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(Quinta do Noval Nacional) I had never tasted the legendary 1963 Nacional previously, and this stunningly pure and still almost youthful wine was every bit as profound as its reputation suggests. The glorious nose erupts from the glass in a sappy mélange of red plums, cherries, heather, coffee, cigar smoke, clover honey, a brilliant base of soil, orange zest and incipient notes of celery seed and other savory delights. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still rock solid at the core, with glorious transparency, melting tannins, laser-like focus and brilliant soil drive on the very, very long and tangy finish. Like several other of the very best 1963 Ports, the ’63 Nacional is still a fairly young wine and will continue to dazzle for another fifty or sixty years. It was an absolute privilege to taste this legendary wine! (Drink between 2012-2075)John Gilman | 100 JGAmazingly, the importer still has tiny stocks of such legendary ports as the 1970, 1963, and 1962 Nacionals. In most vintages the production of Quinta do Noval Nacional is no more than 250-275 cases. The 1970,1963,1962 and 1994 are candidates to achieve perfect scores. The 1963 Nacional’s opaque purple color is remarkable, looking more like a 1992 than a 33-year old port. The wine possessed a fabulously smoky, cassis, black-cherry, peppery nose. After thirty minutes in the glass, fruitcake notes and more evolved aromas emerged. This port is so concentrated it defies belief, with extraordinary balance, and, like its two siblings, well-integrated alcohol and tannin. The impression is one of a silky, succulent, voluptuously-textured mouthful of exceptionally extracted port. This is a legend in the making. In 30-40 years it may well be considered, along with the 1931, as one of the greatest ports ever produced. Those lucky few with a bottle or two should plan to hold onto them for another decade before pulling the cork. It, too, is a hundred-year port.Robert Parker | 99 RPToffee, incense, dried cherry, bergamot and green tea notes provide the aromas here, with mulled plum and licorice flavors forming the core. A light singed balsam wood accent lines the finish, which is viscous and sweet-edged but stays decidedly dry in feel overall. Harmonious and incredibly long.—Non-blind Quinta do Noval vertical (May 2018). Drink now through 2030. 251 cases made.Wine Spectator | 99 WSGood full, deep red. Knockout nose offers red and black cherry, strawberry, spices and mint. Unbelievably young for a wine that’s nearly a half-century old, offering incredible power and thrust to its red berry, spice and mineral flavors. Fills the mouth with perfume. Combines extraordinary mid-palate lift with a silky texture and buns of steel, conveying an impression of buzzing energy. The endless finish features great concentration and urgency, and utterly noble tannins. Can a 49-year-old port still be on an up curve? I hope to find out. This wine should go on for another 30 years without difficulty.Vinous Media | 98+ VM
Vintage Port doesn’t seem like the right wine in the middle of the summer but I had an Amarone producer for dinner the other night in Tuscany and he had never drunk a wine from his birth year. He was lucky enough to have been born in 1977 - a great Port year! I found a bottle of 1977 Fonseca in my cellar - probably my last. It was absolutely gorgeous. I gave this fortified wine a perfect score in its youth and I think it has finally evolved into its perfection as a mature vintage Port. Here is the tasting note. 1977 Fonseca Vintage Port: This is in total balance now with such harmony. What amazing aromas of berry and flowers. Full and sweet, the tannins are complete dissolved. The fruit is perfect. This goes on for minutes. Drink now. But it will go forever.James Suckling | 100 JSWhat a Vintage Port. Dark ruby center, with a dark garnet edge. Aromas of flowers, blackberry and licorice. Subtle and complex. Wow. What a palate. Full, concentrated and rich, yet balanced and beautiful. Solid and sleepy. Still not giving all it has to give. This is just coming around. Gorgeous and classy. Love it. ’77/’85/’97 blind Port retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 100 WS(Fonseca) I have always found the ’77 Fonseca to be one of the stars of the vintage, and this most recent bottle was beginning to really hit on all cylinders. The bouquet delivers a beautifully complex and concentrated mélange of sweet cassis, plum, blackberry, mint, tobacco, chocolate, minerals, and cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and almost voluptuous, with a fine core of fruit, beautiful structure and focus, ripe tannins, and great grip on the long and modestly tannic finish. This wine is a beautiful and relatively forward example of the vintage, and consequently it is offering up superb drinking already. My gut instinct suggests that there is more complexity to come with further bottle age, but it is pretty hard not to want to drink this beauty at this stage of development. A quintessential vintage of Fonseca. (Drink