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14 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

1931 Noval. as good a port as i have ever had. 100 points without even getting out of bed. it was spectacular. so fresh, so young. but still so complex. blew us away.  

saw yesterday that it is now estimated in auctions at between A$10K and $12K. 

That's how good they really are!  I picked up a '27 Warres I plan to have in February with a friend.

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This thread cost me some money. I picked up a few bottles of Cockburn’s 2016 vintage and Graham’s 2016 vintage last weekend. The plan is not to open any of them till 2030.  I’ve never done this before (with port) so if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to respond. 

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1 hour ago, Cayman17 said:

This thread cost me some money. I picked up a few bottles of Cockburn’s 2016 vintage and Graham’s 2016 vintage last weekend. The plan is not to open any of them till 2030.  I’ve never done this before (with port) so if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to respond. 

both really good, especially the grahams. both will go longer than most of us will live. i'd suggest at 14 years, they will still be very young. 20-25 if you can. if you have enough then certainly try one earlier. look for some dows, taylors, fonseca, crasto, pintas, warres as well. though it is very hard to go wrong. 

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8 minutes ago, Ken Gargett said:

both really good, especially the grahams. both will go longer than most of us will live. i'd suggest at 14 years, they will still be very young. 20-25 if you can. if you have enough then certainly try one earlier. look for some dows, taylors, fonseca, crasto, pintas, warres as well. though it is very hard to go wrong. 

I definitely have enough Cockburn’s to try one earlier. The Grahams was more expensive so I only bought two bottles, but maybe I will grab another. The only other 2016 vintage available through our state-run liquor store (I hate Pennsylvania) is the Dow’s, but it was fairly expensive too. I’ll try to grab two Dows as well. They are limited availability so I tried to get in there and stock up while I can. 

Thank you, Ken. I feel better about my purchase now. 

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Just now, Cayman17 said:

I definitely have enough Cockburn’s to try one earlier. The Grahams was more expensive so I only bought two bottles, but maybe I will grab another. The only other 2016 vintage available through our state-run liquor store (I hate Pennsylvania) is the Dow’s, but it was fairly expensive too. I’ll try to grab two Dows as well. They are limited availability so I tried to get in there and stock up while I can. 

Thank you, Ken. I feel better about my purchase now. 

definitely some dows. also spectacular.  without knowing exactly what you paid, i suspect you will have some of the best bargains imaginable. for me, these ports fro 2016 are the equivalent of first growth bordeaux or grand cru burgs from a top year. at a fraction of the price. 

you should feel really excited, not just better. 

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Again, thank you. My wife and I both enjoy port, and I wanted to get something special we could open when our six-week-old twin boys turn 21 years. So this thread was very timely. 

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I had a bottle of Dow's 94 Vintage Port a while back, and it was very good, super complex.

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Great information here. I've always wanted to get into Port wines and this helps. If I want to store some for many years, what is the best way? I do have a sub basement that stays between 63-68° F year round.

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Just now, Lomey said:

Great information here. I've always wanted to get into Port wines and this helps. If I want to store some for many years, what is the best way? I do have a sub basement that stays between 63-68° F year round.

my thoughts are that is a bit too warm. knock off ten degrees at least. it might depend on the amount you have stored. i would also say that unless you have had the area properly monitored, 24 hours a day, 365 days, you might be stunned at how far off those figures are. see this all the time. if you do not have the proper conditions, professional storage the best option. if you have a cellar of decent ports, mad not to make sure they are well stored. i have learnt from bitter experience. 

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I'd say roundabout 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That's the appropriate aging temp for all wines. Serving temps are a different story altogether...

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On 1/10/2019 at 4:16 AM, Ken Gargett said:

my thoughts are that is a bit too warm. knock off ten degrees at least. it might depend on the amount you have stored. i would also say that unless you have had the area properly monitored, 24 hours a day, 365 days, you might be stunned at how far off those figures are. see this all the time. if you do not have the proper conditions, professional storage the best option. if you have a cellar of decent ports, mad not to make sure they are well stored. i have learnt from bitter experience. 

To be fair, how many cellars in the Douro or Porto stay in the 50's all year round?  None I'd imagine.  As long as the cellar is not into the 70's you should be okay.  70 is the break point, but the lower the temperature the better.  There is also debate on whether constant or seasonal temperature swings are better for storing wine in the long term (30+ years).  

I did a wine tasting with Jean-Phillipe Bourdy from the Jura whose current wine catalog goes back like 150 years is convinced that seasonal swings are better for long term aging.  If you want to only age like 40 years then steady temps are fine.  Going the long haul the swings are necessary to him as he sees wine as a living thing that needs the swings.  Granted, that does not mean going into the 70's for temp.  Port is pretty robust, and my general rule is to drink the worst to best within a particular case.  Drink the leakers first!

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On 1/9/2019 at 4:39 PM, Cayman17 said:

Again, thank you. My wife and I both enjoy port, and I wanted to get something special we could open when our six-week-old twin boys turn 21 years. So this thread was very timely. 

What is their birth year?

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2 hours ago, Cayman17 said:

2018 

Well it's a couple of years still before 2018 Vintage Ports are released.  If you don't plan to buy multiple cases, perhaps lesser amounts of the higher end stuff would be good investment (assuming they release it) like Grahams Stone Terraces, Noval Nacional, or Taylor VVV?

 

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22 minutes ago, BrightonCorgi said:

Well it's a couple of years still before 2018 Vintage Ports are released.  If you don't plan to buy multiple cases, perhaps lesser amounts of the higher end stuff would be good investment (assuming they release it) like Grahams Stone Terraces, Noval Nacional, or Taylor VVV?

