1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

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jeremy.orrell
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1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by jeremy.orrell » 12:21 Thu 09 Jul 2020

I have 10 bottles of Taylor's 1985 port and I am considering selling some. I am not a great port drinker and am worried that they may pass their best before they are drunk. I would like to keep a few bottles for myself, depending on their 'shelf life'. Of course the other consideration is the price they might achieve! They have been stored in the dark in their crate under the stairs at my parents farmhouse which never seems to get too hot or too cold.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Glenn E.
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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by Glenn E. » 21:55 Thu 09 Jul 2020

The good news is that these are in their prime right now and drinking well. There's no danger of them fading soon, though since they're currently in their prime the time to drink is now - and over the next 10 years. After that they will likely begin to fade, but will be lovely for another 20 years.

The bad news is that 1985 Taylor, while a good Port, is not among the best Ports from 1985 or otherwise. They're worth perhaps 60 EU each at retail, which means you might get around half of that in a private sale. Storage has not been ideal but it has not been actively bad. Port, like any wine, should be kept in a cool place ideally at around 12-14 C. Room temp - as long as it doesn't vary constantly - isn't terrible, but it also isn't good.

I'm in the US so not your target market for a sale, but someone else here may be interested.
Glenn Elliott

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AHB
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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by AHB » 09:14 Fri 10 Jul 2020

Jeremy - it might help if you mentioned where you (or at least, the bottles) are located.
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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DRT
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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by DRT » 22:39 Fri 10 Jul 2020

Glenn E. wrote:
21:55 Thu 09 Jul 2020
The bad news is that 1985 Taylor, while a good Port, is not among the best Ports from 1985 or otherwise.
I disagree with that quite strongly. Taylor 1985 had a bit of a bad reputation a decade ago but it has matured beautifully. I think I have only drunk about 24 of them in the past five years so might be wrong :lol:

Jeremy, you have some very fine bottles of Port. Unfortunately, 1985 from any producer does not yet command a high price. It sells for about the same as the latest released vintage, which makes it an absolute steal for purchasers. It is quite bizarre that we can buy 35 year old Vintage Port on the open market for the same price as the wines produced two years ago. For that reason 1985 Taylor will not make you rich. You should consider keeping it and drinking them over the rest of your lifetime. They will be utterly fabulous after Christmas dinner.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

Glenn E.
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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by Glenn E. » 22:59 Fri 10 Jul 2020

DRT wrote:
22:39 Fri 10 Jul 2020
Glenn E. wrote:
21:55 Thu 09 Jul 2020
The bad news is that 1985 Taylor, while a good Port, is not among the best Ports from 1985 or otherwise.
I disagree with that quite strongly. Taylor 1985 had a bit of a bad reputation a decade ago but it has matured beautifully. I think I have only drunk about 24 of them in the past five years so might be wrong :lol:
I have nowhere near that much recent experience with it (and am jealous that you do), but the experience that I do have hasn't changed over the last 10 years. It is a fine, but not outstanding, Vintage Port. In 1985, the Fonseca, Graham, Dow, Gould Campbell, and Smith Woodhouse (in approximately that order) are all superior to Taylor at least in my usual experience.

Though before jdaw1 steps in to be pedantic about it, I will admit that coming in #7 out of the 30+ we had at our blind 1985 horizontal in 2015 could be argued to be among the best Ports from 1985. It just doesn't come to mind as being special to me. It beat Gould Campbell and Smith Woodhouse on that occasion, but lost out to Croft, Kopke, and Warre (in addition to Fonseca, Graham, and Dow).

FWIW I typically give it 91-92 points whereas the others mentioned above typically receive 93-95 points. It is entirely possible that my standards are too high. :lol:
Glenn Elliott

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jdaw1
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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by jdaw1 » 10:31 Sun 12 Jul 2020

DRT wrote:
22:39 Fri 10 Jul 2020
I disagree with that quite strongly. Taylor 1985 had a bit of a bad reputation a decade ago but it has matured beautifully.
It was very junior to the Fonseca. But in the last few years the Fonseca has lost some oomph, as the Taylor has grown into a lovely silky mature thing. So I agree with Derek.

