Taylor Fladgate 2016 (1.5L)
Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions
100 JS / 97 NM / 18 JR
OMG. This is really the most amazing young Taylor's I have ever tasted. Full-bodied and lightly sweet with super power and intensity. So racy and focused. Yet this has such muscle and intensity. Needs at least eight years to show you everything it has to offer. Drink in 2025. - James Suckling
In 2016 Taylor's began picking in Vargellas on 17 September, followed by Pinhão Valley estate on 23 and 26 September. The 2016 Vintage Port has an aristocratic bouquet with tight wound aromas of blackberry, bilberry, crushed stone, black olive and a light, marine-tinged element, perhaps almost peat-like. The palate is just beautiful with fine, chiseled tannins and a perfect line of acidity. There is that almost "arching" structure one always seeks in a great Taylor’s with a gentle but insistent grip towards the finish. It is everything you really want from a Vintage Port. Production is 6,200 cases.
Two main sources are Quinta de Vargellas, which is north-facing and so protected from excessive heat, and giving floral notes, plus Quinta de Terra Feita and Quinta do Junco around Pinhão for earthier characteristics. Only 6,500 cases were made, instead of the usual 12,000–14,000. Dark crimson but without the blueish purple of the Grahams. Tight, refined nose – rather claret-like. Not as obviously sweet as some. Restrained aromatically: backward with sharp, linear blackcurrant and violet notes. This tastes like a somewhat shouty, scratchy baby at the moment – which is no criticism of a wine designed to age as long as a vintage port. But then there are masses of sweet fruit with liquorice surrounded in a scratchy skein of tannins and acidity. - Jancis Robinson
"There's no formal regulation for Vintage Port declarations—any house can declare a Vintage Port in any year. But when essentially everyone declares, it's called a general declaration, with the obvious implication that the vintage is of particularly high quality.
Any general declaration is worth checking out, as Port producers are known for a commitment to quality, averaging just two or three vintage declarations out every 10 harvests.
The 2016s are definitely going to make a splash. The growing season got off to a late start, following a very rainy spring that would pay dividends later in the season. As Portugal's Douro Valley entered into its typically hot and dry period in June and July, the vines had enough water reserves to help them along, with only a few areas suffering from hydric stress. Then, on Sept. 13, a light rain fell, giving the vineyards a freshening, and with the vintage running a week behind, growers could take advantage of ideal weather conditions into October, picking the later-ripening varieties such as Touriga Franca at optimum quality. Yields are markedly lower—lower than 2011 and 2007, so expect demand to be high, with prices slated to be about 10 to 20 percent higher than the 2011s.
Across the board, the 2016s are brimming with ripe, expressive fruit, inlaid with fresh acidity and backed by ripe and ample tannins.
Based on this early preview, I rate the 2016 vintage a preliminary 95-98 points, pending final review of the wines in official blind tastings." - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator