Red, For laying down

2017 Taylor's, Taylor Fladgate, Douro, Portugal

2017 Taylor's, Taylor Fladgate, Douro, Portugal

Red | For laying down | Taylor Fladgate | Code:  59634 | 2017 | Port Wine > Vintage Port | Port Blend | Full Bodied, Sweet | 20.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

Antonio Galloni

98

Jancis

18.5/20

Other

18+

Antonio Galloni - The 2017 Taylor's Vintage Port comes from their three quintas: Vargellas, de Terra Feita and do Junco, picking commencing at Vargellas on September 1, the earliest since 1945. Now this boasts a bold and more flamboyant bouquet vis-à-vis the Croft with layers of blackcurrant, blueberries, violet and allspice. Wonderful definition here and as it ratchets up through the gears with aeration manages to maintain impressive delineation. The palate is medium, rather full-bodied. The first impression is one of freshness, completely disguising that summer’s dryness and warmth, a disarming finesse built around the frame of tannins that would have been impossible years ago. It is a silky-smooth Taylor’s, one of the most polished 2017 Vintage Ports with energy and tension flooding through the finish. Aristocratic as ever, totally Taylor’s, yet still translating the growing season with aplomb. Total production is 11,500 cases.
Neal Martin, vinous.com

Jancis - Deep purple. Dark-fruited, dusky, smoky, full of blackberry and blueberry fruit. Like a bottomless well of fruit, so deep and smooth. Power and polish to the densely layered but welcoming tannins, the power hidden by the fruit depth. As it opens on the nose, there’s a more wild elderberry character and more chocolate on the finish. Amazing length, the tannins creating a paradoxically dry, savoury finish. Even with all this exceptional fruit, it seems more corseted on the palate than some in this vintage. Fladgate MD Adrian Bridge suggested this wine had an aroma of orange blossom and he is right, but I am not sure I would never have identified it without his prompt.
Julia Harding MW, Jancis Robinson.com 

Other - A blend from predominantly north-facing Quinta de Vargellas in the Douro Superior and Quintas Terras Feita and Junco in the Pinhão valley: lovely ripe mulberry fruit on the nose, floral yet also showing lovely concentration; dense and fleshy initially on the palate, damson fruit, full, ripe, round tannins, rising in the mouth, leading to a big finish: silky-velvety fruit backed by broad fine grained chalky tannins. A peacock’s tail.  Already beautifully integrated. 11,500 cases produced (nearly double that of 2016).  
Richard Mayson

The Producer

Taylor Fladgate

Taylor Fladgate

Taylor's Port, sometimes called Taylor-Fladgate (particularly in the U.S.) is one of the most well-known of all Port wine brands.

The first Taylor joined in 1816, followed  later by a Fladgate and a Yeatman. Taylor’s is the only Port wine shipper to remain completely independent throughout its history. British ownership continues to this day, when, after the last Yeatman, Dick, died in 1966, the firm passed via his widow to her nephew, Alistair Robertson.

Adrian Bridge, Alistair's son-in-law, is the current Managing Director. David Guimarãens leads the winemaking team that is responsible for maintaining Taylor’s position as a premium Port wine producer.

Taylor’s was the first to commercialise a Single Quinta (Estate) Vintage with their 1958 Quinta de Vargellas. Taylor’s were one of the first shippers to offer a 10 & 20 year old Aged Tawny ports and in the early 1970's it pioneered the Late Bottled Vintage (or LBV) style.

In addition to Vintage Port, Taylor's has also enjoyed considerable success with its Quinta de Vargellas, under which label Vintage wine is made in good years that have not been declared.The range has been augmented by the 116-hectare Quinta de Terra Feita in the Pinhão valley and Quinta do Junco, Vila Nova da Gaia and Xisto.

The Port wines are typically closed and austere when young; it is only with adequate ageing that they loosen up and offer their subliminal qualities. Worth waiting for, though, to secure stocks one is best advised to buy young.

The Grape

Port Blend

Port Blend

There are around 40 different grape varieties permitted in the production of Port - however the vast majority of Ports are produced from a blend of 5 grapes - Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, and Tinto Cão.

Touriga Nacional produces small, dark-skinned grapes that produce opaque black wines of great extract and high tannins - it gives grip, body, and structure to the blend.

Touriga Franca has a thinner skin and consequently produces wines lighter in colour and tannins than Touriga Nacional. It contributes fruit, aroma, suppleness and roundness.

Tinta Roriz is the Portuguese name for Tempranillo and its high sugar content and low acidity contribute colour and fruit.

Tinta Barroca which is normally grown at highish altitudes and on north-facing slopes, is prized for producing wines of delicacy, finesse and with smooth, velvety fruit. It brings elegance and sweet, ripe fruit to the final blend.

Finally Tinto Cão produces fine and complex wines, though it is probably the least important of the 5 grapes as its painfully small yields have reduced plantings to almost insignificant levels.

The Region

Vintage Port

Vintage Port accounts for only a small percentage of the total Port production - which includes Tawny, Ruby, Late Bottled Vintage, Single Quinta Vintage styles, among others - but is the finest, longest-lived and most expensive style that is produced. The best are as good as any wine in existence.

With the exception of legendary vineyards like Quinta do Noval Nacional and Quinta do Vesuvio, Vintage Port is made from a blend of wines from a producer's finest plots. It is aged for around 18 months in wooden casks before bottling; from then on the watch-word is patience. At least 15 years ageing – and for the top wines it will be significantly longer – is required before the tannins, spirit and fruit are fully integrated. Indeed, the finest examples can last well over 50 years. 

Vintage Port is only made in exceptional years (normally around three times per decade) with considerable stylistic variation between different years and shippers. However, they all share a sweet, warming, spicy richness, power and complexity. In other good but not great vintages, many shippers produce a  Single Quinta Vintage Port from their finest vineyard. These are made in the same way and have the same style as Vintage Port but tend to mature faster and are less profound. All Vintage Port throws a sediment as it matures, and thus requires decanting.

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