NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

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Chris Doty
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NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by Chris Doty » 03:33 Sat 16 Jul 2011

Great night, chaps.

Wonderful to finally meet the NY TPF crew.

Key takeaways:

1.) 1970 is a very cellar-worthy vintage, with most of the top producers only now starting to enter their prime drinking windows

2.) Moderate bottle-to-bottle variability, but not nearly as bad as '77 or '85

3.) The top houses (Fonseca, Taylor, Graham, Dow) produced wines of a very high standard, with a tight band in overall enjoyability despite a wider array in flavor profiles, etc.

Personally, I thought the Dow (91+) was the WOTN, followed quite closely by the Fonseca (91), Taylor (90+) and Graham (90). The 'Warre' (which had a Quarrels Harris branded cork) was corked, sadly, and the Cockburn was simply outclassed.

Generally speaking, the wines brought to the tasting were the most distressed of among recent auction purchases (at least this was the case for the Taylor, Dow and Fonseca), which suggests a 'high bottom' for these producers from this year. While I've probably had better bottles of each of the wines on display tonight, it has reinforced the view that 1970 produced some really stellar exemplars of what top flight vintage port is all about.

More comprehensive notes to follow once I'm sober. Thank god for auto spell check!

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g-man
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NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by g-man » 05:00 Sat 16 Jul 2011

was a fantastic event meeting new fellow port lovers.

the wines of the night were the grahams, followed by the fonseca, then the dows. <-- this was an incorrect drunken post. see below for actual results.

Tasting notes to follow

wines for the evening

Fonseca,
Taylor,
Grahams,
Cockburn,
Warres (quarles harris),
Dows
Last edited by g-man on 17:36 Mon 18 Jul 2011, edited 1 time in total.
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SushiNorth
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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by SushiNorth » 15:09 Sat 16 Jul 2011

NYC 1970 VP Tasting Review
A very lovely evening, especially as it came together in a relatively short time.

Four of the ports were great, and one (Cockburn) was good but I agree that it was certainly outclassed. WOTN was the graceful Graham 1970, almost unanimously, but there was a considerable range of opinions beneath that. Several people liked the Taylor and Dow, others liked Fonseca and Dow, we'll hear more about them in the tasting notes but if I could compare them, I'd say the Taylor was too thin and without the usual Taylor flavors, the Fonseca too rough (for an F) but with the expected long mouthfeel, and the Dow needed more time. Between Fonseca and Dow, Fonseca had the classic characteristics of a great port, but flavor was a little too stereotypical, while the Dow was a little dry and lacked the long tail, but developed some excellent depth and interesting flavors over the course of the evening.

Last night was pop-and-pour, no wine had the 4 hours decant it needed, and the bottle condition lay quite naked. Very few of the bottles were in stellar condition. The Fonseca, Cockburn, Warre, and Dow all had some sign of seepage (anyone remember the taylor or graham underneath the capsule?). Particularly disappointing (as I've 5 more) was the warre that came with a surprise. The bottle is branded Warre 1970, it contains what looks to be a genuine Warre 1970 label, but the cork clearly says "QUARLE HARRIS 1970." It had a ton of bottle stink on it, and a few tasters noted "Corked." While we can say with certainty that it was old VP, likely of the same age as the other 70's, we have no idea whose it was; if anyone could shed light on why this dual naming might have happened, it would be appreciated.

The location (Sarabeth's) was kind to us, for we took up prime space for the entirety of their night (and practically closed the place down). The Chef sent out some plates, on the house, that he thought might go well with what he tasted in the WOTN (G70).

But perhaps the most important part of the evening was bringing Chris and Greg into the TPF NY circle, we look forward to more tastings with them in the future.
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Chris Doty
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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by Chris Doty » 17:16 Sat 16 Jul 2011

Indeed - quite a great night, and I should have mentioned that Sarabeth's turned out to be more accommodating than would have been reasonable to expect.

As for the WOTN, I think there was an issue in the calculation of votes. IIRC, Fonseca was voted #1, with Dow and Graham tied for #2-#3, and I believe Taylor wasn't very far behind, which I think is a fair reflection of the generally close level of quality across the top producers.

Detailed notes once I find my tasting sheet...

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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by JacobH » 19:00 Sat 16 Jul 2011

SushiNorth wrote:Particularly disappointing (as I've 5 more) was the warre that came with a surprise. The bottle is branded Warre 1970, it contains what looks to be a genuine Warre 1970 label, but the cork clearly says "QUARLE HARRIS 1970." It had a ton of bottle stink on it, and a few tasters noted "Corked." While we can say with certainty that it was old VP, likely of the same age as the other 70's, we have no idea whose it was; if anyone could shed light on why this dual naming might have happened, it would be appreciated.
Where was it bottled? If not in Oporto someone could have just banged the wrong corks in! I suppose another possible my be to do with the Warre 1970 being a commemorative bottling (perhaps there was a non-commemorative bottling, too?), but I don't have any other suggestions.
Image

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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by DRT » 20:15 Sat 16 Jul 2011

On 23 May 2011, g-man wrote:we seem to be quite thirsty after the build up in excitement that one of our fellow :tpf: from london came to join us for libations in NY.

