Colheita, 100% grapes from the harvest year?

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Colheita, 100% grapes from the harvest year?

Postby Frederick Blais     » Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:16 pm

I have a question that's been left unanswered in my mind for more than a year now. Last year when I visited Taylor's lodges, I asked the lady why Taylor were not making Colheita. The short answer was that to make colheita as great as other Taylor port are, you have to blend some of your best grape for it. Taylor want to concentrate their best grape for vintages, it is hard to be successful with both vintage and colheita at the same time.

Then she added that some houses where adding some young port to their very old colheita bottling to add freshness to it. As anybody heard anything about this? Never read anything on it and nobody I asked so far could confirm me if it has been done or not by Port house.

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Postby Jay Woodruff » Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:38 pm

Every description I have ever heard of Colheita is that it is vintage tawny and as such is 100% from one year.

Having said that, I realize that vintage wine in other areas canhave a small percentage from another vintage (I think) but have not heard that about Colheta. Seems that kind of blending she mentions would make it more of a Solera.
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Postby Ronald Wortel » Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:31 pm

It would in fact be illegal. But, that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen... :roll:

The argument of Taylor for not making Colheita seems not completely valid though. Dirk Niepoort explained once that good vintage port grapes supply great colour and concentration, whereas freshness is much more important when it comes to tawnies.
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Postby Frederick Blais     » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:13 pm

Do you know a lot of Port house that has the freshness Niepoort's has in its colheita, I can't name another one that has the consistency of doing it, this is why when I go to Portugal I bring back my bags full of colheita from Niepoort but I still don't have enough :o
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Colheita

Postby Gerdinho » Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:09 pm

hi fred, my english is not so good to explain it in my own words, but I found an article from Joao Paulo Martins about this question in the english issue of the 'Revista dos Vinhos' December 1999: "There are those who claim that Colheita Ports are fraudulent. The reason they give is that as Tawny Ports must be aged in cask and not the bottle, they are subject to evaporation which gets topped up to compensate ("refreshed"). It is at this point that Things get complicated. In order to improve the wine and prevent it from becoming heavy and sickly, the Tawny will be topped up by a younger wine, which its detractors say defeats the object of a Colheita Port. The Port is no longer just from the year of vintage on the label, which means, they claim, that the consumers is being misled.
The defenders of standard Colheita Ports say the detractors are wrong. As no more wine can be sold than is officially registered with the IVP, then any attempt to defraud would be pointless. The winemaker is striving to maintain the particular style of Colheita Port, while keeping within the accepted procedures which vary from shipper to shipper." I hope my post was not to long greetings from Germany
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Postby Roy Hersh     » Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:38 am

There are many topics in this post and I will take them in random order:

Taylor's chooses not to make a Colheita because the want to focus on Vintage Port. I have spoken to the Managing Director about this, as recently at June 2005, while asking if it was a direction that they might go in the future. After our discussion, I believe the only way that Taylor would ever head this way (which I don't think they ever will) would be to purchase old stocks of Vintage Dated Tawny Port from another producer. So don't count on this any decade soon.

But, since the Fladgate Partnership also owns Fonseca, Croft and Delaforce ... it would not surprise me at all, to see Delaforce which historically has produced some intriguing wood-aged Ports ... to produce a Colheita in the future.

Niepoort - the reason for what Frederick calls "freshness" in the Niepoort styles, is almost a cliche. Every article ever written on Niepoort mentions the freshness, because we all know that Dirk loves his Ports to seem fresh. :D As to the reality of things, there IS a freshness to his Colheita and that comes from the use of ancient glass demijohns. See my article and photos on Niepoort Colheitas http://www.fortheloveofport.com/articles/a_colheita.htm

I do think that there are other companies that also make some excellent Colheitas and off the top of my head, Burmester, Quinta do Noval, Kopke, Quinta do Portal, Ferreira, Krohn and Rocha all come to the fore.

Now to the crux of the matter that started this thread:


The IVDP regulation does not get into enough detail to say that topping off with a younger wine, is "illegal." In fact, I know that this practice does go on. It is not done to make the wines more youthful although, that may be the outsome of the practice of topping off the evaporated wine.

I have requested more specific information directly from Portugal to get clarity on this topic and we can avoid innuendo once I receive word back.
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Postby Frederick Blais     » Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:32 pm

Roy Hersh wrote: As to the reality of things, there IS a freshness to his Colheita and that comes from the use of ancient glass demijohns. See my article and photos on Niepoort Colheitas http://www.fortheloveofport.com/articles/a_colheita.htm

.


When Niepoort colheita are transfered from the barrel to demijohns, is it the bottling date? By the law, do Colheita need to be aged exclusively in cask or 7 years in cask minimum and then whatever you want?