between 2007-2050).John Gilman | 95 JGFonseca is one of the great port lodges, producing the most exotic and most complex port. If Fonseca lacks the sheer weight and power of a Taylor, Dow or Warre, or the opulent sweetness and intensity of a Graham, it excels in its magnificently complex, intense bouquet of plummy, cedary, spicy fruit and long, broad, expansive flavors. With its lush, seductive character, one might call it the Pomerol of Vintage ports. When it is young, it often loses out in blind tastings to the heavier, weightier, more tannic wines, but I always find myself upgrading my opinion of Fonseca after it has had 7-10 years of age. The 1977 has developed magnificently in the bottle, and while it clearly needs another decade to reach its summit, it is the best Fonseca since the 1970 and 1963.Robert Parker | 93 RP
Taylor's 1992 Vintage Port is unquestionably the greatest young port I have ever tasted. It represents the essence of what vintage port can achieve. The color is an opaque black/purple, and the nose offers up fabulously intense aromas of minerals, cassis, blackberries, licorice, and spices, as well as extraordinary purity and penetration. Yet this is still an unformed and infantile wine. If Chateau Latour made a late-harvest Cabernet Sauvignon, I suspect it might smell like this. In the mouth, the wine is out of this world, displaying layer upon layer of concentrated black fruits backed by well-integrated tannin and structure. This is a massive, magnificently rich, full-bodied port that will be far more flattering in its youth than were such Taylors as the 1983, 1977, or 1970. It possesses awesome fruit, marvelous intensity, and lavish opulence, all brilliantly well-delineated by the wine's formidable structure. This monumental 30-50 year port is a must purchase for port aficionados.! Also noteworthy is the fact that the 1992 Taylor commemorates the 300th anniversary of this firm, as evidenced by the special bottle Taylor used for this port.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe 1992 Taylor’s Vintage Port has a black/purple colour with only slight maturation on the rim. The nose has always been so intense, a kaleidoscope of damson, raspberry, crushed violets and just a touch of alcoholic warmth, yet somehow it retains incredible delineation. The palate is full-bodied with concentrated black fruit, the tannins having melted in recent years. The acidity is perfectly tuned and lends freshness and tension to the blueberry, cassis and blackberry fruit laced with orange zest and marmalade. It is still a primal Port after two decades but at least its "ferocious power" is being tamed with time. Tasted at a private dinner in London.Vinous Media | 98+ VM(Taylor Fladgate) In notable contrast to the brooding and large-scale 1994 Taylor, the 1992 is absolutely singing. The bouquet is deep, pure, perfumed and brilliant, as it offers up an unforgettable mélange of black cherries, plums, cassis, dark chocolate, tarry tones, black pepper, fennel bulb, and black licorice candy. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and magnificently deep, with great structure and a seamless palate impression. The finish is profoundly long, and offers up stunning grip and focus. This is an utterly brilliant young vintage of Taylor that is so beautifully balanced that it is approachable already, but I would not dare to touch a bottle until it has fully had thirty years of cellaring. There is simply so much more to come that it would be infanticide to drink this wine too soon. One of the greatest young ports that I have ever tasted! (Drink between 2022-2100)John Gilman | 97 JGFresh and lively, with raisin, spice and hints of blackberry. Full-bodied and very tight, with plenty of tannins. Very long. Needs to open. '91/'92 Port retrospective. Best after 2008. 6,200 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSDeep and opaque. Still going through an awkward adolescence on the nose with much more to give. Lovely rich, fleshy fruit – powerful with bittersweet chocolate intensity, good depth and a wonderful finish. Drinking Window 2015 - 2030DecanterScore given as 18.5 | 93 DEC
Hold on to your hat. This is the best Fonseca since 1977, and it’s probably even better than that classic vintage--more like the breathtaking 1948. Mind-blowing, with masses of color, aroma and fruit flavor. Smells like fermenting berries, boasting loads of crushed grape, violet and berry character. Big, full-bodied and very sweet, with tons of tannins and a sweet finish. Tannic and huge, it’s a long-term, great Port. Best after 2012. 8,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 100 WSTight knit – not giving much away on the nose, but silky fruit is underlying. Pure berry fruit palate initially with a super-fine tannic superstructure rising in the mouth, revealing its freshness and purity on a really beautifully defined finish. There is great architecture here. Drinking Window 2014 - 2050Decanter | 98 DECOne of the most spectacular 1994s, this opaque purple-colored wine is an exotic, flamboyant, ostentatious port. Extremely fragrant and pungent, with a flashy display of jammy cassis, pepper, licorice, and truffles, this port is an attention-grabber. Awesomely rich, and full-bodied, with superb length, richness, and overall balance, it possesses a huge mid-palate, layers of flavor, an unctuous texture, and a blockbuster finish. Everything is in place, with the brandy and tannin well-integrated, even concealed by the masses of fruit and glycerin. This wine will drink fabulously well at age ten, but keep for up to thirty years. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2035.Robert Parker | 97 RP
