NV Rodrigo Tawny

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Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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nac
Martinez 1985
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NV Rodrigo Tawny

Post by nac »

A single bottle purchased from a French supermarket in Provence in August 2022 for just over 5 euros. It was on the bottom shelf.

The back label identifies it as Quarles Harris.

Has now been open for about a week, but Vac-U-Vined in between glasses, and has marginally improved since first broaching.

Looks like Ruby with possibly the slightest hint of some tawny on the rim. Lots of dark fresh fruit on the nose (again you might think it’s a Ruby); possibly a hint of wood. And the palate similar - a Ruby with just the hint of some tawny development. Alcohol is massively out of balance and it’s this that hits you first (and second) - although apparently only 18% (feels like more).

For 5 euro wasn’t expecting much, and am therefore not disappointed. I suspect this would have been better if they’d just left it without any wood.

Avoid.
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nac
Martinez 1985
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Re: NV Rodrigo Tawny

Post by nac »

Some images...
Rodrigo Front.JPG
Rodrigo Front.JPG (36.53 KiB) Viewed 1219 times
Rodrigo Back.JPG
Rodrigo Back.JPG (49.49 KiB) Viewed 1219 times
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JacobH
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
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Re: NV Rodrigo Tawny

Post by JacobH »

That’s all quite odd! I didn’t think you could bottle tawny Port at 18% and also that the Quarles Harris company would have been long dead...

I assume if it was meant for the French market the expectation would be that you’d drink it cold which might lower the spirity-ness of it?
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Glenn E.
Graham’s 1977
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Re: NV Rodrigo Tawny

Post by Glenn E. »

IIRC the limit is 19% to 22%, but I have seen with my own eyes a bottle of Noval that said 23% on the label. Unfortunately I do not recall exactly which bottle of Noval, though I do think it was ruby in color rather than tawny.
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JacobH
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
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Re: NV Rodrigo Tawny

Post by JacobH »

I think one shipper said that they were taking advantage of the width of the IVDP’s tolerances to make Port at a lower ABV which would then be rounded up to the minimum, although I am not sure how that gets us down to 18% or up to 23%!
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Alex Bridgeman
Constantino 1927
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Re: NV Rodrigo Tawny

Post by Alex Bridgeman »

I think the regulations were changed relatively recently to allow Port (or at least certain types of Port) to be made with 18% alcohol levels. IIRC, this was to drop the wine into a lower EU duty band.
Top Ports in 2021: Niepoort Garrafeira 1931; Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Cockburn 1969 Single Harvest Tawny

Top Port in 2022 so far: the most stunning bottle of Quinta do Noval Nacional 1931. I have never drunk such a wonderful bottle of Port.
Andy Velebil
Dow 1980
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Re: NV Rodrigo Tawny

Post by Andy Velebil »

Regulation was lowered for certain categories of ports, forgot which.

QH is not dead as a brand, it’s been put into hiatus (easiest way to explain). I could think of a few scenarios to use QH as the producer.

- don’t want SFE listed on label
- keep QH used to prevent various loss of rights related to brand.
- tax issues
- importer/distributor reasons.

**No idea if any of those are the actual reason.
Mike J. W.
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Re: NV Rodrigo Tawny

Post by Mike J. W. »

Andy Velebil wrote: 13:36 Tue 22 Nov 2022 Regulation was lowered for certain categories of ports, forgot which.

QH is not dead as a brand, it’s been put into hiatus (easiest way to explain). I could think of a few scenarios to use QH as the producer.

- don’t want SFE listed on label
- keep QH used to prevent various loss of rights related to brand.
- tax issues
- importer/distributor reasons.

**No idea if any of those are the actual reason.
Financial issues could be a big reason why they keep the QH name alive. In any acquisition (at least in the U.S., although I suspect there are somewhat similar rules in the EU countries), value is assigned to the name and trademark etc when a company is acquired. If they totally do away with the name for good they would have to write that value off their Balance Sheet and take a hit to their P&L. It's a non-cash hit, but a hit nonetheless.
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JacobH
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
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Re: NV Rodrigo Tawny

Post by JacobH »

These are all good points. What surprised me more than keeping the name going was that the company still seems to exist (see the "S.A." on the back of the bottle after Quarles Harris). I thought they've have wound that into the Symington company to avoid having a mess of subsidiaries lying around. But obviously there are reasons otherwise they wouldn't have done so!

Andy makes an interesting point about the Symingtons not always wanting their name on the bottle. I am pretty sure this is a factor in the TFP "Quinta and Vineyard Bottlers" which is the ultra-bland name they use for their buyers' own brand Port.
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