Oh Schoolmarm.....

When class resumes after Christmas Break, can someone brainy, like Jimmy Suckling - you know, the kid in the front row who wears leather, speaks French and has a motor on his scooter - when we should be decanting our vintage ports?

Sometimes it seems like port is at its best only a full day, if not two, after decanting, and other times the port is good to go only a couple of hours after hitting the decanter.

And should one leave the decanter un-stoppered the whole time, or decant for a few hours then seal it up until supper or the next day? I usually decant my ports the morning of the day I intend to drink them at supper.

Is it different for older ports (say before 1985) than younger ones? Or for single quintas? Or for half bottles?

I find this whole when-to-decant thing confusing, for big chewy red wines too. That's probably why I don't get to sit in the front row, like Jimmy Frown
Original Post
A general rule of thumb for decanting vintage port:
7 years or less: *10-12 hours of decanting time
8 -15 years old: *8-10 hours of decanting time
16-25 years old: *6-8 hours of decanting time
26-35 years old: *4-6 hours of decanting time
36-45 years old: *3-5 hours of decanting time
46-60 years old *2-3 hours of decanting time
60 years old: *1-3 hours of decanting time

No need to stopper the decanter
quote:
A general rule of thumb for decanting vintage port:
7 years or less: *10-12 hours of decanting time
8 -15 years old: *8-10 hours of decanting time
16-25 years old: *6-8 hours of decanting time
26-35 years old: *4-6 hours of decanting time
36-45 years old: *3-5 hours of decanting time
46-60 years old *2-3 hours of decanting time
60 years old: *1-3 hours of decanting time

No need to stopper the decanter


Too simple. exceptional years and mediocre aging years need to be evaluated differently. There are some 2000 VP's that need a whole day and some 85's that only need an hour or two. I am also not decanting a 40 year old port (even a 63') for 3 hours without tasting it first.

Familiarity with the vintage, producer and feedback from others who may have had it are usually my reference points.

There is no ONE answer IMO.
Notwithstanding the fact that my question started this thread, I remain to be unconvinced that any not-yet-completely-mature port needs less than 12 hours, if not a full day, if not more than that, to show its best.

A 1983 port would need at least 12 hours, IMHO.

But I still want to hear what Jimmy Suckling thinks....
I also want to hear JS's opinion on this subject, but after a few years of doing this, I have come to this conclusion:

Any wine that needs 12 hours decanting to show me something would have been better left alone.

I've been guilty of long term airing of wines as much as anyone I know, and I have come to the conclusion that it's a poor substitite for time in the cellar.

PH
So....this is what I did with the '83 Taylor:

Carefully poured the contents of the bottle into a decanter. Leaving substantial amount of sediment in the bottle.

Then, I cleaned out the bottle and poured 3/4 of the wine back into the bottle, replaced the cork with a new one and placed back into the cellar.

I decanted, without a stopper, the remaining 1/4 of a bottle for 8 hours.

The nose slowly emerged during the decanting process, though the flavor didn't change much. It was very nice, though a bit lighter and more subtle than I would have expected. I drank one glass worth at that time.

Then, I left the remaining small amount in the decanter overnight. Eventually, I drank it after what turned out to be 24 hours in the decanter. The nose was much stronger, in a positive way, with raisins, sweet dark fruits at the forefront. The flavor was much more evolved, adding depth and complexity as well as length. Still, not a top level Taylor, but a good one. 89 points.

What does the amount of decanting tell us? I have no idea.

Any thoughts?
I poured a glass directly from the remaining bottle about two hours ago. Actually, I poured two glasses...the first I actually cooked with. A sin? Don't know, but the sauce was fabulous. The 2nd glass is going to sit until dessert, which will be in another hour or so. I'll report back....
lol. Yeah. That was a first for me. I usually use tawny for any recipes requiring Port wine, but I had no Tawny's open and thought, what the hell....it worked. Seared Tenderloin of Venison with a blackberry Port wine reduction, horseradish/rosemary mashed potatos and sauteed spinach. Bottle of 2001 Falesco Marcialano Umbria IGT.

The glass of '83 Taylor w/some crusty bread and assorted wash rind sheep's milk cheeses.

The Taylor was similar to the previous glass. Couldn't tell the difference.
quote:
cooking VP


who knows me, knows! Big Grin


i do not really support the idea of match VP with stilton or similar.
drink ruby, or similar to stilton an co.


i'll go and finish the taylor 1994 today (opend 6 days ago)
(wanted to see how it develops and were it could go in future)

half bottles are still closed but after sone air, they show more than just fruit.
so i would raccomend to wait an other year or two, to open the next.. Wink
quote:
Seared Tenderloin of Venison with a blackberry Port wine reduction, horseradish/rosemary mashed potatos and sauteed spinach. Bottle of 2001 Falesco Marcialano Umbria IGT.



Hey tom, sounds ridiculous!

quick question, where do you get your wine in the city and anyplace to get cheap delivery?
quote:
Originally posted by SeeJay:
A general rule of thumb for decanting vintage port:
7 years or less: *10-12 hours of decanting time
8 -15 years old: *8-10 hours of decanting time
16-25 years old: *6-8 hours of decanting time
26-35 years old: *4-6 hours of decanting time
36-45 years old: *3-5 hours of decanting time
46-60 years old *2-3 hours of decanting time
60 years old: *1-3 hours of decanting time

No need to stopper the decanter


What the hell is someone under seven years old doing decanting VP?

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