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. (Drink between 2006-2050)
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)
The only vintage Taylor’s declared in the 1950s. According to the Fladgate Partnership, ‘one of the most underrated vintages of the century’. Taylor’s own two great vineyards in the Douro, Quinta de Vargellas and Quinta de Terra Feita. Both are categorised grade A - the highest possible rating. In years when Taylor’s produces a classic vintage, wines from these two estates are blended together. As they are some 20 miles apart, and subject to very different micro climates, they combine to produce a powerful, long lived and complex vintage port. In 1955 there was a heatwave at the end of April and early May. Rain at the end of May was beneficial for the flowering. July and August were hot, and at the time of the vintage the bunches were in excellent condition. The general starting date for the vintage was on the 26 September, and a shower on the 22 September did a lot of good. Light rain fell on 2 and 3 October but did no harm, and helped cool the temperature. Mid rose red. This somehow not only looks but tastes rose red. Lovely and lifted and fresh. There's a real core of excitement to this. How lovely! 19/20 Points (JR)
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