The 2009 Vinha Velha has wonderful intensity on the nose, although it is a little more aloof than the Taylor’s, almost like a Bordeaux in the sense of holding back. It opens ajar with continued aeration, offering scents of black currant, blueberry and licorice, but the scents are controlled and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with a velvety smooth opening. This is plush and sweet with a touch of viscosity that lacquers the mouth. Just when you think it could become overpowering, it pulls back on the finish, which is wonderfully poised and pure, real minerality beginning to show through after 30 minutes in the glass. It needs another decade in bottle, but it patently has great potential.
“One of the oldest and consistently one of the best shippers… The style of their tremendous vintage wines, of unrivaled ripeness, depth, and every other dimension, is largely derived from their famous Quinta de Vargellas.” –Hugh Johnson’s Modern Encyclopedia of Wine
In 1692 when English wine merchant Job Bearsley arrived in Portugal to trade wine he never expected that he would be at the forefront of founding what would become one of the most important Port houses in the Douro River Valley. In 1744, with the assistance of his grandson Bartholomew, the company became the first British wine merchant to purchase property in the Douro. With a frequent change of ownership throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the house came to the final control of Joseph Taylor and John Fladgate, who gave the company its name.
Today, Taylor’s is regarded as one of the highest standards of Vintage Port. Unlike other producers in the region, which include a range of dry wines in their portfolios, Taylor’s only makes Port. The portfolio includes a series of a bottle- and wood- aged ports including Vintage, Late Bottled Vintage, Single-Harvest, Single-Estate, and White Port. The family still plays a leading role in all stages of production and dedicate themselves to releasing the upper echelon tier of Vintage Port.
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