Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 2016
#23 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2018
Deep purple with a narrow magenta rim. Notes of pure, intense woodland fruit with lively accents of green apple, plum and raspberry. Around this core of bright fruit is a heady aura of herbs. Exotic notes of cedar wood and jasmine provide an additional dimension of complexity. Sinewy, linear tannins that integrate seamlessly into the mid palate and re-emerge to hold the wine in a confident grip. Energized by a racy acidity, the intense berry flavors continue to build into the long finish.
?Most often served after a meal, alone or with cheese, nuts or dried fruits. It may also be served with fine dark chocolate. The wine should be decanted before serving due to sediment in the bottle.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2016 Vintage Port was originally seen about a week before bottling in a more unsettled incarnation. It is now in the USA and showing in a rather forward fashion for Taylor's. It was aged for 20 months in wood and comes in with 102 grams of residual sugar. This is a pleasure just to smell, with its hints of herbs, eucalyptus and blackberries. Some more time in bottle has made this a classic Port from start to finish in terms of aromatics and flavors. In my almost-40-year history of Port drinking, Taylor's was and is always one of my benchmarks for what a Port should taste and smell like. This delivers all that in spades.
The home of Port—perhaps the most internationally acclaimed beverage—the Douro region of Portugal is one of the world’s oldest delimited wine regions, established in 1756. The vineyards of the Douro, set on the slopes surrounding the Douro River (known as the Duero in Spain), are incredibly steep, necessitating the use of terracing and thus, manual vineyard management as well as harvesting. The Douro's best sites, rare outcroppings of Cambrian schist, are reserved for vineyards that yield high quality Port.
While more than 100 indigenous varieties are approved for wine production in the Douro, there are five primary grapes that make up most Port and the region's excellent, though less known, red table wines. Touriga Nacional is the finest of these, prized for its deep color, tannins and floral aromatics. Tinta Roriz (Spain's Tempranillo) adds bright acidity and red fruit flavors. Touriga Franca shows great persistence of fruit and Tinta Barroca helps round out the blend with its supple texture. Tinta Cão, a fine but low-yielding variety, is now rarely planted but still highly valued for its ability to produce excellent, complex wines.
White wines, generally crisp, mineral-driven blends of Arinto, Viosinho, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina and an assortment of other rare but local varieties, are produced in small quantities but worth noting.
With hot summers and cool, wet winters, the Duoro has a maritime climate.
Port is a sweet, fortified wine with numerous styles: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), White, Colheita, and a few unusual others. It is blended from from the most important red grapes of the Douro Valley, based primarily on Touriga Nacional with over 80 other varieties approved for use. Most Ports are best served slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.