Join in on discussions with winemakers and other personalities in the Port, Madeira and Douro Wine trades.

Moderators: Glenn E., Roy Hersh

DAN CARBON - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Roy Hersh     » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:57 pm

FTLOP Forum participant and Marketing Manager for the Symington Family Estates will be our next Guest here, from Monday, Nov. 2nd through Sunday, Nov. 8th. I hope you will help me welcome Dan and given his depth of knowledge about Port & Douro wines, bring some excellent questions to the fore. More to come!
Ambition driven by passion, rather than money, is as strong an elixir as is Port. http://www.fortheloveofport.com
User avatar
Roy Hersh     
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19864
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Sammamish, WA

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Peter W. Meek     » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:00 am

Why did Warre quit making Nimrod?

It was a good product, well-liked by a lot of people. There seems to be no similar Tawny Port in the Symington line (or any other that I have found).
--Pete
(Sesquipedalian Man)
User avatar
Peter W. Meek     
 
Posts: 1085
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:00 pm
Location: SE Michigan

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Frederick Blais     » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:20 pm

Is the Symington planning to release one day a very small production of a very specific vineyard or part of vineyard you own. Just like Noval Nacional or Vinha Velha from Taylor. Something that you are very proud of and could make a unique bottling. Is there such a thing maybe laying down already in the cellars? :)
Port Disciple from Montreal
User avatar
Frederick Blais     
 
Posts: 2429
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:07 am
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Roy Hersh     » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:42 am

OK, let the games begin. Dan L. Carbon will be checking in here as of tomorrow for his week in the spotlight here at :ftlop: as the major domo.

Dan can provide a unique perspective as he is an insider who works directly with the key family members of the Symington Family Estates group and has a tremendous knowledge of Port and Douro wines and is not too shabby with Madeira too.

So start your engines and come to play, with great and provocative questions for Dan! [d_training.gif]
Ambition driven by passion, rather than money, is as strong an elixir as is Port. http://www.fortheloveofport.com
User avatar
Roy Hersh     
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19864
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Sammamish, WA

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Andy Velebil     » Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:55 pm

Dan,
It was a pleasure seeing you again early last month in Portugal. I am very glad you were able be the Guest this month and I look forward to your input this week.

My question is due to a very recent post by :ftlop: member Henrik HERE. Henrik asked what declared vintages was Dow's VP and Quinta do Bomfim produced in the same year? Of course, this may take into account a small amount that was originally not intended for sale, but has since made it's way onto the market.

Thanks
Andy Velebil Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used. William Shakespeare http://www.fortheloveofport.com
User avatar
Andy Velebil     
 
Posts: 14448
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States of America - USA

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Symington Family     » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:39 am

Hi all. Really excited to be asked to participate in this part of the forum. Sharpening my pencils and getting ready for your questions, but before I dive in headlong, a quick note. I just returned from the European Wine Bloggers Conference in Lisbon and my head is swirling with information and ideas. After launching the Graham's blog only a few months ago http://malvedos.wordpress.com, it was immediately clear that I had a lot to learn, but everyone has been very supportive so we were encouraged to keep going. 3 days spent talking about blogging, twitter and the value of the social wine brand. Guest speaker was the new head of search for Twitter, Doug Cook. Really cool stuff. What is clear is that this channel of communication is taking over the space once occupied by TV and print media. I am fortunate to work with a family that recognizes the importance of the online community and is willing to dip a toe into these unchartered waters (full of all you sharks..)

Splash. Im in.
User avatar
Symington Family     
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:32 am
Location: Oporto, Portugal

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Symington Family     » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:27 pm

Peter W. Meek wrote:Why did Warre quit making Nimrod?

It was a good product, well-liked by a lot of people. There seems to be no similar Tawny Port in the Symington line (or any other that I have found).


Hi Peter, thanks for your question. I have enjoyed reading your posts here on FTLOP.

It’s good to see that Nimrod earned such loyalty, despite very limited availability. As a wine, Nimrod is great to drink, but from a marketing perspective, it has a few challenges. First and most obvious, the name. A quick search on Google of the word ‘nimrod’ reveals quite honorable roots. But to many in the US, the key market for this wine, nimrod carries a not so enviable meaning. More importantly, however, Nimrod inhabits a very niche spot in the IVDP categorization of wines (a long topic unto itself). Registered as a Reserve Tawny, it is a wine that must have a minimum of 7 years barrel ageing (as opposed to a standard Tawny that only requires 3 years ageing). If someone is not aware of this very important difference and the profoundly better wine you end up with as a result, the price differential would put a wine like Nimrod at a big disadvantage.

