Understanding what I have--Vinho do Porto Borges

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Understanding what I have--Vinho do Porto Borges

Postby Matt O » Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:51 pm

New member here trying to learn something and see what I have with this bottle:

I have an "older" bottle of Port wine. I understand that a "vintage" means to the Portuguese vintners a particularly special year of grapes. This bottle must not have been from such a year, it is not labeled Vintage or with a year.

Here's what I have:

The bottle was purchased-likely- in Portugal as all words are in Portuguese.
The bottle has a cream cap or top with the tax label laid under the metallic cream cap with the bottle number 994141. Below this is the label "Vinho do Porto Borges - Doce - Tinto Aloirado (Sweet red --??Blonde??), then the stamps of years of the awards at expositions--Sociedade dos Vinhos BORGES & IRMAO SARL, PORTO, PORTUGAL, then two crown icons followed by a long one line explanation of the properties of V do Porto."
There is no label on the "back" side of the bottle, and there is no designation of alcohol content or again of the year bottled.
There you have it, in advance I appreciate your time and knowledge.
Matt
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Re: Understanding what I have--Vinho do Porto Borges

Postby Matt O » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:03 pm

To add to the description: The label is now cream colored and has a very faint grape/leaf pattern over the paper; the most recent exposition identified is Rio De Janeiro 1922; there is no designation of the fluid content (which is surely 75 ML). I don't have a functioning digital camera at this point in time.
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Re: Understanding what I have--Vinho do Porto Borges

Postby Roy Hersh » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:09 pm

Hi Matt,

What you have is a simple sweet ruby Port wine that is a blend of many grapes and also several vintages. It was an inexpensive bottle when originally purchased. I'd put that age range around the mid-1950s to mid-1960s from what I know of Borges. But the bottle age of a Port like that is not really beneficial.

It might be a very tasty wine today if it has been stored properly. I am sure that there is almost no secondary market value for the bottle, so I'd strongly advise you to open it up and see what it is like. Don't have high expectations and you won't be too disappointed. You may even be surprised that it is a tasty tawny at this point in time.

Enjoy!

Roy Hersh
fortheloveofport.com
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Re: Understanding what I have--Vinho do Porto Borges

Postby DingDong » Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:45 pm

What superb advice by Roy Hersh!
I was given a similar bottle by a neighbour a couple of years ago. It was marked Doce Aloirado and I believe was purchased in Spain or Portugal c.1960 and spent the next 45 years stored upright in an understair cupboard.
Last week I took the plunge and removed the red foil cap and was dismayed to find a very dry cork with evidence of seepage from when the bottle must have been on its side. I was further disheartened when the cork crumbled and in fact some of it ended up in the bottle.
Not one to give up easily where drink is concerned I filtered the contents through a coffee filter paper in a funnel and on tasting an exploratory dipped finger was pleased that the wine didn't appear to be off.
After thoroughly rinsing a fair amount of crusty sediment out of the bottle I returned the contents to the bottle and stoppered it until the next day.
We had friends over for dinner and I broke out the Borges with the cheese and a disclaimer!
What an absolute joy it turned out to be. A fairly dark colour, not red, a lovely rounded nose and a beautifully smooth taste. My guests and I demolished it in no time. I have since found this article and am delighted that I haven't just quaffed a fortune although it would have been well invested!
I hope Matt's bottle was/will be as good.
Cheers!
Pete S
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Re: Understanding what I have--Vinho do Porto Borges

Postby Jenise » Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:11 pm

Pete, about ten years ago an American retailer named Trader Joe's got it's hands on cases and cases of Borges, vintages 78-83 IIRC, and I and a number of our friends bought up several cases each. I believe I've finally run out, and I know these weren't great ports a la Grahams or Fonseca or anything, but heck, for $10 each? Outstanding!
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Re: Understanding what I have--Vinho do Porto Borges

Postby Lizbeth S » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:44 am

Welcome to both Peter and Matt! Hope to see you around here more.
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Re: Understanding what I have--Vinho do Porto Borges

Postby Scott Culp » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:14 pm

Hello Everyone,

Just want to confirm that Roy was on the money with his comments abt the port. As an American ex-pat living in the north of Portugal (and a 30 min drive from the cellars in Gaia) I've had 2 experiences of mysterious bottles of port with limited information & no dates on them at all. They've turned out to be VERY delicious ruby ports. One of them oxidized in a flash, so not only do they need special handling as far as the cork & sediment are concerned, they need to be enjoyed in one marvelous sitting.

Should anyone need information, orientation, suggestions, translations, etc. abt anything port-wine-related, I'd be happy to oblige. But as a lesser expert, just someone who's accumulated on-the-ground experience by living here.

One tip though: if any of you can get a hold of a bottle (blend or mono-varietal) of any table wine made from the 5 grape varieties used in port -- DO IT! They are a treat to drink. Wineries here in Portugal are blending them (like Touriga Nacional) with Cabernet, also a pleasant option, though I do prefer to keep the Cab out of it.

Greetings from Portugal to all,
Scott
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Re: Understanding what I have--Vinho do Porto Borges

Postby Jenise » Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:03 pm

Scott, welcome to WLDG. Good information--how are you so lucky as to be living in Portugal?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Understanding what I have--Vinho do Porto Borges

Postby Scott Culp » Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:47 pm

Hi Jenise,
To answer your question, just an expat doing the English lang teacher thing....Kinda fell in love with the country, my job here, the food, the climate, one of the locals.... :D Check out my other post about beefing up the Lexicon, which I found lacking in Portuguese wine references. :(
Again, should anyone need help, references, etc....I'm here.
Also, I can HIGHLY recommend a visit to the Douro River Valley (UNESCO World Heritage, for its wine-producing past). GORGEOUS landscapes !
Até logo, Scott
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