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Solera 1836
Solera 1836  

Tawny port
Tawny port  
Hello.  I recently enjoyed some 1845 madeira, my first medeira experience, and it was wonderful.  When I returned home I was looking in a box of old wine from a friends estate and in there was a bottle of   Cossart, Gordon & Co. Madeira.  The title on the label is in black ink SOLERA 1836
"shipped from Funchal, Madeira April 1918 per S. S. "Goa" to New york.  Bottled August 1918 by SHAW  Then a second label toward the bottom reads "The Dixon Company Importing Wine Merchants.
 
This bottle had lots of gunk inside and I could smell the sweetness around the cork.  The level was high.  After I filtered slowly I sampled a tiny bit and was very good, not bitter.  The rest I decanted for about 5 days and color was a beautiful golden medium dark clear color.  The taste was Magnificent !!
Having a little bit each night took me about 3 weeks and I am dying to find another bottle as good or similar.  My question is How much do you expect that bottle was worth ?  Secondly I don't know what kind of grape this was as it only stated SLOERA 1836 on the label.  It was sweet but more like cocoa and lots of alcohol.  It was like a sweet cognac I guess but the taste on the pallet was totally smooth...
I am now addicted to the Madeira.  Wonderful experience indeed.  

I also have a bottle of Christophers "Shikar" Tawny Port which looks to be pretty old and look forward to tasting that someday soon.  

Thank you in advance for any information or input you may have.  

J.

Answer
Hi John,

Cossart Gordon (http://www.madeira-shopping.com/english/department/cossart_gordon/) is a famous name in Madeira although it is now part of the Madeira Wine Company and no longer trades on its own account.

Their Solera wines are mostly based on the Bual grape (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boal_%28grape%29) that is my personal favourite of all Madeiras so I envy you!

Value is very difficult to estimate because of its rarity but you'd be very lucky to find a replacement for less than $1000. Try keeping an eye on the major wine auction houses if you need to pander to your addiction as old Madeiras seldom reach merchants' shelves.

I'm afraid your Port doesn't reach the same heights as Tawnies are basic blends and they don't attract enthusiasts in the same way as Vintage Ports. However Christophers was a famous London merchant and your Shikar port will have been a good example of the type - in its day, but I'm afraid this is now very old so you may find that the fortification spirit dominates any remaining fruit.

BTW, as 'Shikar' is the Urdu word for 'hunting' I think it would be a reasonable guess that this blend was intended for sale to British civil servants working for the colonial government that preceded independence.

Regards,

David
.

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David Ling

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I have 40 year`s experience tasting, collecting and enjoying wines as an amateur enthusiast. Bordeaux and Port are my particular loves and I regularly buy and sell at auction. I have a good library and frequently participate in on-line discussions. I can only help with valuations, buying or selling if you tell me where you live as there are many variations around the world.

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