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Postby Roy Hersh     » Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:06 pm

I hope this clarifies the point. Colheita must age in cask as minimum of 7 years (IN WOOD) ... but may be left for 8, 10, 50 or 150 years in wood. It matters not as the 7 year time frame is a legal minimum for cask aging. From there, if the Port then goes to glass or in other cases than Niepoort, to stainless steel for example, there is absolutely no limit to how long they can continue to age. The Colheita date on the bottle does not change, as all grapes/wine must come from the same vintage. But there is also a date that the bottle was filled and again, that must be at least 7 full years from the time of harvest. It is certainly feasible to find Colheitas from the exact same vintage that are bottled at different times (a 2nd or 3rd release) times and show different bottling dates, but of course ... the date of the Colheita itself will not vary.
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Postby Jay Woodruff » Sun Aug 07, 2005 10:02 pm

Has anyone here had Colheita from the same producer, same year that was bottled at different times?

I am interested in the differences between the two bottlings. Would perhaps also be important who the producer is. I know that Dirk Niepoort feels his age well in the bottle where others would say Drink Up!
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Postby Frederick Blais     » Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:18 am

I've taste many colheitas from Dow and Barros that at been bottled at different year, but never side by side to see the difference. For Barros, it was 1977 and 1986 and for Dow's it was 1982 and 1986. Both 86 were really great. I'll try to see if I didn't leave any notes about these wines somewhere on the net, in these times I did not have a booklet with all my tasting notes.
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Postby Steven Kooij » Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:25 pm

Roy, are you sure Niepoort ages its Colheitas in demijohns? Garrafeira, yes, but Colheita?
And I'm curious as to which producers you know use stainless steel for their Colheitas. I know it is done for "regular" Tawny, but it would make the officially allowed term of "matured in wood" for Colheita somewhat misleading...
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Postby Mario Ferreira     » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:10 am

Just a reminder: Details of the new Regulation for the Special Categories of Port Wine may be found on the Newsletter FTLOP #9 June 2005, page 10. (For the ones who haven't gotten this Roy's newsletter, please let me know and I will be happy to forward my copy to you) 8).

My input to this issue is that Colheitas are 100% from grapes of the harvest year and IVDP's strict control make very difficult the use of wines from other harvest years. The IVDP's control has being made not only by recording the amounts of wine at the beginning of any given production but also by regular (and unexpected) visits to the lodges for samples collection and rechecking of the records by IVDP staff . At the very end, IVDP is also the ultimate body to approve labels and wines before its introduction into the market. I should say that deceiving IVDP is almost an impossible task :?

Regarding ageing Tawnies in Stainless Steal, the fact is Tawny Wines mature by oxidation promoted by the contact of the wines with the Oak barrels that, despite being a very slow process, make aromatic exchanges possible. I guess those aromatic exchanges will not happen by using Stainless Steal.

I would also like to add that in the best of my knowledge I've never heard about the use of Stainless Steal for Tawnies. However, now that this discussion is taking place, I wonder whether at one point one particular producer has temporarily stored some of his Tawnies in Stainless Steal for the sake of managing space & making room for his wines. :!: :?:
Anyway, I will bring this issue for discussion next time I'm among Port Wine Producers :idea:
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Postby Steven Kooij » Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:00 pm

You raise an interesting point, Mario. Temporary storage: yes, but for ageing? It just doesn't make sense to me.
I have not come across it for Tawny Port, but I know a well known VP producer who stored its VP for a few months in INOX for a few weeks: they needed the barrels for the new havest, and the bottling line wasn't ready yet!
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Postby Nikolaj Winther » Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:30 am

Jay Woodruff wrote:Has anyone here had Colheita from the same producer, same year that was bottled at different times?

I am interested in the differences between the two bottlings. Would perhaps also be important who the producer is. I know that Dirk Niepoort feels his age well in the bottle where others would say Drink Up!


I've had Calems Colheita 1991 in a 2003 and a 2004-botteling. The difference was miniscule - and since the 2004-botteling was in february 2004 (I don't recall when I purchased the 03-botteling - maybe 4 months earlier) the time-difference was also miniscule.
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Postby Roy Hersh     » Sun Oct 30, 2005 5:31 pm

Let me clarify a few issues here.

Dirk does not age his Colheitas in demijohn.

There are Colheitas that have seen some time in stainless. Unfortunately, names will not be named here. It was a temporary issue for just under a year.

Lastly, Delaforce has made some outstanding Colheitas and I got to try a few of them this past week and was very very impressed with their overall quality. There were 2 that blew me away. TNs to come in due course.

Asking many producers for their opinions this week about Colheitas improving with age in bottle, there was quite a diversity of opinions and the majority felt that they do not get better with bottle age. There were a few that did agree that they do improve. Look for my upcoming article on this trip where this topic will be discussed in more detail. I will not elaborate until then.
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