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1963 Port question

HI there, I am looking to buy a bottle of 1963 port for my brother who is 60 in 2023. I can see that there are various vendors in the £170 - £250 bracket.

Obviously I can make sure I choose a bottle with an intact seal but how much of a risk am I taking that the bottles have been badly stored and the port will be ruined? How sensitive to it’s storage conditions is a 1963 port likely to be?

It’s a lot of money to pay for a bottle of vinegar!

Thanks

Steve

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It’s always a risk, but it’s more robust than wine. I am ignorant, but it looks like a good vintage.

You could try these guys - they offer a guarantee if you open the bottle within 3 months. A few options there too

https://www.vintagewineandport.co.uk/vintage-port/1963-port/

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Port is pretty robust, especially if you get it from a reasonably reputable seller. There is sometimes a bit of bottle variation, which is to be expected on a sixty year old wine, but most 63s are still trundling along quite nicely. It might be quite bland but won’t be undrinkable. I think there are some dated tawnies which have just been released from Graham and although not cheap they would be as the maker intended. Warre do ‘private cellar’ releases and I think they did a 63 quite recently. Although for my taste port stored in UK cellars ages better than those stored in Portugal. The Port Forum has a lot of tasting notes on 63 ports.

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Thanks both - sounds encouraging.

The Port Forum is a great resource - thanks @Prufrock for the tip!

http://www.theportforum.com

Or reduce the risk by going for an Armagnac?

https://www.armagnac.com/en/1963/

Nice idea but my brother is a port lover, not so keen on armagnac. :frowning:

You’ll be fine I’m sure. As already said, vintage port is pretty robust. Whilst some are definitely fading now, they are still delicious - 1963 wasn’t just good, it was a great vintage.

1963s appear at auction fairly regularly so you still have time to try that route. Be aware, though, that as with specialist merchants, anniversary vintages are a thing, and that will serve to elevate the price. That’s probably built into the prices by now though.

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Steve, if you are asked to pay that amount of money I would ask the merchant for details of storage history.

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I would recommend vintage wine and port for your 1963 port. I have used many times (only back as far as 1970) the only time I had a bit of seepage as soon as delivered, I was refunded without any quibble. Port still quaffed and tasted great!
I was also fortunate to taste a1963 port about 12 years ago now. Was still fantastic!
Good luck with the purchase.

I think you will be ok, so long as you check for ullage and it comes from a reputable merchant. The first vintage port I ever drank was a '63 Taylor’s in a restaurant in Yorkshire at a friend’s 21st, 45 years ago. Been hooked on port ever since. Very envious of your friend.

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Brother, rather.

ok - I have bought a case of 12 Croft 1963 at auction. (I was only after one bottle but got a bit carried away :grimacing:.)

Getting lots of help from the folk on ThePortForum.com, so thanks for the tip!

Might start looking at some other wine auctions now - it’s quite fun.

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Lucky brother!

The Croft 63 is nice. At least it always has been when I have had it. Smaller houses are often quite a lot cheaper and usually just as good as the big names. Good work.