Two Outstanding Fladgate Ports

I had lunch in London with David Guimaraens this week. David is the winemaker for the Fladgate Partnership which embraces Taylor, Fonseca, Croft and Krohn. The meal (substantial Spanish tapas) was accompanied by Port, all the way through. We began with two white Ports, Fonseca's Sirocco and Taylor's Chip Dry, the Fonseca being the richer, drier and more serious of the two (if 'serious' is a word you can use for white Port). These were followed by Fonseca 2011 Unfiltered  LBV (closed, tight knit and restrained) and Taylor 2011 LBV (richer, oppulent, sweeter and more immediately appealing). Once again Fonseca was the more serious wine. After a glass of rather high class 'mouthwash' (Fonseca 40 Year Old Tawny), we sampled two fabulous vintage Ports with the detailed notes below:

Taylor 2000 **** +

Still deep and nearly opaque in hue; youthful yet open, fragrant with sweet minty fruit aromas; firm, spicy-peppery tannic grip mid-palate, liquorice concentration, still young and restrained on the finish yet, rather surpsrisingly, just about approachable to drink at 16 years old, with a long life ahead. Now (just) - 2050. 18 +?  

Fonseca 1963 *****

This is one of the greatest Ports of the twentieth century and I have been lucky enough to drink it recently on a number of occasions. Unlike a bottle served at the company's bicentennary dinner in 2015, this did not disappoint: lovely mature garnet hue; fine, fragrant and sunging from the glass, floral with a touch of savoury cedar; still very fresh on the palate, fine, elegant almost delicate sweet summer berry fruit but all there, still beautifilly structured yet gentle, elegant and so, so fresh all the way through to the finish. Long and very fine. Outstanding. 19.5    




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