Aromas of dried fruits, raisins and Christmas cake. Some chocolate undertones too, plus licorice and wet earth. Full body, medium sweet with gorgeous depth and intensity of fruit. So long and beautiful. What an amazing finish already. So sexy. Drink or hold. But this will go on for decades.James Suckling | 98 JSSmells like freshly picked orchids, with loads of ripe, clean fruit. Full-bodied, medium sweet and very powerful and racy. It lasts for minutes on your palate. Yet there's a balance and class to this young Vintage Port. This is the greatest glass of Graham I have ever tasted, young or old. Best after 2014.Wine Spectator | 98 WSGrapy, unformed, black raspberry liqueur and licorice-infused cassis notes leap from the glass of this opaque purple-colored wine. Sweet, plush, rich, and accessible, it is a forward, lush, concentrated effort that should drink well for two decades. While not one of Graham's most profound ports, it should evolve rapidly, providing immense crowd appeal.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPSaturated black-ruby. Superripe, bottomless nose of black fruits, mocha, bitter chocolate and flowers. Hugely sweet, dense and rich. A port of outstanding opulence and creamy texture; deceptively easy to taste. Substantial, sweet, spreading tannins are buried under a wave of fruit. Extremely long, fruit-driven finish.Vinous Media | 94 VM
Earned its reputation as ‘backward from the off’ when last tasted in December 2018, but this celebrated vintage of Noval (a general declaration) is now in revelatory mode. Expressive, elegant even, with perfumed, sweet, juicy red berry and plum, orange blossom, liquorice, gingerbread spice and dark chocolate. Builds intensity, finishing very long, with mouthcoating, fine, mineral tannins and inky back palate resonance. Coming very much into its stride. Drinking Window 2020 - 2045.Decanter | 96 DECThe 2000 Quinta Do Noval Vintage 96 is much stricter on the nose compared to the 1997 with very pure blackberry, boysenberry and blueberry fruit mixed with cigar box and flinty scents. It does not quite have the presence of the 1997 but it has focus and breeding and, wow, leave it aside for several minutes and it repays you with intoxicating candied orange peel scents. The palate is medium-bodied, rounded and sensual on the entry with mint, orange peel, fig skin and white pepper. This is a sensational millennial Noval with the temerity to surpass the Nacional. Drink 2015-2040. Tasted January 2014.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 96 RP-NMOne of the vintage's standouts, the 2000 Quinta do Noval is incredibly rich and intense, with a density that made me think I should reach for a spoon. Chocoate and coffee, prune and date aromas; plum cake flavors. Despite the richness, there is a superb backbone of acidity and ripe tannins that suggests peak maturity is probably two decades or more away.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WESaturated black ruby to the rim. Sappy aromas of black cherry, minerals and roasted nuts. Wonderfully concentrated, very sweet, silky and suave; like an elixir of dark berries. As it opened in the glass, the superb underlying structure became obvious. Finishes with big, building, extremely fine tannins and superb length and grip.Vinous Media | 94+ VMWarm, inviting and generous in feel, with ganache, tobacco, mulled plum and melted licorice notes rolling through. The finish pulls everything together, delivering a fleshy swath of enticing fruit and spice. Lacks the drive of the more recent vintages, but this is thoroughly delicious nonetheless.—Non-blind Quinta do Noval vertical (May 2018). Drink now through 2040. 1,500 cases made, 700 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WS
