1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

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DRT
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1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by DRT » 12:55 Mon 03 Feb 2014

In an email, Richard Mayson wrote:Dear Derek,

Happy New(ish) Year!

On March 4th fellow wine scribe and tutor Michael Schuster is holding a well-timed 1994 Port tasting (see attached). I thought that this might be of interest to members of the Port Forum, mentioned this to Michael who is happy to offer a discount of 10% for a group booking.

If this is of interest to you and your members can you let me/him know within the next couple of weeks.

Hope all's well with you.

All best

Richard
In a notice attached to Richard's email, Michael Schuster wrote:1994 Vintage Port: the cream of a very great year.

4th Mar 2014 4:00pm to 8:30pm at Bordeaux Index, 10 Hatton Garden, EC1N 8AH

1994 is a quite outstanding Port year. It is one of the three great declared vintages of the past three decades (alongside 2000 and 2011), and it will most likely outrank 1963 and 1966. It will certainly better 1970, and 1977 doesn't even get a look in. From the outset the wines were characterised by a concentrated core of ripe fruit, and a remarkable flesh round the structural bones, an overall impressive combination of concentration, class, definition and refinement.

In the summary of my first tasting of them in July 1996 I noted that the best had a beauty and scope which reminded me of the best I had drunk from 1948 and 1955! Given all this, there is a surprisingly narrow price differential between the lesser and the greater, especially compared with other classic regions. And, considering the prices of top claret and burgundy, they still seem remarkable value. I have no doubt that, for vintage port lovers, the top wines will be the gold dust of the future.

Twenty years of age is the traditional point at which to start looking at drinking fine vintage port - early maturity. So a perfect time at which to have a look at these.

Richard Mayson, Port guru, will be on hand for much of the time (along with copies of the new edition of his "Port and the Douro"), as will Bordeaux Index's Port specialist Tom Chadwick. And there will be a glass of 1983 Graham, with Stilton, to enjoy at the end of the tasting.

NB This will be a stand up / help yourself tasting, running from 4pm to 8.30pm. There will of course be clipboards, tasting sheets, and somewhere to sit if you want to taste seated.

1994 Smith Woodhouse
1994 Gould Campbell
1994 Martinez
1994 Quarles Harris
1994 Niepoort
1994 Quinta do Noval
1994 Quinta do Vesuvio
1994 Dow
1994 Warre
1994 Graham
1994 Fonseca
1994 Taylor

1983 Graham, with Stilton
..................................................
13 Wines, plus Cheese ...... £116
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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DRT
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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by DRT » 12:59 Mon 03 Feb 2014

My initial reaction was to gasp in amazement at the prospect of paying £104.40 to taste a dozen 1994s when we could obviously do something ourselves at half the cost. Having thought it through it is perhaps a good opportunity to evaluate the vintage without any of us having to break open cases that should perhaps be left sleeping for a decade or more.

Hmmm? What to do?

Please let me know if you are interested.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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RAYC
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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by RAYC » 13:58 Mon 03 Feb 2014

Hmmm...

4.00 to 8.30 as well - does not make this great value compared to what we could provide from our own cellars but I could be persuaded for the reasons you state (and actually the price is not unreasonable for a commercial tasting if you did not have a group like this that could pull together the same line up relatively easily). Plus less than 10 minutes for me to either stumble home or to TBH!

The only 94s that I particularly feel the need to re-evaluate at this point are the Noval, Taylor and Dow. I'm not sure what the current thinking is on decant time for eg: the Noval, but will this event be able to provide that? I find that these types of events only usually get round to decanting in the several hours before the tasting actually starts.
Rob C.

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WS1
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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by WS1 » 07:41 Tue 04 Feb 2014

I think the price is fair if you count in the cost of venue etc.. Furtermore the price also reflects some steep price increases in some of the Ports (Noval in particular on which there are only 900 cases)
Generally I will not go there mainly since I know most of the 94s listed and feel based on recent showing in tastings they are mostly still in a closed phase. Secondly even having had 94s in pristine condition (e.g. Vesuvio and Noval) comparing them to the 70s, 66s or 70s is in my eyes a bit stupid.
The 94s are the first well industrially produced port with a general declaration for this year after the revolution, hence the acclaim being better than other great vintages. It also marks the comeback of Noval after C. Seely took over. The last very good to great Noval before 94 was the 70 if you get a good bt.
Bearing in mind typical journalist antics and having not put effort in finding good bottlers and bts from the old era indeed such coments 94 being better etc. based on ignorance, missing knowledge based on lack of tastings make sense.
I like some 94s but generally I find them not as interesting and great as the old ones from 1960, 1963, 1966, 1967 and 1970. Some great 1962, 1964 and 1965s should also be not forgotten! :wink: Furthermore I am biased anyway to 70 as a vintage. :wink: :lol:

regards

WS1
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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by PhilW » 10:49 Tue 04 Feb 2014

Unfortunately I have an exam during the day on Mar 4th, and a probable engagement in the evening, so am very unlikely to be able to attend, which is a shame as I would be interested in attending. I don't the see the cost as excessive (yes, we could do a similar event ourselves at lower cost, but it would likely involve opening cases which we might prefer to leave untouched) - My only organisational concern would be whether the bottles will have sufficient decant time. While some of the '94s may well be going through a somewhat closed period, I don't think this is the case for all and I would be interested to see how a wider range of the '94s are progressing.

