I love port wine. But it can be a complicated subject. Broken down into two distinct groups, tawny and ruby, each style offers different characteristics. Vintage Port is the grandest expression of all ports. Selected for extraordinary qualities and capacity for aging in the bottle, only about three times per decade are ports declared to have the special qualities of a true “vintage.” When a port is declared as a vintage you can be certain it will be an exceptional wine. 2016 was just such a vintage. David Guimaraens, Technical Director and Head Wine Maker, The Fladgate Partnership was in Chicago with a group of other port wine makers to introduce the wines of this magical vintage. We met to talk about the 2016’s and of course to taste through his Croft, Fonseca, and Taylor’s vintage ports.
David Guimaraens, Technical Director and Head Wine Maker, The Fladgate Partnership
2016 Croft Vintage Port
Aromas of passion fruit, and other tropical notes are followed by lavender, ginger and lemongrass. On the palate flavors of black plum, Chinese five spice, passion fruit and eucalyptus are followed by fine tannins. Silky, luxurious and expressive.
2016 Fonseca Vintage Port
Aromas of black currant, black cherry and blackberry are layered with notes of violet. On the palate flavors of mixed dark berries are backed up with youthful acidity and tannins which are quite pronounced. This wine will age beautifully for decades to come.
2016 Taylor’s Vintage Port
Fresh violets lead the way on the nose of this wine which are followed by notes of fresh raspberry, plum and candied orange rind. Elegant texture and intriguing flavors of mixed berries and a spicy long and complex finish. You can drink this now, but you’ll be rewarded for your patience if you age this for 3 decades or more.