Ken Gargett

a cracking wine lunch and a way to expose the snobs

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4 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

agree completely. in fact, i'd have the 17s even further off into the future.

but these were sent to me to look at for an article so a bit difficult to tell them that i'll do it in 20 years. 

the 16s i think will go at least as long though i think they are, or will be, drinkable earlier than that for those who wish to. 

my one experience with 18 is that it is another excellent year and again, should be put away for a decade or two, but i think it will be the earliest drinking of the three. 

Since the 90's, the manufacture of ports from the vineyard to the bottle has improved where everything has more longevity (at least the impression early on) that many vintages in the 80's & perhaps earlier did not.  Take 1983/1985; did not as young in 2005 as 1994/1995 does in 2020!  Aguardente is generally higher quality today across the board too.

I would have loved to have tried 1970 5 years after the vintage.  1970 I believe to be the best vintage of the 20th century.

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17 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

this was the first time i had seen the 17. loved them both though i'd go more for the 16s

2017 and 2016 are both exceptional but certainly different styles, and I think choosing between the two comes down mostly to which you prefer. There's no question that 2017 is tighter and "grippier" than 2016. I'll be very interested to see if one pulls away from the other as time passes. 

17 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

I wouldn't consider drinking 2017's outside of academic purposes until 2030.  Similar time frame for the tremendous 2011 vintage.

I always open splits of the new vintages to determine how deep I want to go, and which houses I will buy. It's part of the fun of a new vintage declaration for me, assessing their DNA. 

7 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

Since the 90's, the manufacture of ports from the vineyard to the bottle has improved where everything has more longevity

I would also argue that those same changes - particularly the improved quality of fortifying grape spirits - has also made the wines more approachable young. Make no mistake, I save most bottles for extended aging - but these wines can now be enjoyed young, rather than simply endured.

12 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

my one experience with 18 is that it is another excellent year and again, should be put away for a decade or two, but i think it will be the earliest drinking of the three. 

Haven't seen any of the '18's stateside yet. I had felt that they will be a tough sell since I've already gone so deep on '16 and '17, but if they'll mature more quickly I may need to buy some on release, since the other two vintages are at least 15 years away from their peak window opening. 

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45 minutes ago, MrBirdman said:

I would also argue that those same changes - particularly the improved quality of fortifying grape spirits - has also made the wines more approachable young. Make no mistake, I save most bottles for extended aging - but these wines can now be enjoyed young, rather than simply endured. 

that is the crucial key. forgive me, i need to sign off but the change in regulations for the spirits has been massive in increasing quality. had a long zoom meeting a couple of weeks ago with david guimarens who makes taylors and he was talking about exactly this. which he has almost every time i have met with him.

more to come. apols. 

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@Ken Gargett @BrightonCorgi @MrBirdman

A sommelier friend of mine gave me a heads up on 2011 Vintage Port.  I picked up various bottles from that year.  From Porto Calem, TF, Graham's and Sandeman.  I've consumed two bottles since then and have found them to be very rich in cassis.  Thoughts on this vintage?  At the time, my friend mentioned this was one of the standout vintages in about a  hundred years.  Any similar vintages of note that are recent?

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5 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

the change in regulations for the spirits has been massive in increasing quality

Looking forward to hearing more, since I'm always up for talking port. 

I've had the opportunity to try a number of older vintages, mostly from across the 80's and including a 77 Taylor's. I quickly came to understand why VP had such a bad reputation when young. I was surprised by how "hot" some of the wines were in comparison to 21st century vintages. In all but the best examples, I felt the spirits stood out or apart from the rest of the wine to its detriment - and if they were struggling with harshness after 30+ years of bottle age they must've been absolutely brutal in their youth. 

Contrast that to production from the past two decades, where the spirits are usually well integrated from the get go.

 

4 hours ago, bundwallah said:

A sommelier friend of mine gave me a heads up on 2011 Vintage Port...Thoughts on this vintage?  At the time, my friend mentioned this was one of the standout vintages in about a  hundred years.  Any similar vintages of note that are recent?

No question that 2011 is a superb vintage - IMO it was the best since at least 1994, though now '16 and '17 are giving it a run for it's money. Ultimately the real test will come in another decade-plus. I regret I couldn't buy much 2011 since my living situation at the time left me nowhere to put it, and you did well to stock up. 

I won't have tried as many of the 2011's as Ken or others have, and it's been a bit since I opened one of my bottles, but stylistically I would describe 2011 as sitting between the '16 and '17. You can't really go wrong with any of them though, and in the recent vintages you can find a good range of styles to suit any port drinker's preferences. Port is easy to find in half bottles, especially right now in the '17's, making it easy to sample different houses in exploring your own taste as well as what to buy into. 

