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Cheap Ruby
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Joined: 20:09 Sat 14 May 2016

Hello from Surrey

Post by Tarne » 20:22 Sat 14 May 2016

I have been having fun making a most enjoyable and interesting personal study of port.

For most of my life I just gratefully accepted glasses of port at appropriate times; some have been great, some awful and most somewhere in-between.

However, a coincidence of events sparked my interest to the extent I decided that when I had the time I would learn more about port.

So far my journey and thirst for knowledge has led me to various web sites, informative books such as 'Port of the Douro' and to the port shelves of most supermarkets/wine merchants.

My first questions were where do I start and with what? Given that my most memorably awful port was a Tawny I have chosen the 'ruby style route' first.

And, because I'm a great believer in the benefits of learning from the 'ground up' and of empirical evidence I started with all the basic ruby ports that I could find.

The more I discover the greater my learning curve seems to become but along the way I have treated myself to the following diversions:- Grahams Malevdos 1984; Quinta De La Rosa 2011; Sandemans Vau Vintage 2003; Cockburns Quinta Dos Canais 1995 and a Cockburns 1963 - until I tasted it my enjoyment of the latter was almost spoilt by my miserable failure to efficiently remove the disintegrating cork.

This introduction has been prompted by wanting to say how much I have enjoyed and learnt from the Forum, thank you.

The discussion on the cellaring of L B Vs is particularly helpful at the moment, not least because I have reached L B Vs on the learning curve and also because I couldn't resist taking advantage of a recent supermarket offering of Taylors LBV 2011 at £7.50/bottle.

And, although it will be sometime before I get into V P's in earnest and also be confident enough to make informed contributions I am stuck on something and need help with the following which, although a minor matter, is very puzzling.

I first tasted Dows Trade Mark and Master Blend special reserves last year and whilst I enjoyed both they were, despite Dows descriptions of the wines being manifestly the same, very different wines.

Having recently revisited them I found each as before and again noticeably different.

Despite researching the matter again I'm unable to see beyond Dows description of the origin of the wines. However, if you take Dows description of Trade Mark as read I would really welcome learning why Master Blend is such a different wine.

Is it just perhaps because they emanate from different Symington vineyards - if so which ones? - and then given manifestly the same descriptions (poor marketing in my view) or perhaps it is a Dows commercial secret and I should just move on?

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help me 'fill in the blanks'.

Dalva Golden White Colheita 1952
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Re: Hello from Surrey

Post by LGTrotter » 08:32 Sun 15 May 2016

Hello and welcome Tarne!

Glad to see that you are experimenting with port, it is certainly the best way to discover your personal tastes and prejudices, struggling with tawny is not uncommon, however it should not be written off entirely.

I am sorry but I really don't know what the origin of the two Dow ruby ports you mention are. I rarely pay much attention to the back label of these wines, my impression being that as they are made in large volumes I doubt the person who made it has much idea of where all the constituents came from. If they are anything like the back labels of most wines they will be grandiose and provide no actual information. Deliberate vagueness seems to be the hallmark. I would assume that they are made to some sort of recipe in order to get consistency in the product.

Please do make contributions wherever you wish, there are no right or wrong answers, however much we may pretend otherwise. If you have a note, or even some thoughts on the ports you mention it is worth putting them in the tasting note thread. There are not many tasting notes on the Malvedos 84 and a 63 is always worth a note.

Hopefully others may able to be more helpful about the Dow.

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Martinez 1985
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Location: Reigate, Surrey

Re: Hello from Surrey

Post by benread » 23:18 Mon 16 May 2016

Welcome. From Surrey. Not sure exactly where you are but London tastings very accessible from most of Surrey. I'm in Redhill/ Reigate area.
Vintage 1970!

Cheap Ruby
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Joined: 20:09 Sat 14 May 2016

Re: Hello from Surrey

Post by Tarne » 19:28 Tue 17 May 2016

Hi LGTrotter and Benread,

Many thanks for both your welcome and encouragement.

I am confident that my quest will eventually encompass Tawny, in fact recently all the marketing brouhaha for Warre's Otima induced me to 'stray from my path' and buy a 10 year old.

I thought it would be worth trying because from what I read it seemed to be an entry level Tawny produced to encourage new Tawny port drinkers.

However, after a couple of tastings I found the overly rich flavours too cloying. So, the balance was used by my wife to soak fruit for three weeks for a cake.

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