21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

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AHB
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21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by AHB » 16:20 Sun 25 Jun 2017

A big thank you to everyone who was able to make it to Portugal last week. I had a great time and so much fun, it was good to catch up with folks from the Port Forum and friends from the industry. The itinerary was designed to allow people lots of time and opportunity to explore Oporto and the Douro while also giving a core of some very special events. The main itinerary was:
  • Wednesday 21st June - Dinner at the Factory House
  • Thursday 22nd June - The Confraria Ceremony and Gala Dinner
  • Friday 23rd June - São João Party and Dinner at the Yeatman
I've already had two requests from people who weren't able to join us in Portugal for pictures and details so I thought I'd start a review thread and add some of my pictures in due course. I'll also drop an email to people who attended to find a way to share pictures.

Please also post in this thread the visits you made outside the main itinerary. I heard of lots of interesting visits, such as a complete Dalva Golden White vertical that would be great to have recorded on TPF.

And this is the list of ports we drank at the main itinerary events:
Factory House Dinner Confraria Gala Dinner Sao Joao Dinner at the Yeatman
  • Graham 1960
  • Warre 1966 (two bottles)
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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AHB
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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by AHB » 16:23 Sun 25 Jun 2017

And if anyone has lost or misplaced their menu from the Factory House dinner, please let me know as I have 3 spare copies.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by DRT » 23:01 Sun 25 Jun 2017

A splendid visit indeed and a massive thanks is due to AHB for his extraordinary efforts in organising these complex events. Everything went according to plan and every curve-ball he was thrown was batted out of the ground with aplomb.

Bravo, sir, bravo!
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by AHB » 23:17 Sun 25 Jun 2017

DRT wrote:
23:01 Sun 25 Jun 2017
A splendid visit indeed and a massive thanks is due to AHB for his extraordinary efforts in organising these complex events. Everything went according to plan and every curve-ball he was thrown was batted out of the ground with aplomb.

Bravo, sir, bravo!
Thank you kindly.

In line with my request for people to post their off itinerary visits, I thought I would post mine for Monday.

Monday afternoon saw me in a bar on Avenida Diogo Leite next to the Sandeman lodge. I had a half bottle of Dalva 2004 LBV (enjoyable) and a half bottle of Dalva 2011 (very good). Also I had a late dinner on Monday evening in the garden of a friend's house. It was sweltering hot so we stayed outside. We shared several bottles including Graham 1972 Single Harvest Tawny, Croft 1970, Croft 1945, Fonseca Guimaraens 1942 and Ramos Pinto Branco Seco 1890 (bottled in the 1920s). There was also a bottle of white wine — of which I failed to take a photo — and a bottle of Chryseia 2014.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by AHB » 14:14 Mon 26 Jun 2017

Tuesday morning I made my first visit to the Graham Lodge since the refurbishment three (or was it four?) years ago. I booked in advance, as required, and took the chance to look round the museum at the entrance to the tour. I was taken round by Svetlana, who coped admirably with a group that comprised of novices to port as well as with me (and DRT and JDAW). The funniest moment was when she stood by the 1882 barrels looking at the three of us and said a bit smugly "This is one wine you won't have tasted!". We corrected her gently. The tour was great, Svetlana was knowledgeable and was happy to chat about port, the region and Symington Family Estates at length. I did get lost at one point when I became distracted by taking pictures of Graham's bottles from 1870, 1873, 1875, 1876, 1884, 1887, 1890, 1896, 1897, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1912, 1917, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1927 and 1935.

We followed the tour with a tasting in the Private Vintage Room. I chose the premium vintage port tasting which meant the tour and tasting was €40. The wines poured for the tasting were Graham 2003, 2000 and 1983. While sitting in the Private Vintage Room we noticed a sign saying that the Vintage Port of the Day was only €10 per glass so, naturally, we asked what the vintage port of the day was. "We have three," came the reply, "Warre 1980, Dow 1985 and Vesuvio 1995." We each had a glass of each. The pours were around 60-70ml, so quite generous.

At 13.30 we went through to Vinum for lunch and had a splendid meal. We had the Suckling Pig from the main course menu as a starter, followed by a 1.2kg Vaca Velha sirloin steak. This was washed down with bottles of Graham 40YO Tawny, Martinez 1970, Malvedos 2004 and a half bottle of Malvedos 2005. We left around 17.30 as it became obvious we were in the way of the staff preparing for the evening dinner.

