Vintage Ports are only declared in truly exceptional years when conditions have aligned, and the quality and quantity of the harvest means Port houses are able to release an age worthy wine created from grapes solely from that year. 2003 was certainly deserving of having its vintage declared; a wet winter followed by a warm spring and intense heat before harvest guaranteed a good yield of fully matured and high-quality grapes. Described by critics as a ‘blockbuster’ vintage up there with the best, the Taylors 2003 has a deep inky purple hue, and the nose has exotic scents of violet and intense dark fruits. Built upon a racy palate with tight and sinewy tannin, the wine is packed with concentrated grape flavours, dark fruit and herbaceous character which come together to form a seemingly endless finish.
Taylor, Fladgate & Yeatman (Taylor’s) were founded in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal in 1692 as one of the original Port houses and are renowned for their Vintage Port releases. Port is made from traditional, native grapes (up to 30 varieties are permitted to be used in its production) and can be made in a number of styles. All start out as still wines, however the key here is the introduction of a neutral brandy spirit which stops the fermentation midway, resulting in some remaining sugar giving a natural sweetness and a higher ABV. Vintage Port spends two years in Vat before being bottled and allowed to age and develop further. This makes for a superb digestif and partner for crackers and cheese. 20.5% ABV.