Today we have the great pleasure of offering two fascinating and distinctive bottlings and vintages of Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, both of which have just arrived directly from the ex-Oporto cellars of the Estate itself, with provenance and condition absolutely guaranteed. The first is a double 100-point show-stopper from the outstanding 1994 vintage, which James Suckling deemed worthy of perfection with his initial barrel tasting on behalf of the Wine Spectator, “In a word, superb. It’s full-bodied, moderately sweet and incredibly tannic, but there’s amazing finesse and refinement to the texture, not to mention fabulous, concentrated aromas of raspberries, violets and other flowers. Perhaps the greatest Taylor ever, it’s better than either the ’92 or the ’70, though it’s very like the ’70 in structure” as well as in a more recent 2012 re-tasting in which he once again asserted, “This is, to date, the greatest Vintage Port ever from here. It overwhelmed me years ago when I tasted it from barrel, but only now is it crossing gradually into its drinking window. The intensity is still mind-boggling here, with sweet-and-sour notes as well as mounds of clay. There are violets lurking somewhere too. A full-bodied, medium sweet and sublime Vintage Port, showing forest fruits and freshly picked blackberries on the palate in the form of a creamy, focused and tannic texture.” While Taylors Vintage Port is known for its structured and imposing nature in its nascent stage, the 1994 has truly come into its own after more than 25 years in bottle although it will certainly continue to entice for many decades ahead. It is available today at just £545 per case of 6 IB, representing a fantastic saving in comparison to virtually every other truly great vintage of Taylor Vintage Port in the height of its maturity, as evidenced by the below table.
 

TaylorWAWSPrice (6x75cl) IB
199497100£545
199210095£780
19779698£725
19709698£900
19668889£1080
19639597£1490

However, for those looking for something equally inviting but with a slightly more alluring and expressive nature we highly suggest the Taylor Fladgate Quinta de Vargellas 2004a remarkable single vineyard bottling which The Wine Advocate asserts, “it is a fine bargain. Wide open and expressive (at least with double decanting the night before), this is laced with a touch of bitter chocolate and underlying steel. It shows finesse and elegance” earning a highly respectable 93 point score. With more than a decade and a half under its belt, it is an absolute steal at just £150 per case of six or why not try the pair this holiday season for the Special Price of £660 IB for a case of each.
 
Founded in 1692, Taylor Fladgate are one of two uber Port houses that dominate the Douro landscape, and have remained family owned throughout its 300 year history with a portfolio which today includes, Fonseca, Krohn and Croft. Their flagship Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port is released only in the finest years, which are known as ‘declared’ vintages and are considered amongst the world’s great iconic wines. Their Vintage Ports are a blend from each of the single vineyard estates; Quinta de Vargellas, Quinta de Terra Feita and more recently, Quinta do Junco. They are famed for incredible complexity, combining elegance with extraordinary longevity and are the very definition of a long-lived port.
 
The Quinta de Vargellas vineyard has been prized as a source of the finest ports since the 1820s. In declared years, it helps to define the personality of the Taylor Vintage Ports with the complexity of its aromatics, but it is also bottled as its own single estate Vintage Ports release. The vineyard is centred around a north facing amphitheatre of terraced vineyard which overlook the River Douro. It is on the steep slopes to the west where one can find the dry-stone walls of the oldest terraces on the property, which form part of the ‘Vinha Velha’ or Old Vineyard.