 

That’s a great idea, though of the brands you suggested, I believe only one available to me in Pennsylvania is the Grahams Stone Terraces. I believe the 2016 vintage of that particular one is $250 a bottle at the moment. Is that a decent price?  The other Grahams 2016 port is $125 per bottle, to show the comparison. 

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20 minutes ago, Cayman17 said:

That’s a great idea, though of the brands you suggested, I believe only one available to me in Pennsylvania is the Grahams Stone Terraces. I believe the 2016 vintage of that particular one is $250 a bottle at the moment. Is that a decent price?  The other Grahams 2016 port is $125 per bottle, to show the comparison. 

You can have another one of the picks mailed to you or held until you are in a situation to receive.  $125 for regular Grahams VP is a lot, about $40 more than I would expect to pay.  Not sure on the '16 SP, but that sounds average.  I can find '15 Stone Terraces locally for $199.

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@Cayman17 If you are ever in MA area, I can hold the port for you, for a limited time.

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12 minutes ago, BrightonCorgi said:

@Cayman17 If you are ever in MA area, I can hold the port for you, for a limited time.

That is very generous of you 👍🏻  If I’m ever in Boston, I’ll bring some cigars with me and look you up. 🍷🍷

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9 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

To be fair, how many cellars in the Douro or Porto stay in the 50's all year round?  None I'd imagine.  As long as the cellar is not into the 70's you should be okay.  70 is the break point, but the lower the temperature the better.  There is also debate on whether constant or seasonal temperature swings are better for storing wine in the long term (30+ years).  

I did a wine tasting with Jean-Phillipe Bourdy from the Jura whose current wine catalog goes back like 150 years is convinced that seasonal swings are better for long term aging.  If you want to only age like 40 years then steady temps are fine.  Going the long haul the swings are necessary to him as he sees wine as a living thing that needs the swings.  Granted, that does not mean going into the 70's for temp.  Port is pretty robust, and my general rule is to drink the worst to best within a particular case.  Drink the leakers first!

lots of cellars at wineries around the world not what they should be, though the better port producers have spent a fair whack of money in recent years in upgrading facilities. think you'll be surprised if/when you next visit. remember that most vintage ports will spend possibly decades longer in customers' cellars than in the port houses. so how they look after them will ultimately be more important than how the houses do. and sure, if a cellar is a bit above optimum then not the end of the world but why not have your cellar at the temperature that best looks after your wine. i'd rather do my best to avoid leakers than have a policy where i drink them first. but agree that a few degrees either way not the end of the world. 

what i would most definitely not agree with is any swings in temperature as possibly aiding ageing. i will accept that jura is very different to usual wine regions/wines but i have never met a winemaker who does not want constant steady temperatures. 

i'd also argue, and i think the vast majority of winemakers etc, would agree, variation in temperatures is worse for wine than having it at a higher temp than optimal. most i have spoken with would prefer their wines at a constant of say 18C than moving between say 8 to 16. 

 

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13 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

i'd rather do my best to avoid leakers than have a policy where i drink them first. but agree that a few degrees either way not the end of the world. 

How can you avoid leakers?  Even the best cellars have leaking bottles.  If it weren't for capsules, corks would be falling out of a lot different port bottles.  I suppose pumped in humidity could mitigate it some, but don't want to introduce mold into home's cellar.

My cellar has an annual swing of around 60 (just below at its lowest) and 70.  The cellar never crossed 70 this season and takes until the beginning of September to get there before it slowly starts going back down.  Everyone thinks it's much colder in there than it is oddly enough.  

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14 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

How can you avoid leakers?  Even the best cellars have leaking bottles.  If it weren't for capsules, corks would be falling out of a lot different port bottles.  I suppose pumped in humidity could mitigate it some, but don't want to introduce mold into home's cellar.

My cellar has an annual swing of around 60 (just below at its lowest) and 70.  The cellar never crossed 70 this season and takes until the beginning of September to get there before it slowly starts going back down.  Everyone thinks it's much colder in there than it is oddly enough.  

one of the main causes of leaking corks is cellars which have a variation in temperature. even small variations contribute enormously to this. 

not saying you will always avoid them - what i said was that i would rather do my best to avoid them - but a constant temperature is a really good start. 

all of this is more ammunition for screwcaps but fat chance of the port industry getting on board with that. 

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20 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

one of the main causes of leaking corks is cellars which have a variation in temperature. even small variations contribute enormously to this. 

not saying you will always avoid them - what i said was that i would rather do my best to avoid them - but a constant temperature is a really good start. 

all of this is more ammunition for screwcaps but fat chance of the port industry getting on board with that. 

It's odd that only in port I see leaking bottles from.  Never seen the equivalent from any dry wines in my cellar.

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1 hour ago, BrightonCorgi said:

It's odd that only in port I see leaking bottles from.  Never seen the equivalent from any dry wines in my cellar.

i'm a bit the opposite. not that often in port, actually very rarely, but certainly occasionally in reds/whites. i remember a 70 Taylors, though it was a very early leak and still drank very well. 

we don't see it in local wines anymore, thanks to screwcaps, but certainly used to. but then that was one of the ways the portuguese screwed themselves here - no question we were paying for top quality corks and receiving substandard ones. so off went the winemakers to alternatives, and then discovered they worked better anyway. 

i would see more european whites than reds, though not great numbers of either. 

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In my experience,  I see wines with higher RS leaking quite often.  Wine is, more often than not, intact. 

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If it weren't for the wax, my Ferreira's would all be empty.

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