In the port wine trade Taylor’s holds a prime position. It is considered the chateau Latour of port, with regard to its strength of character, sturdiness, and capacity for long life.
Port, according to many connoisseurs, is the world’s greatest fortified wine – a wine of depth, concentration, majestic structure, produce from fruit grown in the Douro Valley.
The company was founded in 1692 and has been managed by the descendents of Yeatman and Fladgate partners since 1830’s.
For over 300 years Taylor’s has been synonymus with consistent excellence, and connoisseurs appreciate quality by bidding in auctions 15 per cent for Taylor’s than others.
The Douro Valley starts at Paso de Regue and culminates at the Spanish border some 150 kilometers east. Marques de Pombal, the famous 18th century prime minister of Portugal, was the first to initiate a detailed study of soils in the region, and demarcated the boundaries where vineyards would quality to be included. The valley is divided into three sub-regions – baixo corgo, cima corgo and Douro superior. The largest sub-region is Alto Douro, followed by cima corgo and baixo corgo.
Baixo corgo is the closest to the Atlantic Ocean and many estates (called Quinta in Portuguese) produce both red table- and fortified port wines.
Taylor and Fladgate Partnership owns Quinta de Vergellas, Quinta de Terra Feita) and eight partnership vineyards. The modern winery in Noqueira is a model of efficiency and where most of the production occurs.
Quinta de Vergellas and Quinta de Terra Feita are used in blends for vintage ports, and often as bottling for single Quinta ports.
Quinta de Vergellas was acquired in 1893, and since then upgraded and expanded to entertain honoured guests. Taylor’s hospitality is legendary and the guest book of the quinta contains comments of world famous personalities.
This company still produces vintage and Quinta (single estate) ports by stomping the grapes, claiming that the human foot is the best to extract maximum flavour and create the silkiest of wines.
The 1991 Quinta de Vergellas proves the point.
Each producer and shipper has an unmistakable style – some follow a philosophy of producing wines with a potential to long aging, others opt for products that mature early and tend to be somewhat light.
Port, being fortified (100 liters of 77 per cent ABV pure alcohol is blended with 450 liters of wine at eight per cent ABV wine), can barrel age much longer than most table wines. It matures well in cask, vat, or bottle, or in combinations of all.
Taylor’s Chip dry white port was created in 1934 and produced in small quantities. This pleasantly off-dry port is refreshing, and most enjoyable with roasted salted almonds, green olives, smoked pork loin, or crisp potato chips.
Taylor produces LBV, tawny ports (10,20,30 and 40 year), vintage, and single estate ports, of which Quinta de Vergellas is legendary particularly the 1991 vintage drinks well right now.
Since its inception, Taylor and Fladgate has never compromised quality, and today is one the most respected and largest producers in the valley. It exports to many countries and strives to improve viticulture and viniculture of the region by setting high standards.
The following Taylor ports are highly recommended:
Quinta de Vergellas 1991,
Chip dry white port
Tawny 10 year old
Tawny 20 year old
Tawny 30 year old
Tawny 40 year old
L B V 2001