Taylor’s decided on Thursday to declare 2018 a classic vintage port wine year, which for this brand from The Fladgate Partnership group is the third consecutive declaration and a milestone in its secular history.
In a statement sent to the Lusa agency, the group says that “2018 produced an unusual situation, with Taylor’s declaring a classic vintage, something that neither Fonseca nor Croft will do”, despite being from the same business family.
The year offered “excellent general conditions” and in the higher Douro these conditions were “exceptional”, according to the general manager of the group, Adrian Bridge. Never before has this house declared three consecutive years classic vintage.
“As Taylor’s is the only one of our houses with an extensive property in this part of the Douro, it managed to make a classic Vintage. All our properties are grown in such a way that all their grapes can be transformed into Vintage Port”, he added.
Taylor’s Port wines originate from the Vargellas vineyards in São João da Pesqueira and from Terra Feita and Junco, which are located in the valley of the River Pinhão, a tributary of the right bank of the Douro River.
“The Upper Douro has enjoyed the combination of abundant underground water and warm climate during the summer, which often produces magnificent vintages”, reinforced The Fladgate Partnership’s technical director of winemaking, David Guimaraens.
The winemaker explained that this happy combination resulted in “an excellent phenolic ripeness, typical of a warm ripening period, but with wonderful layers of fruit and a fresh acidity that we normally see in cooler years”.
“Although a classic pronouncement usually happens only three times a decade, the exceptional sequence of years has made Taylor’s a third consecutive vintage,” notes Adrian Bridge.
He says the group only declares a classic vintage “when quality is present and this is dictated by the year, and not by any other consideration”. Given the economic situation we are living, we will bottle the wines in July as usual, but we will only start marketing them in early 2021″, he informed. It should be noted that The Fladgate Partnership has always worked throughout this health crisis, not least because it has received orders.
The group also informs that Fonseca will launch Guimaraens Vintage 2018, the first of this brand since 2015. “I am very pleased to launch the Guimaraens Vintage 2018”, a Port that Adrian Bridge says has “the same constitution and character as the Fonseca Vintages, but with a more accessible style and earlier maturity”.
“I believe 2018 is one of the best recent examples of a Vintage Guimaraens, with its rich and dense forest fruits and resistant tannins, but optimally integrated,” says David Guimaraens.
Croft, another brand of the group, will launch a vintage quinta from its historic Quinta da Roeda. According to Adrian Bridge, “Quinta da Roeda 2018 offers the characteristic ripe and perfumed fruit that are the appeal of Roeda wines, along with the tense tannins and freshness of the year”.
The group told Lusa that 93,600 bottles of Taylor’s 2018 Vintage Port, 56,400 of Guimaraens 2018 Vintage and 24,000 of Quinta da Roeda Vintage of the same year will be marketed.
Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft have the tradition of announcing on April 23, St. George’s Day, patron saint of England, if they launch a Vintage Port and, if so, which ones will be bottled.