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Farmer John
Cruz Ruby
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Joined: 16:47 Thu 26 Apr 2018
Location: Near Ledbury, Herefordshire

Happy New Year!

Post by Farmer John » 12:41 Sat 28 Apr 2018

Hello, please forgive my enthusiastic entrance - I am a Scot but I assure you I am totally sober - however, I am so very delighted to find the Port Society and Forum. Your friendly and helpful notes have been both educational and invaluable. Many, many thanks.

In my dark and distant past I served in a Scottish Regiment and Vintage Port was usually served on St Andrew's night (side by side with Athol Brose) and a few other special dinners. However, as a callow youth and regardless of my enjoying the experience, I took little interest in the Wine cellar. Nevertheless, I now find that, despite my life of penury, I have been gifted a few bottles of vintage port - one is dated 1979 (Borges?) and I was thinking I really should put it to good use but lacked any practical knowledge on how best to decant (filter?) it and so I went googling for help and found you! I am very grateful and look forward to learning a great deal more about Port.

Kind regards,

John

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jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
Posts: 20433
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
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Re: Happy New Year!

Post by jdaw1 » 13:25 Sat 28 Apr 2018

Hello. And we like enthusiasm.

1979 is a very unusual year for Port. Are you sure it’s not a 1977 bottled 1979?

Anyway, decanting is easy. You’ll need a decanter, clean and dry, and a white funnel, also clean and dry. Pour free-hand, steady as she goes, until the first sediment is visible. Then put an unbleached coffee filter in the funnel, and put the remainder of the bottle through that. Wait an hour or three, then drink and enjoy.

Farmer John
Cruz Ruby
Posts: 2
Joined: 16:47 Thu 26 Apr 2018
Location: Near Ledbury, Herefordshire

Re: Happy New Year!

Post by Farmer John » 18:58 Sat 28 Apr 2018

Thank you. I had not understood the subtle importance of differentiating the cask date from the bottling date.

I have now retrieved the bottle from the bottom of the larder to look again and it definitely simply says 1979 with no mention of cask or bottling dates?
The label is showing some age but is still intact and reads:

Produce of Portugal
Vintage Port
1979
BORGES
OPORTO
Port wine growers
Sociedade Dos Vinhos Borges & Irmaq Sarl
Oporto-Portugal

There is also a wire with a lead plate around the neck of the bottle that is stamped : Vintage 1979

Does this mean that it may be of poor quality? It was a gift and so I am not out of pocket if it turns out to be a fraud but I am now very curious to know if there is any significance to this? I have heard of frauds carried out regarding Cuban cigars and so I expect it stands to reason that something similar may happen with wine?

I hope this is not a stupid question, but, after decanting the bottle must it all be consumed on the same day/evening? Will it keep for a certain period of time in the decanter?

Many thanks for your patience.

PhilW
Dow 1980
Posts: 2666
Joined: 14:22 Wed 15 Dec 2010
Location: Near Cambridge, UK

Re: Happy New Year!

Post by PhilW » 11:42 Sun 29 Apr 2018

Farmer John wrote:
18:58 Sat 28 Apr 2018
Thank you. I had not understood the subtle importance of differentiating the cask date from the bottling date.

I have now retrieved the bottle from the bottom of the larder to look again and it definitely simply says 1979 with no mention of cask or bottling dates?
The label is showing some age but is still intact and reads:

Produce of Portugal
Vintage Port
1979
BORGES
OPORTO
Port wine growers
Sociedade Dos Vinhos Borges & Irmaq Sarl
Oporto-Portugal

There is also a wire with a lead plate around the neck of the bottle that is stamped : Vintage 1979

Does this mean that it may be of poor quality? It was a gift and so I am not out of pocket if it turns out to be a fraud but I am now very curious to know if there is any significance to this? I have heard of frauds carried out regarding Cuban cigars and so I expect it stands to reason that something similar may happen with wine?

I hope this is not a stupid question, but, after decanting the bottle must it all be consumed on the same day/evening? Will it keep for a certain period of time in the decanter?

Many thanks for your patience.
Vintage 1979 essentially means that the wine is made from grapes harvested in that year. The wine will have gone into casks for 2-3 years and then bottled, most likely in 1981.

Regarding quality, 1979 is I'm afraid to say a very poor year, and Borges is a less well regarded producer. Nevertheless, if the wine has been well stored (kept in cool dark place at constant temperature) then the wine should still be fair to drink.

For decanting I would also mentioned surgical gauze as an option to the coffee filters; I no longer use the latter as they can strip too much flavour, and the surgical gauze has the advantage that you can put the whole bottle through it if you prefer with no ill effect. I would suggest decanting 4-8hrs prior to drinking; the wine will be at its best on the first evening, but will likely still be ok for the day or two.

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jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
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Location: London
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Re: Happy New Year!

Post by jdaw1 » 22:32 Sun 29 Apr 2018

Perhaps you could post a photograph (uploading instructions)?

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