A far better understood category of Ports is the 10 to +40 Year Aged Tawny category, where the wines clearly state the number of years they have been aged in wood. That was part of the logic behind the launch of Warre’s Otima in the US which seems to have hit a sweet spot. The sales success of Otima in its first full year in distribution eclipsed the best-ever sales of Nimrod and never looked back. If you have not had Otima, you might consider giving it a try – although not the same wine, it is drawn from the same lots of wines that made up Nimrod, from the same Warre’s vineyards, so stylistically, the wines share some key characteristics. I don’t know of any other Reserve Tawny Ports aside from Graham’s The Tawny, which does not have distribution in the US at this time.
User avatar
Symington Family     
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:32 am
Location: Oporto, Portugal

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Julian D. A. Wiseman » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:45 pm

Why did Quinta do Vesúvio lose its accent?
User avatar
Julian D. A. Wiseman
 
Posts: 652
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:54 pm
Location: London, United Kingdom

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Peter W. Meek     » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:48 pm

Symington Family wrote:
Peter W. Meek wrote:Why did Warre quit making Nimrod?

... nimrod carries a not so enviable meaning. More importantly, however, Nimrod inhabits a very niche spot in the IVDP categorization of wines (a long topic unto itself). Registered as a Reserve Tawny, it is a wine that must have a minimum of 7 years barrel ageing (as opposed to a standard Tawny that only requires 3 years ageing). If someone is not aware of this very important difference and the profoundly better wine you end up with as a result, the price differential would put a wine like Nimrod at a big disadvantage....


I know. The name suffers from two Warner's Bros cartoons where Bugs Bunny says, "What a Nimrod." That organization has a lot to answer for. (OTOH they introduced a LOT of people to Classical Music.)

I have tried Otima 10, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I keep looking for Otima 20, but the Ann Arbor, MI area isn't exactly a hotbed of Port consumption like the Seattle area. Nimrod sold for $30-32 in most places around here. The only ports that seem similar are now in the $40+ range. Perhaps Nimrod was underpriced.

Fortunately, I still have two cases of Nimrod which I am drinking up before they "expire".

I guess I knew it was the name, and I suspected it might have been the ingredients that doomed Nimrod. Thanks for the clear answer.
--Pete
(Sesquipedalian Man)
User avatar
Peter W. Meek     
 
Posts: 1085
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:00 pm
Location: SE Michigan

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Moses Botbol     » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:08 pm

Why aren't Smith Woodhouse Colheitas pushed more in the market place? It's such a fabulous wine but rare as hen's teeth to find on the shelf.
Welsh Corgi | F1 | Port Wine
User avatar
Moses Botbol     
 
Posts: 5062
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:38 am
Location: Boston, USA

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Roy Hersh     » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:49 pm

Dan,

Without giving away any trade secrets, are there any NEW projects that you are able to tell us about with either Port or Douro wine (or both)?
Ambition driven by passion, rather than money, is as strong an elixir as is Port. http://www.fortheloveofport.com
User avatar
Roy Hersh     
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19864
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Sammamish, WA

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Symington Family     » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:43 am

Frederick Blais wrote:Is the Symington planning to release one day a very small production of a very specific vineyard or part of vineyard you own. Just like Noval Nacional or Vinha Velha from Taylor. Something that you are very proud of and could make a unique bottling. Is there such a thing maybe laying down already in the cellars? :)


Hi Frederick. Thanks for your question. I apologize for the length in advance, but when it comes to Vesuvio, sometimes my enthusiasm gets the best of me.

A story (and great wine to match) like the Noval Nacional is something any wine producer would love to have. It provides a great headline and can do wonders for all of the wines in a portfolio, just by the glow of its reputation. In this sense it is probably tempting for any producer to set out to make a wine like that. At the same time, however, it introduces the question of priority and the possibility of having to make trade-offs: if there is a special wine made with the best of the best, does that mean the other wines in the range are made with what's left? In some cases it could raise difficult questions. The Symingtons recognized the value in such a niche wine, but also understood the potential pitfall, and would not move ahead unless it could be solved.

