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Old 11-21-2008, 08:03 AM   #1
earnold25
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Default Port Aging

Hey all. I'm looking into starting a small collection of ports for long term aging. My question is this. How do I know which will actually age? I know you have to age the Vintage bottles, but I'm having a hard time regarding LBV's, etc.

Port is fortified wine by definition, so won't the brandy just about stop any aging potential or am I just confused.
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Port Aging

You can/should age the vintage ports. Tawny's / LBVs / Ruby etc are already set and ready to go. If you are looking for aged flavors, you can buy 10, 20, 30 or 40 year old tawny or Colheita. They have been aged in wood barrels before you buy them.

Yup, Port is fortified, but Vintage still has tannin and acid, so matures similar to wine, but slower as the alcohol content is higher.

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Old 11-21-2008, 08:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Port Aging

Can unfiltered LBV / Crusted's be aged further? or is Vintage really the only option?
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Port Aging

Unfiltered LBV theoreticaly can improve with some age (although Ive never aged any) but since it is made to be consumed early why wait? Similar with crusted, its multi-vintage blended to be drunk without having to cellar, so I say drink within a few years.

The other option to save a few bucks is Singe Quinta Vintage Ports. They are made in years that are undeclared port vintages, and some can a age a very long time. Quinta de Bonfim (Dows), Quinta de Vargellas (Taylor) are some you can check out. The aged single quinta wines I have tried have been excelllent, but never reach the level of a great Vintage port like 63' 77' 83' or 85' port from a house like Fonseca or Taylor.

For me, I say drink 10 year tawny and cellar vintage for as long as you can hold out.

One last thought is that due the alcohol and viscosity of Vintage port, buying older vintages is a good way to go as storage conditions will play a lesser effect on the wine. Would I want some that had been sitting at 85 degrees for a summer? No. But less then optimal conditions that might destroy a Champagne could be liveable for port. I purchased plenty of 77' 83' and 85' in the 1990's and had good luck with everything I have opened so far.

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Old 11-21-2008, 09:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Port Aging

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Originally Posted by earnold25 View Post
Can unfiltered LBV / Crusted's be aged further? or is Vintage really the only option?
Yes, unfiltered LBV's and Crusted ports can age well and would not hesitate to drink either with 20-30 years bottle aging. I have a case of Taylor Crusted from '78 that is drinking quite well. Typically the neutral spirit in Crusted Port may be a little "hotter" than normal Vintage Port. Past prime could be 30+ years for either style, so don't worry about them expiring.

Crusted Port is the same as a Vintage Port execept that the juice inside is from multiple years, not a single vintage.

Unfiltered LBV is the similar to Vintage Port except for that it has been aged in wood longer to advance its maturity earlier.

If you are looking to save a little money, try Single Quinta Vintage Port (SQVP), which is identical to Vintage Port except that the juice is from one Vineyard (Quinta). This is done when brand does not want to declare a Vintage harvest for their flagship brand. Most Single Quinta's are on par with their normal branding. Taylor's "Vargellas" and Graham's "Malvedos" are two examples of this.
Both Crusted and LBV are similar in that they are aged longer in wood than Vintage Port.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Port Aging

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One last thought is that due the alcohol and viscosity of Vintage port, buying older vintages is a good way to go as storage conditions will play a lesser effect on the wine.
True, port is easier to store than let's say Champagne. The easiest stuff to store is Madeira. Right now, the 80's is best bang for the buck in value, and the 60's you want to buy right now before the price is too far out of reach.
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Port Aging

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The easiest stuff to store is Madeira
Thats a fact brother. Since its heated it very high temps and has some oxidiiztion, it's almost indestructable.

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Old 11-21-2008, 10:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Port Aging

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Thats a fact brother. Since its heated it very high temps and has some oxidiiztion, it's almost indestructable.

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And you can store it upright too.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Port Aging

great information guys. Thanks again.
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Port Aging

Can you recommend some places to order vintage port from? My local selections are pretty minimal. If this is taboo, sorry. I know sources are a touch subject regarding smokes
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Port Aging

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Originally Posted by earnold25 View Post
Can you recommend some places to order vintage port from? My local selections are pretty minimal. If this is taboo, sorry. I know sources are a touch subject regarding smokes
PM Sent

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