DRT wrote:
22:39 Fri 10 Jul 2020
I think I have only drunk about 24 of them in the past five years so might be wrong
Alas I haven’t.

DRT wrote:
22:39 Fri 10 Jul 2020
You should consider keeping it and drinking them over the rest of your lifetime. They will be utterly fabulous after Christmas dinner.
Agreed.

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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by Andy Velebil » 04:54 Mon 13 Jul 2020

Fonseca May have, temporarily, lost some oomph as IMO it is in a phase right now, but 1985 Taylor will never be great. Good yes, great no.

PCM
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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by PCM » 10:48 Mon 13 Jul 2020

Andy Velebil wrote:
04:54 Mon 13 Jul 2020
Fonseca May have, temporarily, lost some oomph as IMO it is in a phase right now, but 1985 Taylor will never be great. Good yes, great no.
Andy, imho I miss some words after "Taylor will...." : "in my humble opinion". There is no absolute verdict (unless your name is Donald Trump ofcourse)!!

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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by Andy Velebil » 01:52 Tue 14 Jul 2020

PCM wrote:
10:48 Mon 13 Jul 2020
Andy Velebil wrote:
04:54 Mon 13 Jul 2020
Fonseca May have, temporarily, lost some oomph as IMO it is in a phase right now, but 1985 Taylor will never be great. Good yes, great no.
Andy, imho I miss some words after "Taylor will...." : "in my humble opinion". There is no absolute verdict (unless your name is Donald Trump ofcourse)!!
That was my name until I changed it :P :lol: I'm quite sure the vast majority will agree that 1985 Taylor's is a very good VP, but it will never achieve the status of the great ones like Fonseca. Lets be honest and call it what it is, with the notable exception of 1985 Fonseca, 1980-1985 was not a great period for the Fladgate Partnership's Vintage Ports.

Glenn E.
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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by Glenn E. » 04:36 Tue 14 Jul 2020

Andy Velebil wrote:
01:52 Tue 14 Jul 2020
Lets be honest and call it what it is, with the notable exception of 1985 Fonseca, 1980-1985 was not a great period for the Fladgate Partnership's Vintage Ports.
*cough*
1987 Taylor Vargellas
*cough*

Oh wait, you cleverly cut it off at 1985 instead of saying "the 80s" as we usually do. :wink: :lol:
Glenn Elliott

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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by Andy Velebil » 04:38 Tue 14 Jul 2020

Glenn E. wrote:
Andy Velebil wrote:
01:52 Tue 14 Jul 2020
Lets be honest and call it what it is, with the notable exception of 1985 Fonseca, 1980-1985 was not a great period for the Fladgate Partnership's Vintage Ports.
*cough*
1987 Taylor Vargellas
*cough*

Oh wait, you cleverly cut it off at 1985 instead of saying "the 80s" as we usually do. :wink: :lol:
For many years, long before most, I’ve said 1987 should have been generally declared.

jeremy.orrell
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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by jeremy.orrell » 23:12 Sat 25 Jul 2020

Good evening, apologies for my absence from the discussion and thank you for your thoughtful and knowledgeable comments. The bottles are located in Cornwall. It is a relief to know that they will last for a good while yet and I am now tempted to keep them. The thought of opening a bottle after Christmas dinner does indeed tempt me! Thank you again.

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AHB
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Re: 1985 Taylo'rs Vintage port

Post by AHB » 17:14 Thu 30 Jul 2020

Jeremy

It is a lovely Port which will be drinking wonderfully for another decade or two. After Christmas dinner might not be the best time to appreciate the Port - I know my Christmas dinners tend to leave me feeling vastly overfed and worse for wear. If you can, open the bottle when it will be the main focus of proceedings - I tend to open my good Port on Christmas Eve when we sit and relax after all the preparations for the next day are done.

But enjoy it; and please, please do come back and tell us what you think of the Port when you drink it (or if you need any guidance on decanting it).

Alex
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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