Among the most saturated blue/purple/black-colored examples of the vintage, Taylor's 2000 tastes like a young vintage of Chateau Latour on steroids. Aromas of graphite, blackberry liqueur, creme de cassis and smoke jump from the glass. Spectacularly concentrated and enormously endowed, with sweetness allied to ripe tannin, decent acidity, and layer upon layer of fruit and extract, this is the leading candidate for the port of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040.Robert Parker | 98 RPThis was perhaps the most prototypically “Taylor” wine of the vertical, with complex floral and spice aromas backed by firm, black cherry and berry fruit. The fruit is fresh and almost crunchy in character, underscored by solid tannins and a long, dusty finish. Immense power combines with intricate nuance and a supremely ageworthy structure. Hold.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEBright deep ruby. Brooding, complex aromas of cassis, minerals, graphite, licorice and damp earth; distinct hints of surmaturite. Dense, chewy and powerful, with a saline impression of extract. At once strong and seamless, with penetrating, youthfully primary black fruit flavors that really expand and reverberate in the mouth and on the very long, gripping finish. Exhilarating late note of dark chocolate. By no means a painfully backward Taylor, but structured to evolve for at least 25 to 30 years.Vinous Media | 95+ VMBeautiful aromas of honeysuckle, violets, citrus and berries, plus hints of fresh herbs. Full-bodied and chewy, with refined tannins and a long finish. Lasts for minutes on the palate. An elegant, yet powerful and fruity style of young Taylor. Best after 2012. 14,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Taylor Fladgate) The 2000 Taylor is a classic in the making, and while it does not possess quite the same flamboyance as the 2000 Vinhas Velhas, it will make a superb bottle at maturity. The bouquet displays typical Taylor reticence in its complex blend of cassis, black cherries, plums, tar, bitter chocolate, black pepper, earth and violets. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and structured, with a rock solid core of fruit, firm tannins, excellent acids, and a very long, very primary finish. The grip here is classic Taylor- firm, uncompromising and built to age gracefully for at least fifty years. This is a great vintage of Taylor in the making. (Drink between 2025-2100)John Gilman | 94 JG
Saturated deep ruby. Brooding, reticent nose of cassis and kirsch; there’s nothing cooked about this one! Then massive, sweet and superrich in the mouth; explodes with exotic ripeness. Intriguing note of graphite. This coats every nook and cranny of the palate and clings and builds on the back end in a way that no other wine of this vintage can match. Huge, sexy and wonderfully lush Fonseca, built for the long haul. As impressive as the best 2000s, and, along with the Quinta do Noval Nacional, is an early candidate for port of the 2003 vintage.Vinous Media | 97 VMFonseca vintage Ports are always among the most attractive and long-lived. This 2003 conforms magnificently to that model. It is structured, rich, powerful and opulent. There are cassis and black fig flavors, as well as sweet tannins. It is delicious already, and will remain delicious throughout its long life.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WELots of grape and raisin on the nose. Full-bodied, chewy and lightly sweet. Serious concentration, with lots of grip on the finish. Just what to expect from a young Vintage Port. Best after 2012. 12,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 2003 Vintage Port was aged for 21 months in wood and comes in at 92 grams of residual sugar. This is another oldie rereleased now. The Taylor’s may be burlier and fresher, the Croft more nuanced and complex, but of the trio of 2003s in this report, this might well be the winner today. (Then again, it might not be; the comparison was certainly fun.) It has the most elegance, freshness and nuance, far younger than the Croft and more ready than the Taylor’s. I can only say, I respect whatever choice you make; pick ’em. Personally, I lean to Taylor’s in the longer run, but that is the least ready of the three.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThis is a beauty right now. Violet in color, scent and texture, Fonseca uses all the plumpness of the vintage to best advantage. It glistens with freshness, with long, dark fruit flavors held in place almost invisibly by the persistence of tannin. The schisty scent of smoke off broken rock gives the structure its electricity, and, with the freshness of the fruit, will sustain the wine for decades.Wine & Spirits | 95 W&S
This is a ripe and fruity yet strucutred wine that has amazing aging potential. It offers a strongly floral element that contrasts with the tense, mineral texture and dense tannins. It is an immensely concentrated wine that will not be ready until 2029. ROGER VOSSWine Enthusiast | 99 WEThe 2016 Quinta do Noval Naçional Vintage Port comes (of course) from the famous parcel of ungrafted vines. Comparing it side by side, the Naçional does not have the immediacy of the regular Noval. It is darker, more introspective, more complex and beguiling, the black fruit complemented by subtle desiccated orange and marmalade aromas. What strikes first on the palate is the fineness of the tannins. This is utterly harmonious, silky in terms of texture, and extraordinarily cohesive. You don’t know whether to drink this or stroke it. It is an understated Naçional that almost deceives you into thinking that there is not power, but that crashes across the senses in the final third and on the aftertaste. It is a Naçional with a latent effect, its virtues becoming apparent not during but after imbibing. It is a quite profound Port, even though at this juncture you are just reading the first couple of pages of a very long and engrossing novel. Drinking Window 2034 - 2080Vinous Media | 98 VMThis is distinctive from the start, with a youthfully rambunctious display of dark currant, fig and blackberry fruit paste flavors liberally spiked with bramble, Turkish coffee and ganache notes. As the fruit pumps through the finish, a tarry spine adds a bristling, mouthwatering edge. Sports more obvious grip and is a touch drier in style than most of its peers. Best from 2035 through 2055.