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JAMES SUCKLING

Postby Roy Hersh     » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:46 pm

James just agreed, and FTLOP is thrilled to have him join our Guest Corner as HOST for a week in April. Dates will be announced as soon as they're firmed up. [cheers.gif]
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Re: On Deck: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby Roy Hersh     » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:19 am

I have unlocked the front door and please feel free to start leaving your questions or comments for James Suckling.

I'd like to officially [welcome.gif] James to :ftlop: and very much look forward to reading his brilliant responses to your questions! [cheers.gif]
Ambition driven by passion, rather than money, is as strong an elixir as is Port. http://www.fortheloveofport.com
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby Russ K » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:52 am

James, thanks for visiting with us. [notworthy.gif] I have a couple of questions:

1. What are your thoughts on why very high rated and admired Ports, other than probably Nacional, do not reach the high pricing or demand levels we have seen from other appellations? What do you think the Port trade can do to increase popularity?

2. I am always surprised by the amount of folks on this board that enjoy drinking young vintage Port. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but I just have never even tried in fear of wasting a bottle! (As a result, my Port drinking is far eclipsed by my collecting at this point....) What are your thoughts on what a great young Port should present in order to give you confidence it will age well into the future?

thanks!
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby Andy Velebil     » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:32 pm

James,

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to spent some time answering our questions...so here's a couple easy ones to start [cheers.gif] .

1- The question everyone talks and wonders about, are you planning on doing a follow-up book or a new book about Port in the future?

2- Hopefully I haven't missed it if you have, but are you planning on doing one of your video series with Producers in the Douro?

:thanks:
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby Paul Fountain     » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:46 pm

James,
It's fantastic to have you on board for the week, and I I'm really looking forward to getting your perspective.

At a time when we are seeing the wine industry worldwide changing more quickly than ever before, how difficult will it be for port producers to maintain their quality and traditions in the face of technology and commercialization?

We’ve seen some significant changes in the industry in the past 25 years, with the consolidation of shippers, the relaxation of requirements to keep a lodge at Vila Nova de Gaia, the entrance into the market of new producers, technological advances in winemaking processes amongst others. Have all these changes been for the good or are there any you see as being detrimental to the port trade?

Are there any changes that you feel are needed within the industry in Portugal and specifically the Duro to see to its ongoing viability?

Will the increasing prominence of Duro table wine have a positive or negative impact on the port trade?


cheers [cheers.gif]

Paul
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby James Suckling » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:25 pm

Hi everyone. I can only answer this for now since I just got into LA and I have to rush down to my mother's in Palm Springs for Easter Sunday dinner...no port. :(

1. There just isn't the demand globally. Vintage Port remains a rarefied endeavor for the savvy few...

2. Young Port is all about grip. It has to have the tannic structure and depth of fruit on the palate when young to age for decades a head.



James, thanks for visiting with us. [notworthy.gif] I have a couple of questions:

1. What are your thoughts on why very high rated and admired Ports, other than probably Nacional, do not reach the high pricing or demand levels we have seen from other appellations? What do you think the Port trade can do to increase popularity?

2. I am always surprised by the amount of folks on this board that enjoy drinking young vintage Port. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but I just have never even tried in fear of wasting a bottle! (As a result, my Port drinking is far eclipsed by my collecting at this point....) What are your thoughts on what a great young Port should present in order to give you confidence it will age well into the future?

thanks!
Russ
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby James Suckling » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:27 pm

One more...


1. I guess I should do a book. Spectator never wanted a new edition even though the book sold about 30,000 copies. It's priorities now. I am so busy with my site as well as my wine editor position with Asia Tatler in Hong Kong.

2. I am hoping to get to the Douro this summer or in the fall to video. That would be so awesome.




Andy Velebil wrote:James,

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to spent some time answering our questions...so here's a couple easy ones to start [cheers.gif] .

1- The question everyone talks and wonders about, are you planning on doing a follow-up book or a new book about Port in the future?

2- Hopefully I haven't missed it if you have, but are you planning on doing one of your video series with Producers in the Douro?

:thanks:
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby michaelgor » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:13 am

Hi Mr Suckling..

I have often heard comments about a Port being “masculine”, or, for example, Fonseca, being described as “feminine”..
any thoughts on this please, and perhaps some examples of either..

Michael
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby Moses Botbol     » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:20 am

I am sorry for not providing examples, but it seems that you (or wine critics in general) have had short windows for vintage port maturity, yet have had plenty of port much older than that window that's still going strong. You state that 1994 Fonseca is best after 2012 (on WS.com). Isn’t that kind of early to consider drinking this vintage?

Why even put port put port into a drinking window when most vintages have no problem going 50+ years?
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby Glenn E.     » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:48 am

Now that the 2009 Vintage Ports have been declared (with potentially more to come), could you give us a sneak peak at the Vintage? How do you think 2009 will compare to 2007, 2003, and/or 2000?
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby goncalo devesas     » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:52 pm

Hello James,

It is great to have you on the FTLOP "GUEST CORNER" !

What is your apreciation about the old White Ports that keep comming to the market ?

2009 Vintage Port is considered the fourth great Vintage year from the last decade, do you think that the restriction of the Port wine production and the raise of the Port sales with the 2007 VP will overrate the price in a non traditional decade (maximum of three great Vintages per decade) ?

Thanks,

Gonçalo
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby Kurt Wieneke » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:31 pm

Hi James,
Thank you for getting in the ring with us at FTLOP. How did you get introduced to port, and what was your epiphany bottle that got you hooked?

