Having the 1955 and 1963 Taylors side by side, as we did at this tasting, is a perfect way to build up the patience necessary to keep the ’63 in the cellar, as the absolute apogee of the 1955 serves to amply demonstrate just how much more complexity the 1963 will gain with more bottle age. Aromatically, the 1955 Taylor has fully moved from its black fruity signature of youth into the more transparent, exotic and spice-driven profile of a mature Taylor, but yet retains all of the intensity and vigor on the palate of a strapping vintage port in its prime. The nose on the ’55 is flat out brilliant, as it soars from the glass in a spicy and exotic potpourri of blood orange, caramelized banana, brown sugar, tobacco, herb tones, exotic spices and cedar. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and utterly seamless, with haunting focus and balance, laser-like focus, excellent depth, and great length and grip on the fully mature, refined and aristocratic finish. A magnificent Taylor at its zenith.
The 1955 Taylor's Vintage Port is tight on the nose with notes of red cherry, fig, marmalade and tobacco leaf, all quite conservative and correct. The palate is very well balanced, beautifully defined and graceful but it does not have the brio, the hubris of the 1945 or 1948, missing the intellectual dimension of the greatest Taylor Ports. There are no tangible faults. It remains a wonderful mature Port cut from a similar cloth as a 1966 Bordeaux inasmuch that it is conservative and masculine. Yet, it is fresh and precocious towards the finish. Tasted in the Factory House in Porto for 'Taylor's - The Story of a Classic Port House' book. (NM)
This bottle was at a lovely point in its life, balancing savory, mushroom and spice notes against sweet caramel and dried fruit flavors on the long finish. Tannins resolved, potent alcohol totally concealed by the richness of the wine—there's simply nothing out of place. (JC)
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