The 2018 Taylor’s Vintage Port comes predominantly from two vineyards: Quinta de Vargellas and Quinta de Terra Feita. It has a classy, aristocratic bouquet, a signature note apropos Taylor’s Vintage: dense black fruit with touches of melted tar, cloves and white pepper. This just builds and builds in the glass. The palate is very harmonious with fine tannins, perfect acidity and very pure with a gentle, almost caressing second half. White pepper interlaces the black fruit with a very precise finish. Pure class.
Score: 97-/100Neal MartinDrinking Window: 2032-2075
The 2018 Vintage Port is a field blend aged for approximately 18 months in very old and large wooden vats. It comes in with 100 grams of residual sugar. This is the third straight declaration (2016, 2017 and this 2018) of a classic Vintage Port for Taylor's. Of those three, this so far would be my least favorite, but it's close and time will tell. Aromatic and expressive, this adds a big bang for a finish that reminds you that it is, indeed, Taylor's. After opening it on the first day tasted, it tightened fast and showed the structure I like to see in serious Ports. It has that classic flavor profile as well and shows fine concentration. Even 48 hours later it had no problem showing off a little muscle, even though it drank decently at that point. The fruit is expressive, as noted, but it is still a bit closed just now.
I am not sure this is a truly great Taylor's, but it is a very good one. In the Fladgate Partnership lineup this issue, it is probably the most complete wine. The Croft is the sexy steal with utterly delicious fruit, but Taylor's has better structure. The Fonseca has fine structure, but the fruit seems today to be a step behind the Taylor and the Croft in expressiveness. This seems likely to be the best of the Fladgate trio as the years and decades wear on, even though the Croft is the most interesting today. The price references a full bottle, although this was tasted from a half bottle.
Score: 95-/100Mark SquiresDrinking Window: 2028-2065
The wine has a velvet-like texture, with a broad flavour spectrum from toasty red berries, black cherry and baked black plum to violet, liquorice and cooler stony mineral tones. The wine exudes that distinct character so typical of Taylor’s – an extraordinary level of ripeness without losing the finesse and framework of tannins that provides such focused depth and energy on the palate. The combination and distinctive blueprint of the estate is beautifully blended into this rich, decadent and perfectly tuned modern-day vintage Port.
Score: -/FINE+RAREDrinking Window: 2030-2075