Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 2017
Following a wet 2016, the year started with cold and dry winter conditions. Bud burst occurred around March 10th. The dry conditions continued into Spring and the warm weather in April and May encouraged rapid growth of the vines. June was extremely hot and the early cycle continued with véraison around June 18th, one month earlier than the previous year. Conditions remained dry until the end of September although temperatures for much of the ripening season were moderate. As expected, the crop ripened very early, showing high sugar levels which led to longer fermentations and very effective color extraction. Picking started at Quinta de Vargellas on September 1st. The last time picking was recorded as having started this early was in 1945 when the first fruit was picked on September 3rd. Temperatures at harvest were mild, with cool nights, leading to balanced fermentations and excellent extraction.
Opaque at the center with a narrow purple rim. The nose is threaded with fine, linear fruit, heady and complex but restrained by a graphite minerality. Signature fragrance of violets, which hangs like a scented veil over the wine with discreet terroir notes of citrus and wild herbs. The nose is reserved but there is impressive depth and background. The palate is held in place by lithe, muscular tannins, firm and grippy on the finish, and ends with a powerful surge of crisp, pure berry fruit. A beautifully delineated wine, with poise and definition and the tantalizing promise of pleasures still to come.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
At the moment, it seems to be a step up on the Vinha Velha, although that is far more closed. I'd pick this today, but in time, both undoubtedly will have more tales to tell. Great young Ports go through many phases, and both are great young Ports. When ten-year anniversary tastings are done, this will have to be on the shortlist of greats to reconsider to determine how the best in the vintage are meeting expectations.Range: 98-100
The structure is currently very dominant in this wine. Its dark tannins are concentrated, waiting for the masked black fruits to come through. Everything is there, it just needs an immense amount of time. Drink from 2030. Kobrand.
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.