A 1970 horizontal, Flights 1-4, Friday 9 October 2020

Organise events to meet up and drink Port.
forest26
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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by forest26 » 22:05 Sun 12 Jan 2020

Hi - can I put in a vote?
B&f ovens - 20 people - date Mar/ April - 2 bottles of each (ideally from same case) or magnum - free pour (otherwise glasses will be an issue) - early start - 2pm ?

At the moment I have 700+ bts of 70 - I DESPERATELY want to open some of them. Claire’s having a dry January (ie my port drinking is curtailed)- I missed the last tasting and am having withdrawal symptoms.....

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by jdaw1 » 22:32 Sun 12 Jan 2020

I’m have a mostly dry January, which achieves most of the health benefits (which, of course, are none), without forcing me to miss events (broadly defined).

I like the idea of free pour (be restrained about portion size), with a 2pm start.

There needs to be an organiser who is to decide the date, format, who is bringing what, and to make commensurate bookings and arrangements. My attempts to nudge the ’70 babies have not been fully successful. Please could somebody else give them a poke?

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by winesecretary » 00:48 Mon 13 Jan 2020

I am not a 1970 baby, but am happy to step up to plate to organise this tasting should none of the 1970 babies be available to do so. Initial thoughts.

- I suggest we wait for the outcome of nac's visit with AHB to 67 Pall Mall this week before we make a final decision on venue.

- There are almost 60 known 1970 VPs of which members of this group are known to have 56. Attempting 112 bottles of VP in a day, among 20 persons, is not advisable.

- I suggest there be 3 tastings for 20 (assuming in the ovens, but if we can find a venue that seats 28, up to 28) persons, each tasting featuring 2 bottles of 18 wines*. I suggest we have one in April, one in May, and one in June.

- BFT is 23 April. It would be kind to give Alex a three week run to sort that out. I therefore suggest Thursday 2nd April, Thursday 7th May, and Thursday 4th June.

- I suggest providers or adopters of the port in each tasting have priority for attending that tasting, second to which attendees at previous iterations of this tasting.

- Free pour is probably a good idea.

- An early start is definitely a good idea.

- The only port of which I have multiple bottles from that vintage from the same case is Gonzalez Byass, but happy to sacrifice them to the cause.

*I am aware this is only 54. But, one of the other two is Nacional.

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by DRT » 03:48 Mon 13 Jan 2020

Our first large 1970 tasting looked like this.

Seventeen Ports in the afternoon followed by eighteen Ports in the evening, with a beer break. That's thirty-five Ports. It was fabulous. If we have fifty-six Ports we will need a morning session of twenty-one, almost all of which will be rubbish.

I dislike the idea of two bottles of each wine as variation is too much of an issue with Ports of this age. The final post of the review of the previous 1970 tasting being the most prescient. I also dislike the idea of multiple dates as attendance will not be consistent.

Free-pour for tastings with the maximum number of glasses to fill is always a bad idea. Organising fourteen people is always like herding cats. Organising twenty-eight people will be like herding fish.

I suggest a re-match of the 2009 tasting, with a breakfast flight of the lesser houses for those who wish to punish themselves. A carb-tastic lunch should also be included for those willing to suffer three flights.

Whatever the format, I strongly suggest a limit of fourteen people with pre-pouring.
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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by winesecretary » 11:01 Mon 13 Jan 2020

All of DRT's points (bottle variation, attendance, free-pour, numbers) on my initial thoughts are entirely valid ones. But I cannot organise, because could not physically contemplate, the tasting he suggests...