This year the Symingtons launched a wine sourced from a few carefully selected vineyard plots, and made in a very special, handcrafted way. Charles and the winemaking team divided one of the lagares at Vesuvio and set out to make a really unique wine from start to finish. This property, at over 325 hectares, is nearly the largest in the Douro and can easily sustain a special bottling with no risk of limiting the winemaking team’s access to top quality fruit – only 6% of the best of the best wines, all made from grapes that were hand picked and foot trodden, were used for all Vesuvio Vintage Ports in ‘07. In addition to the always superb Vesuvio Vintage Port, a very small bottling was made of 2007 Capela Vintage Port (meaning chapel), named for the beautiful and ornate Baroque chapel attached to Vesuvio's grand estate house. The core component of this wine was made from perfectly ripened, hand selected grapes from the tiny Vinha da Escola vineyard, nestled at the bottom of the valley just behind the main house (I put a picture of the vineyard in Portraits). Peter, Charles and the family assembled the final blend based on 40% Touriga Nacional and equal parts Franca and Sousão. There is a lot more information about Capela on the Vesuvio website http://quintadovesuvio.com. Due to the very limited bottling of 250 cases total, it will be a wine that is not easy to find, but is worth the effort.
User avatar
Symington Family     
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:32 am
Location: Oporto, Portugal

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Symington Family     » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:13 am

J. D. A. Wiseman wrote:Why did Quinta do Vesúvio lose its accent?


Hi Julian. Good to see you are still as passionate about Port as when you visited Vesuvio for the tasting last year with Roy and Andy.

The use of the accent has not been terribly consistent over the nearly two centuries that the Vesuvio name has been appearing on the property’s wines. It should be used when written in a Portuguese context, but even that has an exception: in Portuguese, accents are not normally used for a word in all caps (see the image of the 1863 Vesuvio in the World Class Colheita article on the FTLOP homepage).

We are trying to be consistent and only use the accent for promotional materials written in Portuguese. The accent has been removed from the labels because the wine is shipped outside of Portugal. I suspect that even here we slip up now and then and your attention to detail probably allowed you to uncover a few inconsistencies. Proof that we are human!

ps - I doubled checked my apostrophe use and think it will pass muster.
User avatar
Symington Family     
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:32 am
Location: Oporto, Portugal

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Andy Velebil     » Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:01 am

Dan,
The Symington's now have several very nice red Douro DOC wines that have done quite well, and of course the new Vesuvio to boot.

Are there any plans on making a high end white wine for generally release? Of course there is the Altano white wine, which I've had on a couple of occasions, and is a pleasant wine. But I'm talking the upper end of whites like Niepoort's Redoma Reserva Branco.
Andy Velebil Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used. William Shakespeare http://www.fortheloveofport.com
User avatar
Andy Velebil     
 
Posts: 14448
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States of America - USA

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Symington Family     » Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:02 am

Andy Velebil wrote:My question is due to a very recent post by :ftlop: member Henrik HERE. Henrik asked what declared vintages was Dow's VP and Quinta do Bomfim produced in the same year? Of course, this may take into account a small amount that was originally not intended for sale, but has since made it's way onto the market.


Hi Andy, thanks for the welcome.

The answer to Henrik’s question is very straight forward, right - we do not bottle the quinta wine in a declared year, so there are no years with both. Logically, that makes sense, but this is the Port trade and there are always exceptions, and this is one.

The Symingtons had a long-standing relationship their Danish importer, one dating back to Maurice Symington and passing on to James Symington, Rupert’s father. In a handful of years, they were given a very small allocation of the quinta wine, normally reserved for family only and not made in every year.

There are not heaps of records to be found, but it appears that this happened during a 10 or so year stretch starting in the late 60’s. It is more difficult than you might expect to determine exactly which years but as soon as I have that info I will post it here. This was a very special arrangement, and one that has long since stopped. It does, however, represent another of the many intriguing aspects of the world of Port.
User avatar
Symington Family     
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:32 am
Location: Oporto, Portugal

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Symington Family     » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:05 am

Moses Botbol wrote:Why aren't Smith Woodhouse Colheitas pushed more in the market place? It's such a fabulous wine but rare as hen's teeth to find on the shelf.


Hello Moses. Go Red Sox.

I have seen your posts on the Smith Woodhouse Colheitas and Smith wines in general – good to know there are strong supporters out there. I am a devoted fan of Smith Woodhouse wines and often tell my friends in the US that they offer really superb value for money. In blind tastings I think Smith often is the biggest surprise, holding its own and sometimes outshining much better known producers.

