Taylor Fladgate Vintage Porto 1994


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Alcohol: 20.5%

Grape(s): Port Blend

Localization: Douro, Portugal

Tasting Notes: Deep crimson just beginning to display some maturity on the rim. The explosive fruitiness of early youth is now more restrained as the wine begins to settle into maturity but the nose is still driven by impressive focused blackberry and blackcurrant aromas set off by the classic Taylor scent of violets. Full-bodied and well-structured palate delivering rich blackberry and cassis flavors with spicy, figgy, and licorice flavours evolving on the long and sumptuous finish.

The 1994 vintage Vintage Port received 100 points from the highly acclaimed James Suckling, then of the Wine Spectator.

100 points Wine Spectator: In a word, superb. It's full-bodied, moderately sweet and incredibly tannic, but the texture has amazing finesse and refinement, not to mention fabulous, concentrated aromas of raspberries, violets and other flowers. Perhaps the greatest Taylor ever, it's better than either the '92 or the '70, though it's very like the '70 in structure.

Food pairing: Pairs well with chocolate and caramel.

The Domain: Taylor Fladgate is one of the most important Port houses in the Douro. It is notable for its wide range of traditional ports, from vintage expressions to tawny ports of various ages, but mostly for its creation of the Late Bottled Vintage, or LBV, style.

The company started in 1692 when English wine merchant Job Bearsley arrived in Portugal, although it would be many years and owners before it came to be known as Taylor's. Bearsley initially traded in red Portuguese wine from the northwest of the country. In 1744, under his grandson Bartholomew, the company became the first British wine merchant to buy a property in the Douro.

Taylor's changed hands often during the 19th and 20th centuries, coming under the control of both Joseph Taylor and John Fladgate, who gave the company its name. Taylor's survived a rebuild after phylloxera hit at the end of the 19th Century and the two World Wars. It came to the Yeatman family at the beginning of the 20th Century, and they have been the proprietors since.

In the 1960s, Alistair Robertson took the reins and began to focus on finding new markets in Asia and North America, rather than just relying on Britain. He also created the first Late Bottled Vintage Port, which has since become a mainstay of the industry. It was first released with the 1970 vintage and was an instant success.

Unlike many other houses, which include a range of dry red wines in their portfolios, Taylor's only makes Port. The portfolio includes a series of the bottle- and wood-aged Ports including vintage, LBV, single-harvest, single-estate and white Port.