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by DRT » 12:47 Tue 14 Jan 2020

winesecretary wrote:
11:01 Mon 13 Jan 2020
All of DRT's points (bottle variation, attendance, free-pour, numbers) on my initial thoughts are entirely valid ones. But I cannot organise, because could not physically contemplate, the tasting he suggests...
For clarity, I am not recommending doing all 56 in three flights. I think a repeat of the 2009 tasting would be the way to go. It was a truly fabulous and memorable event and on the limit of what it is possible to taste in one day.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by jdaw1 » 13:04 Tue 14 Jan 2020

DRT wrote:
12:47 Tue 14 Jan 2020
on the limit of what it is possible to taste in one day.
Thirty-five bottles, between fourteen people, was the top limit of what my eleven-years-younger self could do.

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by flash_uk » 14:23 Tue 14 Jan 2020

Some thoughts on the thoughts above. Please try and give comments against the tentative conclusions I have outlined in bold.
  • Counting up those who have expressed an interest, we have about 20 people who come to quite a few tastings each year, and a further 14 who are less frequent or live in more distant places.
  • As such, I can imagine aligning on the 14 for a 14 person tasting being troublesome, while catering for a theoretical maximum of the 34 so far declared, being infeasible. I would therefore tentative conclude we'll end up between 14 and 28 people depending on actual availability on the date which is determined. This would imply two bottles of each port.
  • I have made a stab at apportioning the 60 ports listed by Alex in the first post into top tier (1), second tier (2), third tier (3), and tier 0 being bottles not expected to be present. My first stab at this arrived at a very even spread across tiers 1 to 3 as you can see in the table below. So it seems that a two-flight tasting for tiers 1 and 2 would equate to 37 ports. I would also propose that the Tier 1 ports get tackled in the afternoon flight when palates are fresh.
  • Maniacs wishing to attempt all three tiers could achieve this with a morning start for tier 3 as suggested by Derek. This posse of maniacs might not number greater than 14, in which case this would necessitate only one bottle for the ports in tier 3.
  • As suggested variously, backup bottles on top of two bottles starts to get into the realms of the ridiculous. We cope at all other times with a proportion of duffs, why not for this tasting? I propose no backup bottles.
  • So with 14-28 people, and thus two bottles of each port, I would say pre-pouring is highly desirable. Perhaps even having each flight split into A and B flights with between 8 and 10 ports in each. This would have the benefit of allowing a good chat about the ports, and would break up the task of pre-pouring and setting out potentially 19 ports x (say) 24 people = 456 glasses. Also, assuming we have a venue with glass dishwashers, this would allow used glasses to be washed and redeployed after each mini flight, meaning we don't have to try and get 456 glasses clean between two major flights (!). The final benefit of mini flights of 8 - 10 ports is that the burden of uncorking, decanting, pouring and setting out can be shared across attendees more easily, avoiding this mammoth effort falling on a few poor shoulders.

1230
*Cockburn*Avery*AndresenAmandiao (Real Vinicola)
*Croft*Berry Brothers Selection*BarrosMarks & Spencer own selection
*Dow*Burmester*Borges*Quinta do Noval Nacional
*Ferreira*Butler Nephew*DalvaViera de Souza
*Fonseca*Calem*Diez Hermanos
*Gould Campbell*Calem Foz*Feist
*Graham*Croft Roeda*Feuerheerd
*Martinez*Delaforce*Flagman
*Niepoort*Dow Bomfim*Hunt Roope
*Offley Boa Vista*Gonzalez Byass*Hutcheson
*Quarles Harris*Kopke*Lopes
*Quinta do Noval*Kopke Sao Luiz*Maia
*Ramos Pinto*Krohn*Martins (Hutcheson)
*Rebello Valente*Mackenzie*Quinta do Sibio (Real Companhia Vinicola)
*SandemanMessias*Rocha
*Smith Woodhouse*Messias Cachao*Royal Oporto
*Taylor*Morgan Brothers*Royal Oporto Carvalhas
*Warre*Poças*Santos Junior
*Taylor Vargellas*Thienpont (Butler Nephew)

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DRT
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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by DRT » 19:28 Tue 14 Jan 2020

flash_uk wrote:
14:23 Tue 14 Jan 2020
Some thoughts on the thoughts above.
This is the sort of leadership that we like to see. We need an "Everyone else take one step backwards" emoticon :lol:

