/ Douro Valley Porto
Grapes: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca
Quinta de Vargellas, celebrated as one of the top 100 vineyards in the world, has been part of the Taylor Fladgate estate for more than a century. It has the highest percentage of old vines of any quinta in the Douro, with 60% over 75 years old. For Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Porto, grapes are harvested from the oldest plot of the vineyard, which yields a Vinha Velha (old vine) intensity. And unlike most single-quinta vintage wines, Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha is made in years in which a general vintage is declared. All grapes undergo the traditional foot treading method, ensuring their fullest expression. Fermentation is halted by the addition of grape spirits before all the residual sugar has been fermented, creating a sweet, fortified wine. Following two years in wood, the wines are bottled unfiltered and will continue maturing for decades.
Wine Enthusiast2017 vintage
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. 2017 was an exceptional year for old vines.
Ruby black core with a narrow purple rim. The nose is beautifully balanced, revealing multiple layers and dimensions of aroma as it opens up in the glass. The base is a coulis of dense, dark berries, with brambly woodland fruit, cassis and black cherry aromas. The richness of the fruit is tempered by an attractive flinty, mineral edge with hints of wild herbs and cedar wood. As the wine evolves, evocative aromas emerge, such as beeswax, leather and cigar box. The palate is supported by thick granular tannins and is packed with dense black and red berry fruit flavor that rises in a crescendo on the finish.
Most often served after a meal, alone or with cheese, nuts or dried fruits. It may also be served with fine dark chocolate. The wine should be decanted before serving due to sediment in the bottle.
GRAPES: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca
AGING: Aged for 2 years in large, conditioned French oak vats before bottling. Will continue to age in bottle for decades.
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 105 g/l
points of distinction
- Taylor's Classic Vintage is one of the most collectible, ageworthy wines in the world
- Characteristically elegant and poised, underpinned by superbly integrated tannins
- Made with 100% foot-trodden grapes from old vines at Quinta de Vargellas
- This wine will develop for decades in the bottle
vineyard details +
Quinta de Terra Feita
Taylor, Fladgate's other vineyard is the A-rated, 217-acre Quinta de Terra Feita, a spectacular south-facing amphitheater on the west bank of the Pinhão River; this quinta contributes to the vintage port in declared years. Purchased in 1974, it has long been an important source of vintage quality wines for Taylor, Fladgate. It now has 126 acres planted to vines.
about the grape +
Tinta Amarela makes wines with intensely perfumed aromas of blackberry and tea, bold structure, deep color and excellent depth.
Used to make Port wines, this high yielding grape has very high sugar content, which makes wines with pronounced floral character, good structure and firm, ripe tannins.
This grape has blackberry, game and meaty aromas, and contributes longevity and exceptional elegance to the blend of Port wines.
Tinta Roriz produces deep-colored grapes of moderate acidity which make bold wines with firm tannins, excellent complexity and distinctive resin-like fragrance.
This grape has high tannins and is very aromatic; it lends structure and balance to Port wines. It shows intense fresh red fruit, earth and flower aromas, and is very fruity on the palate.
Touriga Nacional produces wine with finesse, body and warmth that is dark, concentrated, massively tannic and aromatic. It ages to show the complex aromas typically found in mature vintage port.
– David Guimaraens, Winemaker
“Traditional foot treading provides a clear quality edge, providing just the right level of extraction. Our policy of co-fermenting the traditional grape varieties is also key to producing balanced and complex wines.”
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