
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djewesbury
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 22:04 Fri 05 Dec 2014

(Of course it's a little different these days now that those small companies like Gould are owned by big conglomerates.)

Graham is always made from grapes from Malvedos and Tua and one or two others. Dow is always made from grapes from Bomfim and Ribeira and one or two other places. They all have smaller properties only used for blends, or for BOBs and such like.
Daniel J.
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djewesbury
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 22:07 Fri 05 Dec 2014

Anyway the point is that yes, SFE would make huge quantities of different blends to sell on for BOBs and that yes, one of these may have been the same blend as Quarles Harris (same grapes from same farms). Subsequent ones may not have been.
Daniel J.
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flash_uk
Dow 1980
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by flash_uk » 22:09 Fri 05 Dec 2014

So there is every chance that in 1994, SFE made ports using various different "recipes". And there is nothing to stop two of these different recipes being shipped as say, Quarles Harris? You could argue the case that from a brand and marketing standpoint, that might be unwise as you create potential for consumer confusion about what QH tastes like (always accepting that no two bottles made from the same "recipe" will necessarily taste exactly the same either).

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djewesbury
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 22:09 Fri 05 Dec 2014

Only one blend would be sold as QH.
Daniel J.
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djewesbury
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 22:10 Fri 05 Dec 2014

The IVDP control the blends. Once a blend is approved it stays the same.
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djewesbury
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 22:12 Fri 05 Dec 2014

But Tesco BOB was not sold as QH as far as I know. So the IVDP just had to approve it as a BOB blend.
Daniel J.
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djewesbury
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 22:16 Fri 05 Dec 2014

As far as I know it was only ever said that the original Tesco 94 was the same blend as QH. Did it ever actually say QH on the label?
Daniel J.
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flash_uk
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by flash_uk » 22:22 Fri 05 Dec 2014

djewesbury wrote:The IVDP control the blends. Once a blend is approved it stays the same.
Really!? What are they actually approving though?
"Here I see some red juice, the grapes are all from the Douro, and it has been in casks for the right amount of time and now bottled. I hereby attest that you can call this stuff port. Goodbye."
versus
"Here I see some red juice, the grapes are all from the Douro, and it has been in casks for the right amount of time and now bottled. I hereby attest that you can call this stuff port. What name do you give it? because this is the only red stuff you can give this name to. Goodbye."
djewesbury wrote:But Tesco BOB was not sold as QH as far as I know. So the IVDP just had to approve it as a BOB blend.
But does that mean they approve a blend together with a "brand"/"shipper"?

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flash_uk
Dow 1980
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by flash_uk » 22:24 Fri 05 Dec 2014

djewesbury wrote:As far as I know it was only ever said that the original Tesco 94 was the same blend as QH. Did it ever actually say QH on the label?
So in that instance, a QH94 and a Te94 in glasses side by side are exactly the same (ignoring bottle variation)?
Last edited by flash_uk on 22:25 Fri 05 Dec 2014, edited 1 time in total.

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djewesbury
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 22:24 Fri 05 Dec 2014

You submit a blend with the technical data (including provenance) I think. They taste and say yes, this is port, and then you tell them what you're going to call it so it can be registered. Otherwise what point would there be?
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djewesbury
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by djewesbury » 22:26 Fri 05 Dec 2014

flash_uk wrote:
djewesbury wrote:But Tesco BOB was not sold as QH as far as I know. So the IVDP just had to approve it as a BOB blend.
But does that mean they approve a blend together with a "brand"/"shipper"?
No. They approve the blend and register the name.
Daniel J.
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flash_uk
Dow 1980
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Re: 1994 Tesco

Post by flash_uk » 22:28 Fri 05 Dec 2014

djewesbury wrote:Otherwise what point would there be?
:shock: OMG. I hope Julian doesn't read this. I can already sense a long composition being crafted on the deficiencies of the bureaucratic beast that is the IVDP.

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