That said, Colheitas are a bit of an uphill climb in terms of product awareness and in turn, sales. In fact, they make the Reserve Tawny category look downright dynamic in comparison (see my comments on Nimrod). Not many people know enough about them to understand why they are so special. All the more reason to do more promotion in the market place you say? I agree, there is no doubt that education is key to the future of the Port trade. But we have limited marketing budgets and many wines that make important contributions to the business, and these wines need support too. Marketing always involves this kind of trade-off, hopefully overall we are getting the mix right and with time (and a favorably exchange rate) we will be able to do more promotion and expand distribution for Smith Colheitas.

What do you think of their presentation? Is there anything you suggest that may help them gain visibility/popular interest on the shelf?

Thanks
User avatar
Symington Family     
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:32 am
Location: Oporto, Portugal

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Moses Botbol     » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:30 am

Symington Family wrote:What do you think of their presentation? Is there anything you suggest that may help them gain visibility/popular interest on the shelf?

Thanks


Geez, from the company that came up with the bottling of Otima, to ask me what would gain visibility. Symingtons have presentation worked out on many products including Vesuvio footlockers. The only problem with footlockers is that they are too nice to open and I don't know when I'll ever have the heart to open on mine...

Perhaps an unique bottle and label would help the Colheita? Downplay what it is and just target the yumminess that is "in your face" of anyone who tries it. SW Colheita, as is Otima speaks for itself in the glass.

I would love to see the Symington's sponsor a sports team, perhaps a UCI cycling team to give awareness to your brands. The audience is within your target crowd I think. Since the teams are named after the sponsors, you'll get plenty of talk.

Just love your dry wines too. Altano is my favorite QPR wine I can think of.
Welsh Corgi | F1 | Port Wine
User avatar
Moses Botbol     
 
Posts: 5062
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:38 am
Location: Boston, USA

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Symington Family     » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:31 am

Peter W. Meek wrote:I have tried Otima 10, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I keep looking for Otima 20, but the Ann Arbor, MI area isn't exactly a hotbed of Port consumption like the Seattle area. Nimrod sold for $30-32 in most places around here. The only ports that seem similar are now in the $40+ range. Perhaps Nimrod was underpriced.

Fortunately, I still have two cases of Nimrod which I am drinking up before they "expire".


Hi Peter. Re-read my reply and realized I should have suggested you try Dow's Boardroom also. Although it is made in the Dow style, it will share the primary flavour characteristics of Warre's Nimrod as they are both Reserve Tawny Ports. And the pricepoint might be a pleasant suprise also.
User avatar
Symington Family     
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:32 am
Location: Oporto, Portugal

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby Symington Family     » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:44 am

Moses Botbol wrote:
Symington Family wrote:What do you think of their presentation? Is there anything you suggest that may help them gain visibility/popular interest on the shelf?

Thanks


I would love to see the Symington's sponsor a sports team, perhaps a UCI cycling team to give awareness to your brands. The audience is within your target crowd I think. Since the teams are named after the sponsors, you'll get plenty of talk.

Just love your dry wines too. Altano is my favorite QPR wine I can think of.


Moses, thanks for your thoughts - I have something in mind that I hope will make it to the shelf - new product development takes time though. Sponsorships are usually out of our reach spend wise, but I agree with your logic. Very pleased to hear your opinion of the Altano wines. Charles and Pedro Correia have been kicking &%$ and have really taken our DOC initiative to a new level. And there is more to come. Keep you posted.
User avatar
Symington Family     
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:32 am
Location: Oporto, Portugal

Re: Dan Carbon - November's Forum Guest Corner Host

Postby goncalo devesas     » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:04 am

Hello Dan,

my name is Gonçalo, I´m Gustavo´s brother (works in Graham´s Cellar).

Here´s my question:

About the casks, I read that the best oak casks, are the one´s that are smoked for 3 years and in each year they lose 1 to 2 cm thickness and the oak that they use come from trees with a century, the price of each one, around 750/800 US dollars...

Can you tell me if in Port they use this kind of casks ?

Normally they use oak casks that were already used for ex. in France for wine, brandy or Armagnac ?

Thanks,
:salute: Gonçalo
goncalo devesas     
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:35 pm
Location: porto, porto, portugal

Next

Return to Guest Corner

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron