Birthday Vintage Port

Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas 1961 **

I bought a dozen bottles of this wine a few years ago with the intention of opening one each year on my birthday (no one had the foresight to lay down any Claret when I was born). Far from being a great Port vintage, the few 1961s that I have tasted (Graham's Malvedos, Wiese & Krohn, a Noval 'Crusted' from 1961 and bottled in 1964) have been soft, simple but have never really disappointed. This bottle was slightly ullaged (high shoulder): pale garnet colour, broad, amber-tawny rim; high-toned and a touch spirity, tawny rather than vintage in style; milk chocolate fruit, soft, sweet and silky initially with tannic grip still evident mid-palate and on to the finish with some soft, lasting creamy sweetness.  A curious hybrid in style, perhaps closer to a tawny Port  than a fine vintage but a good curiosity nonetheless. 14 

Scoring

19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)

17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)

15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)

13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)

10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)

8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)

Below 8 Faulty