A suggestion for the tiers: I think it would be interesting to include Dow Bomfim and Taylor Vargellas in Tier 1 to allow them to be tasted alongside their siblings. Ditto Noval Nacional if one ends up at the tasting.
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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by nac » 01:42 Wed 15 Jan 2020

DRT wrote:
19:28 Tue 14 Jan 2020
flash_uk wrote:
14:23 Tue 14 Jan 2020
Some thoughts on the thoughts above.
This is the sort of leadership that we like to see. We need an "Everyone else take one step backwards" emoticon :lol:

A suggestion for the tiers: I think it would be interesting to include Dow Bomfim and Taylor Vargellas in Tier 1 to allow them to be tasted alongside their siblings. Ditto Noval Nacional if one ends up at the tasting.
If Bonfim and Vargellas were promoted to Tier 1, what should be demoted to Tier 2 to balance numbers?

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by DRT » 01:45 Wed 15 Jan 2020

nac wrote:
01:42 Wed 15 Jan 2020
DRT wrote:
19:28 Tue 14 Jan 2020
flash_uk wrote:
14:23 Tue 14 Jan 2020
Some thoughts on the thoughts above.
This is the sort of leadership that we like to see. We need an "Everyone else take one step backwards" emoticon :lol:

A suggestion for the tiers: I think it would be interesting to include Dow Bomfim and Taylor Vargellas in Tier 1 to allow them to be tasted alongside their siblings. Ditto Noval Nacional if one ends up at the tasting.
If Bonfim and Vargellas were promoted to Tier 1, what should be demoted to Tier 2 to balance numbers?
I would suggest Rebello Valente and Quarles Harris, the latter of which we are unlikely to find. For the 2009 tasting I managed to liberate two from the Symington's private cellar as we couldn't find it anywhere else. I was told at the time that they had almost none left.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by PhilW » 11:48 Wed 15 Jan 2020

flash_uk wrote:
14:23 Tue 14 Jan 2020
Some thoughts on the thoughts above. Please try and give comments against the tentative conclusions I have outlined in bold.
Good job trying to drive this forward Mike, and useful to summarise the starting point and options.

In regard to tiers, there are obviously a number of ways to break things down; I agree roughly with your tiers, along with others would personally prefer to see the variants alongside each other if possible - so T+TV, D+DB, Cr+CrR, Ca+CaF, K+KSL, N+NN if included, and I would also suggest Av+S+F+T (blend) and BBR+W as well if possible though both as lesser priority.

In respect of the tiers themselves and the quantity in each, you have three tiers of 18/19 ports which I agree is a fair realistic maximum for 50ml pours per tier. An alternative could be to consider four tiers of 14(ish), as I think this might create a more natural split of the first 28 (main houses, plus the best of the next tier, plus alternatives) vs second 28. For example, taking your first tier plus Av, BBR, BN, Ca, CaF, DB, TV, NN) would give 26 which could easily be split into two flights of 13 keeping pairs together. These first two tiers would be easier to source so could more easily be two-bottle if needed, depending on number of signees. The latter two tiers would likely be of reduced interest (for "maniacs only") so only single-bottles, but could potentially be done as a separate tasting (again with two tiers), thereby avoiding palate fatigue, and reducing total numbers of glasses needed, as well as the issue of lesser houses simply being discarded in favour of the stronger when tasted all together.

A further additional thought could be to go for 35ml pours given the number of ports under consideration. Not something we do usually, but with 28, 40 or 58 ports (depending whether 2/3 of 3 tiers, or 2/4 of 4 tiers) this would avoid the need for second bottles for the first two tiers of tasting if we were trying to support <=20 instead of <=14.

