Taylor’s 1969 Very Old Single Harvest Port

Taylor's 1969 Very Old Single Harvest Port  ****/***** 

1969: Richard Nixon, Apollo 11, Where Eagles Dare, the Boeing 747, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, Golda Meir, Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang, Where to you go to (my lovely).  I just remember all these things from 50 years ago and yet I don’t feel ‘very old’ as yet. The launch of a fifty-year-old single harvest (colheita) Port has become an annual event for Taylor’s.  With Wiese & Krohn to draw upon (this company became part of the Fladgate Partnership in 2013) Taylor’s has an enviable stock of well cared for wine to produce these anniversary wines. They are a far cry from vintage Port so perhaps it is worth recording here that there was no vintage Port to speak of in 1969. It was a year with low yields due to desavinho (coulure) and mildew in May and June. After a hot summer and September rain it was a late harvest that produced much better wines than was thought possible earlier in the season. Unlike a vintage Port, the characteristics of the growing season do not show through in this wine that has spent close on fifty years ageing in cask. That makes it ‘very old’ in terms of Port which shows through in the aromatic profile and seductive complexity of this wine: pale-mid amber tawny with thin olive green rim; beautifully lifted on the nose, caramelised citrus fruit with toffee and butterscotch, this wine really sings from the glass; supremely delicate and playful on the palate, dried apricot and candied peel with a fine streak of acidity leading to an incredibly fresh creamy, silken finish. Utterly delightful  18.5       

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