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This wine has reached Tawny nirvana, all of its elements in harmony, its age a ghost of red fruit, its alcohol transformed into texture. It doesn’t suffer from oxidation, though it buzzes with richness, the flavors lasting on silken orange and fresh almond. Rather than the heat of Douro schist in August, it has the cool stoniness of the cellar where it evolved. Saturated with pleasure.
The NV 40 Year Old Tawny Port was bottled with a bar top cork in 2014. It comes in with 125 grams per liter of residual sugar. Big, weighty and mouth filling, this is an aromatic Tawny that finishes with acidity and tension. Gripping on the finish, its flavors become more interesting as long as it sits in the glass (or on your palate). It is not, perhaps, as sunny as the Fonseca, its sibling reviewed this issue, but it is denser and more gripping. Comparing to the Taylor 30 (also reviewed), I'm not sure I liked the 40 here all that much better. The 30 is a bit fleshier while this 40 is a bit more concentrated in flavor and aromatics. Perhaps some additional age also helped this 40 combat some of the aggression on the 30. They are both pretty fine, a difference of five to Midnight and five after, rather than night and day. It is still a fine experience and my favorite of the group. Don't drink it too warm. Room temperature is mostly too warm. The sweet spot for most tends to be 58-62 degrees Fahrenheit.
“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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