Information Taylors Port wine

There is more to drinking port than formal dining and long speeches. In fact, Taylor's can offer the right glass of port for any occasion or wine gift, any time of day, around the table, in the garden, out with friends or simply relaxing at home. Taylor’s port dates back to 1692, but it has never been more popular than it is today, with ever more people discovering it’s pleasures.

Novice port drinkers can do no better than to begin here: First Estate is a soft and glorious mouthful. It is an outstanding vintage character blend, made at the very first property purchased by the company, Lugar das Lages, in 1744. Rich, fruity and elegant, it is aged for four years in cask and is ready for drinking immediately. As enjoyable before a meal as after

Taylor's created the Late Bottled Vintage style of port and is not only acknowledged to be its finest producer, but remains the international brand leader. Blended from wines of a single year, LBV ages from four to six years in cask and is ready to drink when bottled. Its concentrated fruity flavor and firm, full-bodied style make Taylor’s LBV the perfect port to accompany chocolate desserts, and blue cheeses such as Stilton or Roquefort.

Taylor's Late Bottled Vintage is the port that Taylor's drink themselves and serve to their guests. Experienced port drinkers may well notice some similarities with Taylor's Vintage Ports, since it shares so many of their characteristics.

Tawny Ports are delicious, delicate old wines which benefit from being slightly chilled, especially in warm weather. Equally, they may be served after a meal, or even during it- tawnies have the character to stand up to strong flavors, or such rich tastes as foie gras.

10 YEAR OLD TAWNY

An exceptionally fine old tawny blend, aged for an average of 10 years in oak casks. Elegant and smooth, combining delicate wood notes and rich mellow fruit, it is bottled for immediate drinking. Excellent with soft cheeses such as brie; and a superb dessert wine, particularly with dishes made with coffee or almonds, Taylor 10 Year Old Tawny is delicious served lightly chilled at the end of the meal.

  

 

20 YEAR OLD TAWNY

Another magnificent and finely-balanced tawny of outstanding richness and complexity. The additional ten years of aging produces a fine balance between the rich, raisiny fruit and the nutty, honeyed finish - a taste to linger over. This rare port is traditionally enjoyed as a dessert wine or at the end of the meal.

  

 

30 YEAR OLD TAWNY

Only every two or three years is a reserve of port with sufficient structure, fruit and power to age, produced from Taylor's own vineyards, laid aside to age in oak casks. Those that have reached their peak after thirty years are then blended together for balance and finesse, and to ensure consistency of quality and style. The 30 year old tawny shows incredible length with smooth butterscotch and caramel flavours.

  

 

40 YEAR OLD TAWNY

An incredible example of an old Tawny port. A rarity, as few houses will make a 40 year old tawny. This wine is olive gold in colour with rich caramel, butterscotch, hazelnut flavours. The concentration in this port also produces a wine with amazing length, which lingers beautifully in the palate.

  

 

 

This is a ‘single quinta’ wine, made in exactly the same way as Taylor's Vintage Port, but using only the grapes from this individual property, trodden on the estate. Only small quantities are made, and only in very good years. Many experts believe Taylor's Single Quinta Vintage Ports to be better than other companies’ declared years. The name of Taylor's is more of an assurance than the year.

Taylor's has owned the beautiful estate of Vargellas for over a century, and it is acknowledged as one of the great vineyards of the world. It has the highest percentage of old vines of any quinta in the Douro, 60% being over 75 years old. Quinta de Vargellas Vintage Ports are ready to drink from ten years, but will go on developing for another twenty years or so - almost as long as Taylor’s declared Vintages

 

 

Taylor's is now over 300 years old. It remains a family firm, completely independent, owned still by relations of the original partners.

On the Atlantic coast at Oporto are the ancient lodges where Taylor's priceless ports slowly reach their glorious maturity. High up in the Douro Valley is Taylor Quinta de Vargellas, one of the world's truly great vineyards, comparable in quality to Chateau Latour. In between is the complex network of independent farmers, who have supplied Taylor's for generations, their press-houses and wine making establishments.

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Taylor is accepted by most wine authorities to be the greatest of all port shippers, famous especially for its sublime and long-lived Vintage ports, which consistently fetch the highest prices at auction, and for old, distinguished Tawny ports. But Taylor's is also an innovative house, pioneering the successful Late Bottled Vintage style which has been copied by almost every other shipper.

The finest Port is produced from grapes grown on the steep and rocky slopes of the Upper Douro and its tributaries. Vines have been grown on these remote hillsides since pre-Roman times. In the 17th Century British traders, cut off from their supplies of Bordeaux by frequent wars with France, took a liking to the full-flavoured, robust wines of Portugal. Under the Methuen Treaty of 1703, England granted lower duties to Portuguese wines than to those of France and Germany, becoming for over a century the principal market for the wines of the Douro Valley. But these wines did not travel well, so the traders added brandy to fortify them against the rigours of their Atlantic sea voyage. Before long pure grape spirit was added during fermentation and Port, as we drink it today, was created.

Among the first of the early traders was Job Bearsley, who by 1692 was a Port shipper and partner in the firm which we know today as Taylor Fladgate & Yeatman. His 4XX (an old woolmark) is still cut into the walls of the Casa dos Alambiques, where Taylor Fladgate have made wine from 1744 to this day-apart from its short break as a field hospital for Wellington's troops. The 4XX mark still features on the company crest, and on every bottle.

Now in its fourth century, the company is still thriving, with wine quality remaining the firm's only consideration. Taylor's Port was, is, and will continue to be, one of the world's gre

 

The distinctive character of Port does not come only from its method of production. Like that of every great classic wine, it is also born of an association of climate, soil and grape variety unique in the world. Separated from the sea by the Marão mountains and protected from the rainy winds of the Atlantic, the Douro valley has a climate of baking, dry summers and severe winters. It is a land of austere beauty.


 

The vineyards are dizzyingly steep: the vines must be planted on tiers of walled terraces, towering one above the other like the steps of the Pyramids, the product of centuries of Herculean labour. To make new terraces in this rocky terrain, dynamite is often needed to blast away great outcrops of schist, the slate-like stone which forms the bedrock of the Douro's best vineyard soils. The vine roots can dive 40ft down through rock fissures in search of water, draining the very essence of the soil into every grape.

The Douro boasts a wealth of traditional grape varieties. Among the finest are the heavily-scented Tourigas-Touriga Nacional and Touriga Francesa-producing wine of enormous scale and concentration; the Tinta Roriz with its firm tannins and distinctive cedary nose; the supple, flowery Tinta Barroca; and the Tinta Cão, one of the oldest varieties cultivated in the Douro valley.

Taylor's were one of the earliest shippers to acquire vineyards to produce the wine themselves, rather than merely buying from wine-makers and then maturing it.

The famous Quinta de Vargellas, purchased between 1893 and 1896, is the jewel in the Taylor's crown. This magnificent 164-hectare estate, in the wildest, highest country of the Douro, is the source of much of the wine for Taylor's vintage Port. Set in a lovely bowl of vineyards sloping steeply down to the river, its north-facing site helps to moderate the fierce summer heat. Taylor's later bought another outstanding estate, Quinta de Terra Feita, occupying a spectacular site on the slopes of the Pinhão valley. Taylor's has extensively replanted this ancient property, bringing out the full potential of its 116 hectares of vineyard under vine which have supplied the firm with superb Ports for over a century.