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThis is a superb baby Noval that reminds me of the 1966. Chewy yet so polished. The light sweetness suggests an overall dialing back of the sugar content. Stemmy and lightly green. A truly classic Noval. Almost all from Pinhao. Buy. Better in 2025.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2016 Vintage Port is a field blend, mostly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão and Sousão, aged for 18 months in old wood. It comes in with 82 grams of residual sugar. This was in bottle for only about seven weeks when seen, but I made sure at least some of it had a lot of air. It looks super, with plenty of room to grow in the cellar. Christian Seely likes to say that this regular Noval and the Nacional are not better than one another, just different. In fact, I usually prefer Nacional, but in this vintage I make a case for equality and endorse that view.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP
This is well-packed, offering the vivid plum, boysenberry, cassis and açaí berry fruit profile of the vintage, along with a dark edge of tar, baker’s chocolate and salted licorice that courses underneath. The long finish lets the fruit play out, keeping singed alder and chai spice hints in the background. Smolderingly seductive. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cão, Sousão and Tinta Roriz. Best from 2035 through 2060. 3,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThe 2017 Vintage Port is a field blend, mostly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão and Sousão, aged for 18 months in old wood vats. It comes in with 99 grams of residual sugar. This was bottled in May 2019, about a month before tasting, but I made sure at least some of it had a lot of air. Aromatic, wonderfully fragrant and laced with eucalyptus, this then shows typical Noval focus and power. A couple of hours in a glass simply increased the power. More intense than the very fine 2016, it grips the palate and shows rather significant astringency. As wonderfully aromatic as this is, there the 2016 might have the edge.Too closed and muscular once past the aromatics, this rather dry Port needs some time. It is harder to read than the 2016 was, but this should overtake it in time. Have some patience with this one.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2017 Quinta do Noval Vintage Port was picked from August 21 to September 28 under perfect conditions. It has a tightly wound bouquet that requires a lot of aeration. Eventually it reveals fabulous, detailed aromas of cassis, bilberry jam, crushed stone and pressed violets, later hints of orange blossom and quince. The palate is pure class. Saturated tannins, wonderful structure but the headline is the intensity of fruit. I cannot remember a Noval with this penetration, almost overwhelming the senses as layers of effervescent black plum and cassis fruit segue into a spicy finish that fans out like there is no tomorrow. Is this the best Quinta do Noval ever?Vinous Media | 97 VMThe straight 2017 Vintage Port is stunning stuff. It packs serious power and richness while staying beautifully polished and, dare I say, elegant. Notes of crème de cassis and liquid blackberries define the attack, but it offers an incredibly layered, nuanced, complex style in its notes of herbes de Provence, violets, spicy wood, licorice, and Asian spice aromas and flavors. While it’s no doubt a full-bodied Port, it stands out just as much for its incredible polish, balance, and purity. This a brilliant effort is more approachable than the Nacional bottling yet is nevertheless going to evolve for 50-60 years or more on its flawless balance.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDBig grip in this wine with dark blackberries, blueberries and floral notes. Fine tannins. Ripe but sweet and pretty. Shows a lovely finish. Try after 2027.James Suckling | 97 JSNoval spills over into two valleys from Pinhão to Roncão which contribute two very different terroirs to the blend, though both predominantly south-facing. It displays heady Douro aromas of open, ripe, plummy fruit with a touch of dust and eucalypt, wild and aromatic. The palate is dense, smooth and seductive on the palate with firm, schistous tannins rising on to a fresh, linear finish. Beautifully defined and integrated. Just 3,500 cases declared. Drinking Window 2035 - 2060.Decanter | 96 DECThis is a solid wine with dark tannins and a definitely dry character that will allow it to age well. Its power and its density are impressive, with rich black currant flavors backing up the tannins. Drink from 2030.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEJet black, this shows the arid vintage in its desert-rose scents and in the umami savor of tiny dried black currants. There’s black-cherry density inside the concentrated tannins, which need a decade to begin to relax.Wine & Spirits | 93 W&S