I thoroughly recommend a visit to both the Lodge and lunch at Vinum if you have not done either.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by DRT » 19:32 Mon 26 Jun 2017

In the spirit of sharing experiences (as requested by our organiser) I can confirm that I did the same things as AHB apart from the two halves of Dalva due to a slightly later arrival :grin:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by AHB » 21:05 Mon 26 Jun 2017

Tuesday night we had dinner at O Paparico and caught up with Roy Hersh face to face for the first time in four years. It was a long evening, Andy arrived during the afternoon and Christopher joined us around midnight straight from the airport. There was a magnum of wine opened, which I remember was delicious but I drank sparingly as I really wanted to focus on the ports. We had a small Sandeman vertical with 1967, 1966, 1957 and 1955. Roy had also very kindly brought to Portugal a bottle of 1963 vintage port from Pinto dos Santos Junior. I had had this once before at my 50th birthday, but that had been a spoiled bottle - it was great to be able to try a bottle in fine form.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by DRT » 23:15 Mon 26 Jun 2017

AHB wrote:
21:05 Mon 26 Jun 2017
Tuesday night we had dinner at O Paparico and caught up with Roy Hersh face to face for the first time in four years. It was a long evening, Andy arrived during the afternoon and Christopher joined us around midnight straight from the airport. There was a magnum of wine opened, which I remember was delicious but I drank sparingly as I really wanted to focus on the ports. We had a small Sandeman vertical with 1967, 1966, 1957 and 1955. Roy had also very kindly brought to Portugal a bottle of 1963 vintage port from Pinto dos Santos Junior. I had had this once before at my 50th birthday, but that had been a spoiled bottle - it was great to be able to try a bottle in fine form.
Ditto.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by Axel P » 12:06 Tue 27 Jun 2017

Some add-on-tastings and time really flew....

Tasted in the Douro Superior:
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Then to Dirks place for lunch:
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and finished with this. Fantastic. Thank you Dirk. Incredibly fresh for this time in the bottle:
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Fanastic tasting at Dalva. Followed by the traditional 3,5 hour light lunch at the Espacio Cruz. Thank you, Elsa, Jose Manuel and Pedro:
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Last edited by Axel P on 12:11 Tue 27 Jun 2017, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by Axel P » 12:10 Tue 27 Jun 2017

Next day at Pocas:
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Followed by lunch in the OCLTC with the danish friends and Alvaro:
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Noval 1962 Crusted

Then a short stop at Dirk prior to Sao Joao at the Yeatman:
Thank you Tom, exactly alike the other bottle we had some hours earlier:
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Never had this before, toasted properly to the Kaiser and to Pedro, who brought it
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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by AHB » 08:58 Thu 29 Jun 2017

I'm slowly getting my pictures catalogued, but it will be a while before I'm ready to post any pictures.

Wednesday lunchtime saw me eating in Restaurante Tony in Matosinhos. This is a lovely seafood restaurant right on the beach about 30 minutes drive from Oporto and quite close to the airport. One of the specialities of the restaurant are sea barnacles. These are small shellfish which need to have a leathery membrane peeled off them before eating the soft flesh inside. Unfortunately if you don't hold them and peel them correctly they can squirt their load of pink juice all over the place. At least one shirt was written off with a long streak of pink running up one side.

Sadly the meal had to be cut short in order to head to the Factory House, but the sea barnacles, clams and turbot were all fabulous and were matched by some lovely port which comprised of bottles of Dow 1970, Fonseca 1966 and Cockburn 1947.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by AHB » 18:22 Thu 29 Jun 2017

And then on Thursday lunchtime we tried another new restaurant. This time we went to Casa Ribeiro Restaurante on the Praça dos Poveiros, which had been recommended to us for the suckling pig. They roast several suckling pigs every day, so it is always fresh and hot. We started with small pitta-bread style sandwiches of thinly sliced meat spiced with a hot pepper sauce. This was followed by chunks of pig on a plate, covered with crisps and a slice or two of sweet orange - perfect for 5 hungry men!