To try and address some of your other bold comments directly:
- I would definitely agree with pre-pouring for any tasting where there is not a significant excess of the ports involved.
- Agree no backups (as standard, possible exceptions for any known issues if appropriate e.g. as per D77 if doing '77 horizontal)
- I prefer no two-bottles since people want to taste both etc, plus more work; however, if unavoidable due to interest and desire to maintain standard pour size, then just for first or first-two tiers would make sense.

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by flash_uk » 21:17 Wed 15 Jan 2020

Thanks Phil. I'll wait for some more comments and then revise the suggested proposal according to relevant updates. Couple of further thoughts based on conversation over dinner with nac:
- if we assigned responsibility for each two bottles from a shipper to one attendee, then that attendee could organise a backup, on the basis that they could well be pullling from a case with several bottles.
- In previous tastings, we have dropped the bottles at the venue at least a week in advance, thus reducing risk of no-show attendees, and thus bottles being missed
- these two points don't sit well together...dropping bottles early and having backups basically means dropping a backup bottle as well

I think if we end up with two bottles then we need to stipulate that tasting both bottles isn't happening.

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by winesecretary » 22:20 Wed 15 Jan 2020

While strongly approving of DRT's 'everyone else take a step back' emoticon, building on the above might I suggest a 'minor houses' tasting on day 1 in two flights (at say 1800 and 2000) for completists - limited to 14-16 persons i.e. one bottle of each; and and a 'major houses' tasting on day 2 with four flights (at say 1400,1600,1800,2000) for 28 persons, the wines for the latter either being from magnum or from two-bottles-from-the-same-case-no-you-don't-get-to-try-both. For 'major' and 'minor' obviously use a version of the classification set out above. No backup bottles in either case.

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by jdaw1 » 23:49 Thu 16 Jan 2020

DRT wrote:
19:28 Tue 14 Jan 2020
This is the sort of leadership that we like to see.
Agreed. And thank you. (The ’70 babies might have been born in a good Port year, but you’ve excelled them in competence.)

Re tiering, eleven years ago we were very impressed with both Cálem and Cálem Foz, both of which were candidate WOTE (‘Event’).

flash_uk wrote:
21:17 Wed 15 Jan 2020
- In previous tastings, we have dropped the bottles at the venue at least a week in advance, thus reducing risk of no-show attendees, and thus bottles being missed
Yes. No early bottles ⇒ no seat.

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by AHB » 16:01 Fri 17 Jan 2020

Mike,

Again, thanks for taking the lead and trying to steer us through this quagmire.

I rather like George's suggestion that a completist's tasting be held for the third tier wines the night and I would definitely like to attend that, as well as the two main flights.

I also really like the idea of increasing the number of attendees to 28, and requiring attendees to provide two bottles from the same case or 1 magnum. (Attendees could be requested to provide a reserve bottle / magnum which would be returned unopened if not required.) No tasting of both bottles will be allowed unless individuals attending can persuade someone on the other side of the table to swap with them.

Pre-pouring will be absolutely critical. I'm happy to help prepare and deliver the event on the day, or we could outsource a lot of the work to Sensible Wine Services.

Mini-flights is an excellent idea. 280 clean glasses to be waiting to be used for the next mini-flight and 280 glasses in the washer to be used for the next mini-flight.

Others have said more than me about the allocation of wines to tiers; so long as I can try all of them, I am relaxed about which tier they are in.
Top Ports in 2019 (so far): Cockburn 1947 and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
2018 Ports of the year: São Leonardo 1927 White Port (Bottled 2018), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by flash_uk » 17:40 Fri 17 Jan 2020

Many thanks Alex, Derek, George, Julian, Phil for comments. Feels like we're getting there with a format.