Alas, I see an offline request missing so this is the place holder!
A mere 54 days later, SushiNorth wrote:A very lovely evening, especially as it came together in a relatively short time.
:?
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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by g-man » 04:07 Sun 17 Jul 2011

Sushi,

Paul Symington writes " Hello Jeff, my family own both Warre and Quarles Harris, so it is possible that we made a mistake when taking a bottle from the cellar. Can you send us the complete number on the Port Wine Institute seal on the neck of the bottle so that we can trace the bottle back to our cellars? Thanks, Paul Symington."
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g-man
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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by g-man » 04:08 Sun 17 Jul 2011

JacobH wrote:
SushiNorth wrote:Particularly disappointing (as I've 5 more) was the warre that came with a surprise. The bottle is branded Warre 1970, it contains what looks to be a genuine Warre 1970 label, but the cork clearly says "QUARLE HARRIS 1970." It had a ton of bottle stink on it, and a few tasters noted "Corked." While we can say with certainty that it was old VP, likely of the same age as the other 70's, we have no idea whose it was; if anyone could shed light on why this dual naming might have happened, it would be appreciated.
Where was it bottled? If not in Oporto someone could have just banged the wrong corks in! I suppose another possible my be to do with the Warre 1970 being a commemorative bottling (perhaps there was a non-commemorative bottling, too?), but I don't have any other suggestions.
the 77 quarles harris was a commemorative bottling as is the warres 1970.
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SushiNorth
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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by SushiNorth » 06:35 Sun 17 Jul 2011

g-man wrote:Sushi,

Paul Symington writes " Hello Jeff, my family own both Warre and Quarles Harris, so it is possible that we made a mistake when taking a bottle from the cellar. Can you send us the complete number on the Port Wine Institute seal on the neck of the bottle so that we can trace the bottle back to our cellars? Thanks, Paul Symington."
Conveniently, we have the bottle :)

Guarantia: SY / 153405 / 1
On the side of the bottle is stamped: a man on a horse facing left / Warre / 1970
On the bottom of the bottle is stamped: 8762 [space] 4 [space] "SB" (upside down)
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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by jdaw1 » 09:51 Sun 17 Jul 2011

Please post, in the TN thread, photographs of bottle, label, selo, capsule and cork.

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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by g-man » 17:35 Mon 18 Jul 2011

I stand corrected on wotn as the post was done drunk.

this is the sober results:

Fonseca does indeed come in first,
Grahams and Dow followed, but with the Grahams picking up the most 1st place votes.

Here are the breakdown of scores for WOTN:

T70: 5 pts
1- 2nd place
3- 3rd place

F70: 11 pts
4- 2nd place
1- 1st place

G70: 10 pts
3 - 1st place
1 - 3rd place

D70: 10 pts
2 - 1st place
1 - 2nd place
2 - 3rd place

Co, W: no points

1st place 3 points
2nd place 2 points
3rd place 1 point
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SushiNorth
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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by SushiNorth » 18:21 Mon 18 Jul 2011

Photos of the 1970 VP bottles & colors.
Image
Top left -> right: Fonseca, Warre, Cockburn
Bottom l->r: Taylor, Graham, Dow
Image
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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by PhilW » 14:11 Tue 19 Jul 2011

An interesting read, especially for me since my favourites are F70 and W77, and an interesting result regarding the odd cork in the Warres bottle. I notice from the tasting notes that you mention the cardboard and wood on the nose; I often find the latter (the woodiness, if that is a word) as a component of what I like about the W77; the cardboard is bad news though, and often seems to indicate the bottle to be partly corked as you said. One thing I have noticed is that occaisionally the cardboard seems to dissipate after ~24hrs; not always, but sometimes, and that Warres 77 in particular seems to benefit from at least 3-4hrs post-decant - I don't know if others have found this? It would also be interesting to know if there were any leftovers drunk subsequently and if so whether they improved?

Phil.

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Chris Doty
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Re: NY 1970s VP, Chris MIA tasting

Post by Chris Doty » 14:54 Tue 19 Jul 2011

Phil,

I also like the W77 (though the bottles are quite variable, in my experience), and have had really good prior experiences with the W70 as well, but the effort on show last friday was clearly flawed.

Nose was actually more like the inside of a brand new running shoe to me than actually wet cardboard, but the effect was very similar. On the palate, despite retaining its weight, and some of its mouthfeel (both good), there was zero fruit or actually any real taste sensation in the mouth, other than a touch of alcohol. Over time, I found the TCA was only more apparent, though I didn't re-check too often, as I was distracted by the D70, G70, F70, and T70 - all of which were quite lovely.

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