Est. 2011


John Harvey & Son, Bristol

This was a very well-known English wine merchant. Harvey's bottled many producers of vintage port as well as other kinds of wine and brandy. From time to time, they bottled vintage port under their own brand.

The first clue of Harvey is the discovery of a silver wine label in 1751 linked to the business. 1794 Harvey was a wine and brandy merchant who supplied residences within five miles. In 1796 William Perry opened the doors of 12 Denmark Street, Bristol, to trade as a wine merchant. In 1822 John Harvey joined William Perry’s business and in 1871 John Harvey as senior partner finally changed the name of the Bristol firm to John Harvey & Sons.

As a wine merchant Harvey's had traded and bottled both Cockburn and Martinez. In 1961 Harvey decided to buy the Port wine house Martinez Gassiot and in 1962 also Cockburn Smithes. Following the acquisition of these two houses, Harvey's bottled the 1962 Vintage Port under their own brand, Harvey's. The 1962 Harvey's vintage was a blend of Cockburn & Martinez to celebrate the birth of a son of the former chairman of Harvey.

In 1966 Harveys was bought by Showerings, Vine Products and Whiteways Ltd (SVPW), which was bought by Allied Breweries in 1968 with subsequent name changes to Allied-Lyons PLC in 1981 and to Allied Domecq PLC in 1994. With finance from Allied, Harvey's bought the sherry and port firm MacKenzie in 1970.

During the 1980s Harvey's was used as a brand bottled by Martinez Gassiot, principally for the American market.

In 2005, a time of turmoil started for Harvey's as well as Cockburn and Martinez. The owner, Allied Domecq, was taken over by Pernod Ricard SA who then immediately sold off some of the acquired brands, including Harvey's, Cockburn and Martinez, to Beam Inc within the Fortune Brands group. Beam had not much experience in making fortified wine and consequently, the offer of the Symington family to make the Cockburn wines for them was welcomed. In 2006 the Symingtons took over all the vineyards and the lodges of Cockburn, but Beam retained the brand and the company name. However, Symington was allowed also to buy Martinez in 2006. Meanwhile, Harvey's was transformed to a pure Sherry brand. To our knowledge 1985 was the last vintage declared by Harvey's. In 2010 Beam sold the remaining parts of the Cockburn company and brand name to Symington and the transfer was completed. Harvey's is still part of Beam Inc. but does not make Port wine anymore.

From the vintage 1978 the Harvey label is a vintage from Quinta da Eira Velha produced by Martinez Gassiot.

Harvey Vintages:1820, 1863, 1868, 1878, 1887, 1897, 1900, 1908, 1954 (Grahams), 1958, 1962 (Blend of Cockburn and Martinez), 1983 (Martinez), 1985 (Martinez)

Vintage Port tasting notes:

ColourMature tawny in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetOld bouquet of pharmacy, ether and old hospital.Score range15.90 - 15.90
TasteMedium body. Still quite knit. Mature but of course old in flavour and alcoholic. Nice finish and still alive.Average score
Last tasted23rd December 2010Point this date15.90
CommentAt home with the family.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
ColourRather dark but beautiful amber, mature in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetLovely bouquet of butter-scotch, cream candy, bonbons, cacao and much more in the nose.Score range17.50 - 17.50
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Cannot be better and is absolutely on top! Elegant with some balanced acidity and old lovely sweetness. Butterscotch and cacao in taste. The finish is very long and very attractive. A lovely port indeed.Average score
Last tasted17th November 2016Point this date17.50
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% Semi-Great Tasting in Malmö.

In 2016 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings3
BouquetSweet liquorice, toffee, fudge, some spiciness and much more in the nose. Quite impressive.Score range16.90 - 17.00
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Sweet liquorice and toffee in taste. Elegant and balanced port with a long quite complex and very attractive finish. A lovely and astonishing port!Average score16.95
Last tasted29th November 2018Point this date17.00
CommentAt the Port Wine Dinner in Leverkusen, Germany.
This bottle was not quite as the vintage has been before and the tasting notes are from 8 May, 2018 in London. Harvey's vintage of this year was a blend of Cockburn & Martinez to celebrate the birth of a son of the former chairman of Harvey.
TastersSAI, JB, SS

Last tasted:

26th May
Morgan 1991
22nd May
Offley Boa Vista 1983
19th May
Berry Bros 1994
Ferreira 1994
Kopke 1994
Marks & Spencer 1994
Morgan 1994
Pocas Jr 1994
Real Vinicola
Real Companhia Velha 1994
18th May
Barros 1994
Borges & Irmao 1994
Burmester 1994
Dow 1994
Fonseca 1994
Gould Campbell 1994
Graham 1994
Niepoort 1994
Osborne 1994
Pocas Jr 1994
Quarles Harris 1994
Quinta do Castelinho 1994
Quinta da Eira Velha
Martinez 1994
Quinta do Passadouro 1994
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
Romariz 1994
Silva Reis 1994
Skeffington 1994
Smith Woodhouse 1994
Taylor 1994
Symington 1994
Warre 1994


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