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Aug 27, 2013 06:02 AM

With all the press and hype over the 2011 Vintage Porto . . .

I thought this might be worth revisiting:

Port houses at odds over 2009

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  1. Zin, as we 60 year olds approach the "don't buy green bananas" stage of life, these portos are just teasing us as we will not live to enjoy them at their best....they are for the h**sters...:)

    5 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Well, still being 59 -- at least until November 8th -- I've bought some 2009s and ordered some 2011s . . .


      1. re: zin1953

        I envy you youngsters. It was only about 15 years ago, that I felt the same way. Go for it!


      2. re: Veggo


        That is where I am, as well. Young Bdx, young VP's, etc., are just not on the list anymore.

        As my wife DOES enjoy her VP's younger, than I do, if I find one of the top producers at a good price, I might pick up a bottle. As it is, I still have a couple of cases of '94 from both Taylor and Fonseca, plus a smathering of younger ones from Taylor, Fonseca, Dow and Grahams. Those will likely last the rest of my life, such that it is. Oh, and I still have bottles from the '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s, so I will not do without.


        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Bill, I recall the WS gave a 100 score to the 94 portos, have you taken an early sample, or when do you thing they will be ready? Thanks, Veg

          1. re: Veggo

            I have done two tastings, and of both the Taylor and Fonseca, and both were great.

            The first was before the WS award, but the second was after it. Luckily, I had bought a mixed case after that first tasting (I was young then), as the prices went up by 3x, for the second. Stuff happens, and I am seldom "ahead of the curve."

            Over the years, we are now down to about 6 btls. of each, an have enjoyed every bottle - my lovely wife, more than I, as she "likes 'em younger." Guess that I could refer to her as a "Port Cougar," but of course, not to her face. Still, though young, I have enjoyed those well. Will the evolve into the ultimate VP's? On that, I cannot be sure. They might, or I might not live long enough to fully enjoy their glory.

            Over the decades, I have enjoyed the Taylor '48, but it was not the ultimate. I have had the Taylor '55, and while good, was not the best ever. The '70 and '77 were spectacular, BUT, when all was said and done, the '63 was the winner! The '85s were good, but I am glad that we drank them young, per wife's wishes. I do not think that they will improve, and they actually fall below the lesser vintages in the '70s. The '94s? Well the ARE very, very good, and might well live up to their reputations in the future. Right now, I would place those behind the '63, ahead of those from the '70s, and blowing the doors off the '85s. I would put them above both the '55 and the '48, but not having them in the same room, at the same time, it's impossible for a simple wino, such as myself, to really do a critical comparison. Close, but who knows for sure?

            Now, if you have a bottle each of the '48 and '55, I think that I have a '63, a '70, a '77, several '85's, and then the two '94s. We can do a tasting, before I check out. Also, I will throw in a bottle of each '20xx that I have in the cellar. I will even add Cubans, but ONLY after we have tasted these Ports. I will provide a nice Tawny for the cigars.


      3. As all the other old f**ts my latest vintage is 1994 as well.
        Last one drank was a 1970 Taylor's at Totoraku in Los Angeles with a hound or two.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          It would be nice if you bring a '63 with the Epoisses in November.

        2. Do any good Port makers bottle in 375 ml bottles? As the only port drinker in my house, I waste half a bottle due to oxidation before finishing a 750ml bottle. I dont seem to see them at wine shops

          16 Replies
          1. re: budnball

            I have only seen sauternes in splits. Gee, it shouldn't take more than a few days to finish off a VP solo.

            1. re: Veggo

              I have never come close to finishing a 750 ml bottle of port in less than a month. And by then end there is either major flavor fade or I am bored with it.

              1. re: budnball

                You need to collect more port-loving friends! They are out there. I agree a month is too long, maybe 10 days.

            2. re: budnball

              budnball, I've seen MANY ports in 375ml bottles. Usually the "better" ones.

              1. re: c oliver

                I'm not aware of 375ml VP's before 1980. Which are the better ones you reference? Thanks.

                1. re: budnball

                  EVERY major Port house -- and many minor ones -- produce Porto in half-bottles. Indeed, it's one of the few *categories* of wine which is ALWAYS available in half-bottles. This is especially true of Vintage and LBV Porto, Vintage Character Porto, 10-Year and sometimes 20-year Tawny Porto as well.

                  The issue is not whether the house bottles 375ml bottles; the issue is whether or not a specific retailer stocks them! (And clearly, you're going to the wrong shops.) ;^)

                  Quinta do Crasto
                  Quinta do Noval
                  Taylor, Fladgate
                  . . . to name but a few.

                  1. re: zin1953

                    Check out the Wine Exchange or J.J. Buckley, Premier Cru, Wine Club, and others . . .

                    1. re: zin1953

                      I have sending most of my time at K&L in Redwood city and they may have had a few but all I saw were 750s. And on their website were offers for 2011 pre orders in 375 but not much otherwise. I will look into these others, thanx.

                      1. re: zin1953

                        I looked at these sites and there is not much choice. Mostly they are listing 2011 pre-orders like K&L.

                        1. re: budnball

                          Really? I have to do all your work?? Really???

                          n.v. Fonseca "Bin 27" Vintage Character Porto - 375ml -

                          n.v. Warre's Otima 10-Year Tawny porto - 500ml -

                          1974 Kopke Colheita Porto - 375ml -

                          1977 Dow's Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          1983 Graham's Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          1992 Fonseca Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          1994 Fonseca Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          1994 Graham's Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          1994 Warre's Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          1995 Quinta do Infantado Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          1997 Taylor, Fladgate Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          2000 Dow's Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          2000 Fonseca Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          2003 Churchill's Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          2003 Taylor, Fladgate Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          2003 Warre's Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          2007 Smith Woodhouse Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          2009 Fonseca Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          2009 Niepoort Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          2009 Taylor, Fladgate Vintage Porto - 375ml -

                          Most of these are in stock, ready to buy; some -- especially the oldest ones -- may be pre-arrival, but then again, that was the business I was in . . . importing bottles of older Vintage Porto.

                          Should I continue?

                            1. re: zin1953

                              Thanx for the all the info and no you don't have to. I seldom venture to the east bay and automatically edit it from my choices, but looking closer, I have found more availability locally.

                              1. re: budnball

                                FWIW, Beltramo's and K&L are -- obviously -- near you. Premier Cru and JJ Buckley are, indeed, in the East Bay, but the latter is an internet retailer. While I pick up my wines from them, you could certainly have them shipped. Wine Exchange is in Southern California, and I regularly buy from them as well.

                                San Francisco Wine Trading Co. is in, well, SF. Also, the Wine Club is in San Francisco and Santa Clara (as well as Santa Ana) . . . certainly the Santa Clara store isn't that far from you. ;^)

                      2. re: budnball

                        For clarification, b, a split is half as much as a half bottle, in other words, 187 ml. The only wines I've seen that come like are sparklings but there may be more. Trying to remember if I got a split of ice wine in Banff, Canada, some years ago.