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Dow's 1962 Special Reserve

July 5, 2012
Question by: Windy

Q:

I have a bottle of Dow's 1962 Special Reserve bottled in 1972 and would like to find out the value of this vintage. I have searched the web and cannot find this particular bottle. I want to give it to my Son for his 50th birthday and it would be nice to know the value. I can send a picture of the label if that would help.

A:

Hi Windy, This bottle is an early example of the kind of Port that has since become standardised as Late Bottled Vintage. 

In the early to mid 20th century Port shippers experimented with the kind of wines we now know as Reserve Ruby Ports (also sometimes labeled as “Vintage Character”), ageing them a bit longer before bottling, and ultimately arriving at the modern Late Bottled Vintage style.  These wines were bottled for reasonably short term consumption within a few years of bottling and not for long term ageing – the T-style cork rather than a driven cork is always a sign the Port is intended for the shorter term.

If the bottle has been well cellared there is no reason it shouldn’t still be drinkable, though it could easily be past its best.  The level of wine has dropped down to the low-neck/shoulder level, which would indicate some evaporation, and equally indicate the likelihood of air having entered the bottle, which might not have done the wine any good.

We don’t think this bottle has any significant value apart from pure curiousity – typically only true Vintage Ports from declared years are sought in the secondary market.



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