I think the challenge now is to find a venue for 28. Does anyone know if The Ovens can cope with 28? One consideration is that with mini flights of no more than 10, a placemat can be 1.5 of A4 paper, so at tasting time, we could potentially fit a few more settings in. For dining time between major flights, we'd need some (say 8) folks to sit somewhere else. Probably doable in the B&F I would have thought?
Last edited by flash_uk on 21:10 Fri 17 Jan 2020, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by CPR 1 » 17:50 Fri 17 Jan 2020

flash_uk wrote:
17:40 Fri 17 Jan 2020
Does anyone know if The Ovens can cope with 28?
We had 20 for the 77 tasting from Mags and Tappit Hen, I recall the table can be extended further thus I think the answer is yes. Just dont forget no air con thus avoid summer months.

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by AHB » 17:53 Fri 17 Jan 2020

If we use the ovens we might well be able to have dinner in a separate area or outside if we are at the B&F
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2018 Ports of the year: São Leonardo 1927 White Port (Bottled 2018), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by jdaw1 » 16:05 Sat 18 Jan 2020

flash_uk wrote:
17:40 Fri 17 Jan 2020
a placemat can be 1.5 of A4 paper, so at tasting time, we could potentially fit a few more settings in.
People are wider than 1×A3 = 2×A4 = 420mm.

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by flash_uk » 20:29 Sat 18 Jan 2020

jdaw1 wrote:
16:05 Sat 18 Jan 2020
flash_uk wrote:
17:40 Fri 17 Jan 2020
a placemat can be 1.5 of A4 paper, so at tasting time, we could potentially fit a few more settings in.
People are wider than 1×A3 = 2×A4 = 420mm.
Imdeed this is true. The simple check required is whether 14 chairs with a modicum of space between, can fit in the length of the Ovens.

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by flash_uk » 18:38 Sun 19 Jan 2020

*** Calling the '70 babies ***

I think '70 babies = Axel, Wolfgang, Ben, Neil. Is there anyone else?

We have a decision point now. It seems that the B&F might be an option for a 28 person tasting. Were any of you hoping/intending/determined to have this 50th anniversary tasting somewhere more special, making more of an occasion of the event? If so, then now is the time to say - very hard to continue with any organisation without firming up both venue and date. After that is sorted, people who have expressed an interst can firm up, and who brings what can get tackled.

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by DRT » 19:33 Sun 19 Jan 2020

flash_uk wrote:
18:38 Sun 19 Jan 2020
*** Calling the '70 babies ***

I think '70 babies = Axel, Wolfgang, Ben, Neil. Is there anyone else?

We have a decision point now. It seems that the B&F might be an option for a 28 person tasting. Were any of you hoping/intending/determined to have this 50th anniversary tasting somewhere more special, making more of an occasion of the event? If so, then now is the time to say - very hard to continue with any organisation without firming up both venue and date. After that is sorted, people who have expressed an interst can firm up, and who brings what can get tackled.
Would it be terrible if there was more than one 1970 tasting in 2020? I would suggest you crack on, Mike. If anyone else wants to do it differently they can do so in their own way. :D
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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by nac » 22:10 Sun 19 Jan 2020

I'm still visiting 67 Pall Mall with Alex this week, but having discussed further with Mike, I suspect we're going to come to a conclusion that B&F is a better option.

I'm still keen to do the big 70 tasting and happy to assist in organising. However, might well do some form of additional 70-themed event as a birthday celebration. As mentioned, this wouldn't be so "terrible", would it?

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Re: 2020 - A 1970 horizontal

Post by flash_uk » 13:35 Mon 20 Jan 2020

DRT wrote:
19:33 Sun 19 Jan 2020
Would it be terrible if there was more than one 1970 tasting in 2020? I would suggest you crack on, Mike. If anyone else wants to do it differently they can do so in their own way. :D
nac wrote:
22:10 Sun 19 Jan 2020
I'm still keen to do the big 70 tasting and happy to assist in organising. However, might well do some form of additional 70-themed event as a birthday celebration. As mentioned, this wouldn't be so "terrible", would it?
Indeed more than one '70 tasting would be far from terrible :D

I'll take a look at the calendar and try and spot a sensible date.

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