In 2022 the Douro and Port Wine Institute (IVDP) announced the creation of a new port category, Very Very Old (VVO), which encapsulates wines older than 80 years of age. The VVOP is the latest in a series of limited releases of very fine and rare Ports drawn from Taylor Fladgate’s treasury of very very old cask-aged reserves. This unique blend is one of the oldest wines released to date. It is made from a selection of rare lots matured in wood in Taylor Fladgate’s cellars, some of which have been quietly concentrating to a magical quintessence since before the Second World War. The sublime, complex character of Taylor Fladgate’s VVOP was born of a magical interaction with the oak casks, in which the wine has been nurtured over many decades of aging in the company’s cellars. It represents the legacy of ancestral knowledge passed down from one generation to the next: the skill of Taylor Fladgate’s practiced team of coopers, who crafted the casks and maintained them over the years; the expertise of the cellar masters, who cared for the wine during its decades in the cellar and the art of the blenders who have given the VVOP its exceptional balance and finesse.
Deep chestnut brown at the center gradually fading to amber and pale straw at the rim. The age of this Port is immediately evident. It represents the pinnacle of what long wood aging can achieve particularly when skillful blending provides additional definition and symmetry. The wine has the precision and intricacy of a watch movement, all its complex elements working together in harmony. The nose is intense but finely constituted and the aromas remarkably delicate and ethereal given its great age. Undertones of butterscotch, dried figs and freshly ground coffee intermingle with marzipan and sultana to give the wine an opulent, plum pudding character but this remains discreetly in the background and is lifted by fresh notes of orange peel and apricot. Hints of vanilla, cedar wood and cinnamon provide a subtle spicy redolence. On the palate the wine has a light touch displaying bright acidity and perfect balance but holds massive reserves of aroma which emerge on the long finish in a seemingly endless mellow surge.