Rgds,
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby Marc J.     » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:03 pm

James,

Welcome to FTLOP! I very much enjoyed reading your Vintage Port book and the insightful tasting notes included within. Putting vintage Port aside for the moment, what are some of your favorite tawnies and why do those particular wines stand out in your mind? On a different note, what are your current views on the development and aging potential of the 1994 vintage? Many of these wines are approaching maturity and I'd be interested in your take on where the vintage stands. Thanks!

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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby Jeffrey Karp     » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:52 pm

Hi James,

Welcome to the Forum! We are honored to have you here and very much hope that you will stick around a while and nourish us with your insight and experience into all things Port.

Every now and again, like others have mentioned prior to my post, I refer back to your monumental work, Vintage Port. Back when I was new to Port and trying to learn as much as possible about all things Port, your book proved extraordinarily educational and helpful. Thank you. As a side note, and thanks to your book, most of us now know more about Port than even Roy! :thumbsup: [rotfl.gif]

Will you please share with us your preference: Vintage Port or Madeira? I prefer VP but many others on this forum, including our fearless leader, prefer Madeira.

Will you please share with us what it is about either or both that ignited your inner-passion such that you worked as hard as you did to dedicate your life to the fortified wines of Portugal and then go onto become one of the world's foremost experts? I know that mine is a somewhat personal and non-specific question, but to me and to my wife, Port is all about the passion, right?

Warm Regards.

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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby James Suckling » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:56 am

I always thought that Fonseca was masculine and Taylor feminine. It's the same with wine. Feminine refers to a wine that is balanced and refined with elegance. Doesn't matter if it is Port or table wine.

michaelgor wrote:Hi Mr Suckling..

I have often heard comments about a Port being “masculine”, or, for example, Fonseca, being described as “feminine”..
any thoughts on this please, and perhaps some examples of either..

Michael
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby James Suckling » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:58 am

Because some Port drinkers like drinking VP young. That drink window is a bare minimum. The youngest Port I enjoy drinking is from the 1980s at the moment. But people have different tastes.

Moses Botbol wrote:I am sorry for not providing examples, but it seems that you (or wine critics in general) have had short windows for vintage port maturity, yet have had plenty of port much older than that window that's still going strong. You state that 1994 Fonseca is best after 2012 (on WS.com). Isn’t that kind of early to consider drinking this vintage?

Why even put port put port into a drinking window when most vintages have no problem going 50+ years?
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby James Suckling » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:06 am

Thanks Paul.

I think that all the improvements have been great. And that the Port trade continues to work hard to improve the quality of its product. The big problem is attracting new consumers. Perhaps the Chinese will move on to Port one day? But their palates are not that keen on sweet things...

The Port trade needs to do more promotion. They need to come to the US and other key markets and promote their product. They aren't do enough of this.

The problem is that table wine has become a priority for many Port producers. And thus they are promoting and focusing on the production of table wine. Port has become a secondary product for them.

I remember in the 1980s when I used to hang out with the late great Bruce Guimareans of Fonseca and when I asked him why he didn't make a serious table wine he used to answer "good God why in the world would I want to waste seriously good grapes on table wine when I can use them for Port." I don't think many producers in the Douro today would share those thoughts.

Paul Fountain wrote:James,
It's fantastic to have you on board for the week, and I I'm really looking forward to getting your perspective.

At a time when we are seeing the wine industry worldwide changing more quickly than ever before, how difficult will it be for port producers to maintain their quality and traditions in the face of technology and commercialization?

We’ve seen some significant changes in the industry in the past 25 years, with the consolidation of shippers, the relaxation of requirements to keep a lodge at Vila Nova de Gaia, the entrance into the market of new producers, technological advances in winemaking processes amongst others. Have all these changes been for the good or are there any you see as being detrimental to the port trade?

Are there any changes that you feel are needed within the industry in Portugal and specifically the Duro to see to its ongoing viability?

Will the increasing prominence of Duro table wine have a positive or negative impact on the port trade?


cheers [cheers.gif]

Paul
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby James Suckling » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:23 am

I see the Taylor Fonseca group declared. I haven't tasted them yet so I can't comment. Looking forward to it.

Glenn E. wrote:Now that the 2009 Vintage Ports have been declared (with potentially more to come), could you give us a sneak peak at the Vintage? How do you think 2009 will compare to 2007, 2003, and/or 2000?
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby James Suckling » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:32 am

Thank you.

I think old white Port are very cool. I used to drink them a lot with Dirk Nieeport and his father...

Not sure what your question is on the second point. Do you mean that prices will increase for VP? It has to if demand increases. Look at top Bordeaux prices now that Asia buys and drinks the best from the region.

goncalo devesas wrote:Hello James,

It is great to have you on the FTLOP "GUEST CORNER" !

What is your apreciation about the old White Ports that keep comming to the market ?

2009 Vintage Port is considered the fourth great Vintage year from the last decade, do you think that the restriction of the Port wine production and the raise of the Port sales with the 2007 VP will overrate the price in a non traditional decade (maximum of three great Vintages per decade) ?

Thanks,

Gonçalo
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Re: JAMES SUCKLING

Postby Moses Botbol     » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:39 am

James:

Why isn’t Madeira touted in Cigar magazines when it’s a much better pairing than port? Even if it is not as traditional as port, isn’t a part of what a Cigar magazine does is to educate and give insight?
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