Intense, featuring an energetic core of black Mission fig, açaí berry and blackberry fruit, all entwined with strands of licorice snap, singed alder, tar and cassis bush. The finish crackles with life, as the grip is substantial but supported as much by acidity as tannins, giving this a freshness that pierces through the dark fruit profile. Best from 2035 through 2055. 498 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSRichly structured, this opulent wine has powerful tannins as well as fresher black fruits. It is dense and finely perfumed with some sweetness as well as a drier core of tannins. The wine is set for long-term aging. Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE
The 2017 Vintage Port is a field blend aged for approximately 20 months in wood. It comes in with 100 grams of residual sugar. Rich, concentrated and often sensational, this is well structured, even better in its fruit profile. While the fruit is terrific, it is also wonderfully fresh. This is arguably a great Taylor’s, but it still needs to prove its final case in the cellar. I don’t think that will be a problem. As I said when I first saw it, it effortlessly combines brilliant fruit and structure. It does everything right, and it is a formidable competitor to its Vinha Velha sibling in this report. And at half the price.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RPComplex aromas of tar, wet earth, dark berry and flowers follow through to a full body, medium sweet and amazing compacted concentration. Vertical and so deep. It goes on for minutes. Truly excellent.James Suckling | 99 JSThe 2017 Taylor’s Vintage Port comes from their three quintas: Vargellas, de Terra Feita and do Junco, picking commencing at Vargellas on September 1, the earliest since 1945. Now this boasts a bold and more flamboyant bouquet vis-à-vis the Croft with layers of blackcurrant, blueberries, violet and allspice. Wonderful definition here and as it ratchets up through the gears with aeration manages to maintain impressive delineation. The palate is medium, rather full-bodied. The first impression is one of freshness, completely disguising that summer’s dryness and warmth, a disarming finesse built around the frame of tannins that would have been impossible years ago. It is a silky-smooth Taylor’s, one of the most polished 2017 Vintage Ports with energy and tension flooding through the finish. Aristocratic as ever, totally Taylor’s, yet still translating the growing season with aplomb.Vinous Media | 98 VMThis offers up a dense rumble of dark currant, fig and blackberry paste flavors, laced with hints of buckwheat, baker’s chocolate and warm tar. The muscular finish is thickly layered, with threads of alder and espresso cream adding definition along the way. Should be among the more long-lived wines of the vintage. Best from 2035 through 2060. 1,250 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WSA blend from predominantly north-facing Quinta de Vargellas in the Douro Superior and quintas Terras Feita and Junco in the Pinhão valley. This has lovely ripe mulberry fruit on the floral nose, also showing lovely concentration. It’s dense and fleshy initially on the palate, displaying silky-velvety damson fruit and broad, fine-grained tannins which rise in the mouth and lead to a big peacock’s tail of a finish. It’s a bold wine with great finesse, already beautifully integrated.Decanter | 97 DECThe structure is currently very dominant in this wine. Its dark tannins are concentrated, waiting for the masked black fruits to come through. Everything is there, it just needs an immense amount of time.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEThis 2017 has all the markers of a legendary Taylor Port—scents of green fig, the complex tannic impact of schist, the consternating sense of elegance in the face of massive structural power. David Guimaraens bases this wine on fruit from the Quinta de Vargellas, an estate on the south bank of the river in the arid Douro Superior. In our tastings, it came after several 2017s that were sourced from vineyards on the north bank, closer to Pinhão, and, while it would be simplistic to consider this a definitive difference (there are many exposures in each quinta, and other quinta parcels in the blends), there was a stark shift from the blackness of those wines to the sour-cherry impression of this wine, and its floral fraise des bois notes. Those flavors keep pushing up against the dark shadows of the wine’s schist tannins, an undulating wake of red fruit and minerals that carries the wine’s muscular power into memory. Kobrand, Purchase, NYWine & Spirits | 96 W&S
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