We went equipped with an armful of wine and washed the pig down with Papa Figos Branco 2016, Vinha Grande Branco 2015, Vinha Grande Rosé 2016 (100% Touriga Nacional), Papa Figos Tinto 2015, Vinha Grange Tinto 2014, Callabriga 2014, Quinta da Leda 2014 and Quinta da Leda 2010 (from magnum). We followed the wine with port and washed down the main course of pig with Dona Antonia Reserva Branco NV, Dona Antonia Reserve Tawny NV, Ferreira 10 Year Old Tawny (bottled 2017), Ferreira 20 year old tawny (bottled 2016), Ferreira LBV 2012, Ferreira Quinta do Porto 2015 (cask sample), Dow 1963 (Oporto bottled), Croft 1960 (Oporto bottled) and Graham 1960 (Grants of St James's).

We were well set up for the Confraria dinner!
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by AHB » 20:47 Sat 01 Jul 2017

Friday morning I visited the Ramos Pinto lodge, where I had made an appointment to visit the museum (which is open to the public, but only by appointment). This is a really interesting snapshot of what the port business must have been like 100 years ago. The museum is made up of the office where customers would have visited to place their orders, make payment and be entertained if they were important customers. It includes a good selection of the posters for which RP is famous and lots of other interesting bits and pieces which relate to the history of RP. Occasionally Ramos Pinto will take visitors on a guided tour of their historic cellars and I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to join such a visit.

At the end of the visit I had the chance to try the 1983 vintage components (Barroca, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz) and to compare these with the final blend. I also tasted the 20 year old tawny and was challenged to identify which of the three colheitas 1924, 1909 and 1900 had been used in the blend. I guessed 1900 from the length of its finish but it was actually the 1924. I was also able to try the 10 and 30 year old tawnies alongside the 20 year old. Also in the tasting were the NV Lagrima Tinto (a new product on the market and a new category of port), the 2013 LBV, the 2014 Bom Retiro and the 2015 Ervamoira - which was beautifully elegant. This was followed by the White Reserva, 1964 branco colheita, 1884 branco colheita and 1884 colheita.

The tasting was amazing, but I ran out of time and had to leave to make my lunch appointment. Lunch was deliciously Portuguese with a main course of bacalhau. This was washed down by a bottle of Niepoort 1963 (bottled 1991), a bottle of Ramos Pinto 1927 (bottled 1932), a bottle of Ramos Pinto 1983 (bottled 1985) and a bottle of Martinez 1945.

All in all, an excellent morning!
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by AHB » 20:54 Sat 01 Jul 2017

On Saturday I visited the Croft Lodge where work has begun on the World of Port project. There is a very interesting exhibition of historic photographs of Oporto, Vila Nova de Gaia and the Douro that took me a couple of hours to brows through. There's also a room showing some of the architect's models of the new project and some artist's impressions of the completed project. Entry to the World of Port room is free and is €5 for the photography exhibition. Included in the price is a glass of Croft Pink Port - which when mixed with a lot of ice and even more tonic was a very pleasant and thirst quenching drink.

After the exhibition I headed for the quayside to wave good luck to anyone I knew who was on a boat in the rabello race. On the way I got distracted by the Quinta Santa Eufemia lodge which has replaced the Quevedo tasting room. I called in and tasted the 2003 colheita and 2014 vintage port.

Eventually I reached the quayside just as the final boats were leaving. I managed to wave to a couple of people before retiring to a restaurant for lunch and a glass of Dow 2011 LBV.

And that was my visit to Oporto. After lunch it was a taxi ride to the airport and a flight home.

Thanks everyone for a really great time. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. My next wine challenge now is to get the BFT to run as smoothly in 2018 as Ben was able to run it in 2016. Wish me luck...
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by DaveRL » 16:01 Mon 03 Jul 2017

Thanks all for the write ups - sounded excellent, sorry I was not able to go. Good luck with BFT, AHB, and I'm sure it will also be a great success.

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by flash_uk » 17:12 Mon 03 Jul 2017

Alex - a massive thank you for organising a superb anniversary trip to Porto. I will make a more complete write—up of my trip experiences as soon as I can!

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by AHB » 15:47 Mon 31 Jul 2017

Did anyone take a picture of or make a note of the bottle which Dirk Niepoort brought to the Confraria Gala Dinner? I'm not sure if the correct spelling of the producer is "Amandio" or "Armandio".

Thanks.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by Christopher » 18:41 Sat 05 Aug 2017

Alex
Great Admin on arranging this most wonderful few days!

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Re: 21-23 June 2017: The Port Forum 10th Anniversary Celebration

Post by AHB » 22:41 Fri 03 Nov 2017

I've just finished posting my tasting notes from the trip to Oporto in June and added links to the notes from the storyline above.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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