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by AHB » 11:15 Tue 04 Feb 2014

I also think the price is fair. While I agree that we could do something similar from our own stocks at half the cost, that's because we tend to price our events at historic cost and not replacement cost. I've done a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation and reckon that the wine searcher (non-pro version) low replacement cost of port per person would be about £70. Add cheese and venue costs and that generates a commercial margin of about 20-30 per person - which seems reasonable to me.

I'd certainly like to go. Some of the ports being shown I've not tasted yet and many others I've only tasted once or twice and in some cases no more recently than 3½ years ago!

How do I book and take advantage of the TPF Group discount?
Top Ports in 2018 (so far): Niepoort VV (1960's Bottling), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994 and San Leonardo Very Old White (Bottled 2018)
2017 Ports of the year: Fonseca 1927 and Quinta do Noval 1927

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by RAYC » 12:50 Tue 04 Feb 2014

Just realised it is the BBR Rhone en primeur tasting the day before, so I'm not likely to go to this as well.
Rob C.

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by DRT » 16:03 Tue 04 Feb 2014

AHB wrote:How do I book and take advantage of the TPF Group discount?
Alex,

Richard's email requests that I get back to him with a list in a couple of weeks so let's leave it for a while to see if there is any more interest and I will then contact the organiser to arrange tickets.

So far I think it is just you and I.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by djewesbury » 01:40 Wed 05 Feb 2014

I'm a 'could do' on this. We get back from a flying visit to the Essencia on the Sunday before, I have a class to teach on the Monday, but will have just finished writing a big European funding application so might have the time to pop over for what looks like an interesting evening.
Daniel J.
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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by idj123 » 19:20 Sat 08 Feb 2014

I have acquired a pass for this tasting and so please add me to the list of prospectives. Also, agree with Wolfgang that the 94s cannot yet be compared to those earlier vintages but of course it is the potential that excites and I've been adding to my stash of 94s over recent times and so it would be good to see how they're shaping up.

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by CPR 1 » 20:58 Wed 12 Feb 2014

Sounds like an interesting night as I haven't had many 94's thus I would like to join please

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by djewesbury » 15:15 Thu 13 Feb 2014

Any further news on this?
Daniel J.
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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by DRT » 20:45 Thu 13 Feb 2014

djewesbury wrote:Any further news on this?
What news were you expecting?
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by djewesbury » 21:34 Thu 13 Feb 2014

DRT wrote:Richard's email requests that I get back to him with a list in a couple of weeks so let's leave it for a while to see if there is any more interest and I will then contact the organiser to arrange tickets.
Daniel J.
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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by DRT » 22:14 Thu 13 Feb 2014

Ten days ago, being one week and three days, DRT wrote:Richard's email requests that I get back to him with a list in a couple of weeks so let's leave it for a while to see if there is any more interest and I will then contact the organiser to arrange tickets.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by djewesbury » 17:16 Sat 15 Feb 2014

DRT wrote:
Ten days ago, being one week and three days, DRT wrote:Richard's email requests that I get back to him with a list in a couple of weeks so let's leave it for a while to see if there is any more interest and I will then contact the organiser to arrange tickets.
Twelve days now - nearly time!
Daniel J.
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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by DRT » 17:43 Sat 15 Feb 2014

djewesbury wrote:Twelve days now - nearly time!
Are you "in"?
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by jdaw1 » 18:27 Sat 15 Feb 2014

Include me in: I have permission.

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by DRT » 21:01 Sat 15 Feb 2014

We are currently five, perhaps six. Payment details have been emailed to those who have indicated an intention to go.

If anyone else wants to join us please let me know and I will forward the details of how to join the group booking.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by idj123 » 14:24 Sun 02 Mar 2014

I assume I am probably over-reaching in asking whether there is any intention to decamp elsewhere following the conclusion of Tuesday's tasting?

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DRT
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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by DRT » 14:43 Sun 02 Mar 2014

idj123 wrote:I assume I am probably over-reaching in asking whether there is any intention to decamp elsewhere following the conclusion of Tuesday's tasting?
Consensus at our tasting last week was that we should pour ourselves into the nearest hostelry at 8pm for a refreshing beer and perhaps some grub. It doesn't sound like a bad plan to me.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by idj123 » 16:09 Sun 02 Mar 2014

Sounds none too shabby at all.

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Re: 1994 Walk-around in London - 4 March 2014

Post by jdaw1 » 12:46 Wed 05 Mar 2014

A horizontal of 1994 and a G83 were tasted at Bordeaux Index, 10 Hatton Garden EC1N 8AH on Tuesday 4th March 2014, in the presence of Richard Mayson, as arranged by Michael Schuster of MichaelSchusterWine.com.

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