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Port is definitely a great value fine wine. Also, there is no need to chase it when young, as it’s all still available at a reasonable price 20+ years on. (All except Nacional that is.)

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49 minutes ago, RDB said:

Port is definitely a great value fine wine. Also, there is no need to chase it when young, as it’s all still available at a reasonable price 20+ years on. (All except Nacional that is.)

Exactly.  Do I want a 2017 Fonseca or 1985 Fonseca for similar prices?  I bought some '11 Noval, Taylor VVV, and Crasto LBV's, but I don't think anything else or newer.

Another reason I do not chase modern vintages is I am sitting on a life time supply of vintage port 😞 and don't drink as much vintage port as I use to.  I also store 100+ cases of port for a friend.  I think there's enough of it for now.

Twist my arm and I will buy more; just don't twist too hard.

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100 cases of port would probably last me several lifetimes. Much as I like it, you have to be brave to open it more than once every few weeks. So that’s a couple of cases a year...

Lockdown ‘helps‘ though.

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1 hour ago, BrightonCorgi said:

Exactly.  Do I want a 2017 Fonseca or 1985 Fonseca for similar prices?  I bought some '11 Noval, Taylor VVV, and Crasto LBV's, but I don't think anything else or newer.

Another reason I do not chase modern vintages is I am sitting on a life time supply of vintage port 😞 and don't drink as much vintage port as I use to.  I also store 100+ cases of port for a friend.  I think there's enough of it for now.

Twist my arm and I will buy more; just don't twist too hard.

That's a lot of Port and drinking too much Port can make one..... "portly" 😁  I've got about 18 bottles of Port and probably the same amount of Sauternes. Both of which are fine pairings with cigars. 

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24 minutes ago, bundwallah said:

I've got about 18 bottles of Port and probably the same amount of Sauternes. Both of which are fine pairings with cigars. 

To my palate, good port is the ne plus ultra of pairings with most CC, at least among alcoholic drinks. While I love spirits, paired with cigars I find the two detracting from one another, even sweeter spirits like rum. Sauternes is excellent as well, though the intense balance of RS and acidity can overpower some cigars.

Port offers sweetness, a good balance of strength & structure, and a rich, robust concentration that can stand up to most any smoke. For cigar pairings I generally select LBV rather than vintage, mostly because it's less expensive. doesn't require the commitment of opening a bottle of VP, and still delicious. 

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11 hours ago, MrBirdman said:

Haven't seen any of the '18's stateside yet. I had felt that they will be a tough sell since I've already gone so deep on '16 and '17, but if they'll mature more quickly I may need to buy some on release, since the other two vintages are at least 15 years away from their peak window opening. 

i will try and get to some thoughts soon but i am trying to meet deadlines, pack and do a vid with Rob before i go fishing in a day or so.

just to say that my understanding is that the 18s (and fewer declarations from the houses than in 16 and 17) have not yet been released. you won't find them anywhere just yet but should be soon. i only had this one as they were kind enough to send one to me to review. 

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8 hours ago, bundwallah said:

That's a lot of Port and drinking too much Port can make one..... "portly" 😁  I've got about 18 bottles of Port and probably the same amount of Sauternes. Both of which are fine pairings with cigars. 

How about 30+ magnums, tregnums, and double magnums of port?   One time ago, a friend and our WAGS drank a double mag of '77 Taylor and two additional bottles of VP in one evening.  Not sure I could do that one so easily today, but we use to put it down.  Equal amount of cigars along with it.  I am not big on pairing cigars with anything particular.  Madeira and Champagne would be my preferred choice.

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54 minutes ago, BrightonCorgi said:

Madeira and Champagne would be my preferred choice.

Champagne is a close second for me, especially with saltier/spicier sticks. 

54 minutes ago, BrightonCorgi said:

One time ago, a friend and our WAGS drank a double mag of '77 Taylor and two additional bottles of VP in one evening.

Umm, whoa. Even if each of you brought a wife and a girlfriend that’d be the equivalent of a bottle each :D 

If that much alcohol+sugar didn’t give you a hangover nothing will. 

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9 hours ago, MrBirdman said:

Champagne is a close second for me, especially with saltier/spicier sticks. 

Umm, whoa. Even if each of you brought a wife and a girlfriend that’d be the equivalent of a bottle each :D 

If that much alcohol+sugar didn’t give you a hangover nothing will. 

Luckily we were staying over their house...

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