Saturday, October 5, 2019

2017 Port

Potentially Perfect Port!
2017 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port....$49.98 / 375ml
2017 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port....$99.98 / 750ml
The 2017 Vintage Port, not quite bottled when seen but the final blend, is a field blend aged for approximately 20 months in wood. It comes in with 100 grams of residual sugar. A step up (or two) on the 2016, this shows fine depth, more focus, vivid fruit and serious power. It's not particularly thick, austere or astringent, but this is built for the long haul. It is potentially a great Taylor's, effortlessly combining brilliant fruit and structure. It tastes great now (today, it is far more vivid than its Vinha Velha sibling), but the power makes this hard to drink today. So, have some patience. It will need some time, probably a lot more than indicated, and will likely last longer than indicated as well. As noted in the accompanying article, I don't see much point to impossibly long drinking windows. At some point, reevaluation is required.
Rated 98-100/100 The Wine Advocate
Rated 99/100 James Suckling
Rated 98/100 Vinous

Also from the Epic 2017 Vintage
2017 Fonseca Vintage Port....$49.98 / 375ml
2017 Fonseca Vintage Port...$99.98 / 750ml
The 2017 Vintage Port, not quite bottled when seen but the final blend, is a field blend (with typical grapes like Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca) aged for approximately 20 months in used French oak. It comes in with 98 grams of residual sugar, a little drier on paper than its Taylor sibling this year. Sappy and sensational in flavor and fruit, this seemingly has moderate tannins around the edges on first taste, velvety texture and a long finish. Despite the first impression of moderation, there is plenty of power here. As it got some aeration, it showed nothing but power and closed down fairly hard. The combination of great fruit and fine structure makes this a potentially great Fonseca, but right now it is obviously immature and not showing everything it has. I'd recommend some patience here.
Rated (96-98)/100 The Wine Advocate
Rated 95/100 Vinous
Rated 95/100 James Suckling

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