OMG. This is really the most amazing young Taylor's I have ever tasted. Full-bodied and lightly sweet with super power and intensity. So racy and focused. Yet this has such muscle and intensity. Needs at least eight years to show you everything it has to offer. Drink in 2025.
In 2016 Taylor's began picking in Vargellas on 17 September, followed by Pinhão Valley estate on 23 and 26 September. The 2016 Vintage Port has an aristocratic bouquet with tight wound aromas of blackberry, bilberry, crushed stone, black olive and a light, marine-tinged element, perhaps almost peat-like. The palate is just beautiful with fine, chiseled tannins and a perfect line of acidity. There is that almost "arching" structure one always seeks in a great Taylor’s with a gentle but insistent grip towards the finish. It is everything you really want from a Vintage Port. (NM)
The 2016 Vintage Port is a field blend set to be bottled about a week after this tasting. It was the final blend. It was aged for 20 months in wood and comes in with 102 grams of residual sugar. The Croft might be as rich--although I don't think so; we'll see as they age--but this is more expressive right now. The most delicious of the three Fladgate Group offerings, this has the sexiest fruit, although the Fonseca seems to have more pure power. Even allowing that it had a fair bit of air, this was showing surprisingly well for young Taylor's. That is speaking relatively, of course, because this still has power and energy. Personally, this year I'd definitely pick Fonseca, though. Fonseca just seems to have a little more upside potential. With Port, of course, things change over the decades. This is a first look, not a final word. Winemaker David Guimaraens said that 2016, the first declaration since 2011, was a cooler year with purity of fruit and less power compared to the muscular and concentrated 2011s. That is pretty obvious on tasting them. They are enchanting for their freshness, though. (MS)
Two main sources are Quinta de Vargellas, which is north-facing and so protected from excessive heat, and giving floral notes, plus Quinta de Terra Feita and Quinta do Junco around Pinhão for earthier characteristics. Only 6,500 cases were made, instead of the usual 12,000-14,000. Dark crimson but without the blueish purple of the Grahams. Tight, refined nose -- rather claret-like. Not as obviously sweet as some. Restrained aromatically: backward with sharp, linear blackcurrant and violet notes. This tastes like a somewhat shouty, scratchy baby at the moment -- which is no criticism of a wine designed to age as long as a vintage port. But then there are masses of sweet fruit with liquorice surrounded in a scratchy skein of tannins and acidity. 18/20 points. Drink 2043-2070. (JR)
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