Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port.
On the palate, the wine has beautifully ripe tannins, which integrate perfectly into the mid-palate, providing both structure and volume, and then break out on the finish with a firm wiry, grip. The palate closes with a powerful tide of fresh, complex fruit flowing endlessly through the finish. In the 2018, the Taylor traits of fine fruit and inner power combine seamlessly with the ripeness and depth typical of the vintage.
Flowering in the Duoro occurred in the last 10 days of May. The weather conditions provided for a perfect flowering season. The Romariz Vintage Port 2003 yielded wines of great color and supple tannins, with a vintage stamp being evident in most wines. Production: 8,000 cases. "Another bright and fruity young Vintage Port with plum, grape and blackberry aromas with just a hint of stems. Serious nose here. Full-bodied, with soft, round tannins and a long, caressing finish. A beauty."
- J.S., Wine Spectator, 89-91 pts
"Bright dark ruby. Deep, perfumed aromas of cassis, licorice, violet and minerals. Lush and high-toned in the mouth but with very good vinosity and spine. Lovely fruit-driven flavors of black cherry, blackberry and dark chocolate. Little sign of the roasted side of 2003. Not hugely concentrated but suave, supple, minerally and sweet. Finishes with ripe tannins and very good spicy persistence. A very good showing. Accessible already but balanced for medium-term aging."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, 89 pts
"Opaque ruby. A complex, beautifully structured wine from Europe’s hot summer of 2003. Lively spicy, toasted aromas and a ripe and generous palate with layers of rich, dense flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, tobacco, spice box and a hint of marmalade. Finishes dry and long with still firm tannins. A delicious Port that should be paired with Roquefort and other blue cheeses."
- International Wine Review (Succulent Sweet Wines for the Holidays: The Best of 2018), 92 pts
Exceptionally aromatic with aromas of violets, hints of blackberry, blackcurrant and black plum on the nose. There is some spice that is balanced with fresh acidity and minerality. A long finish with ripe but firm tannins.
Dow's Senhora da Ribeira can be enjoyed anytime and pairs wonderfully with chocolate desserts and soft cheeses like creamy Stilton or Roquefort.
Rich and fruity, this wine is packed with intense black-currant flavors. It is perfumed, ripe with a good tannic background. The density of the wine and the firm structure point to a long aging process. Drink this beautifully structured wine from 2026.
-Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
Senhora da Ribeira has one of the most advanced specialist wineries in the Douro, combining the best of traditional winemaking practice, evolved over centuries, and the latest state-of-the-art automated systems. Three granite ‘lagares’ for foot treading are complemented by three ‘robotic’ lagares, designed by the Symington family and installed in the quinta’s winery in 2001.
It has long been recognised that traditional treading produced some of the finest Ports, but there are some drawbacks involved in traditional treading; temperature control is difficult, there is a limit to how long people are willing to tread and they need to sleep. The winemaker’s options are therefore limited, he or she cannot order treading at different times through the night, or pull people off the picking team at will. Furthermore, emptying the traditional lagar takes a long time; in the meantime the fermentation process is accelerating away. A further handicap arose over recent years, when an increasing scarcity of labour obliged producers to look for less labour-intensive vinification solutions. The Symingtons opted to devise a mechanical means of replicating the proven method of foot treading. The result was the Symington ‘robotic lagar’, an automated treading machine which exactly replicates the gentle action of the human foot and which has revolutionised winemaking in the Douro Valley. This equipment is very expensive but the results have been so good that an increasing proportion of Dow’s finest wines are now made in these automated lagares. Approximately half of the wines for Dow’s much praised 2003 Vintage were vinified in them.
The Senhora da Ribeira’s Quinta Vintage Ports have amassed a highly impressive number of awards: three Gold Medals at the International Wine Challenge, (2008, 2006 and 2001, for the 2005, 2002 and 1999 Vintages, respectively) as well as seven Silver Medals and two Gold Medals at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (London, 2008 for the 2005 Vintage and 2002 for the 1998 Vintage). In September 2006, Jancis Robinson MW wrote, “One very exciting new bottling is Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira 2004...this single quinta bottling demonstrates superb quality with wonderful vibrancy. Great wine in any context - not that unlike some California reds! This is definitely a wine to look out for when it is released.”
The very hot climate through the summer at this vineyard results in highly complex and concentrated wines but very low yields. Colours of the musts in the fermentation tanks are always purple-black due to the very high skin to juice ratio. The old vines add further to the intensity of the wine as they make up a very large percentage of the vineyard. The resulting wine can be described as being the essence of Vintage Port, with powerful wild red-fruit flavours, leading into rich black chocolate notes, the whole balanced by complex, attractive and peppery tannins.
One of the Douro’s most beautiful vineyards, Senhora da Ribeira is located 24km (15 miles) upriver from Quinta do Bomfim in the remote Douro Superior. The vineyard commands a magnificent north bank position, overlooking a broad sweep of the Douro, directly opposite another famous Symington owned vineyard: Quinta do Vesuvio. Senhora de Ribeira was built close to an ancient river crossing, guarded by two 12th century castles on either side of the river built by the Moors during their centuries long occupation of Iberia. A small chapel dedicated to the ‘Lady of the River’ (literally: Senhora da Ribeira) has stood here for centuries and gave the quinta its name. Travellers would pause here to ask for a safe river passage and onward journey.
Senhora da Ribeira’s wines are some of the finest in the Douro and they complement those from Bomfim in the composition of Dow’s classic Vintage Ports. The quinta’s high proportion of old vines (45% are over 25 years old) is of critical importance. The old vines are very low-yielding, producing on average less than 1Kg of grapes each, giving intense and concentrated musts which are ideal for classic Vintage Port. The remainder of the vineyard was replanted as follows: 21% in 2001 and 34% from 2004, the latter involving mainly Touriga Nacional vines. This grape variety - very important for Vintage Port - now represents almost exactly a third of the total planted at the quinta. The entire vineyard has the maximum ‘A’ rating.
As with Bomfim, the consistency of the climate plays a key role, although the rainfall is only half of that experienced at Bomfim: 448mm is the 10 year average. This more extreme climate, hot dry summers and cold, equally dry winters results in wines with unique depth of colour and complexity.
As with Quinta do Bomfim, the best Ports from Senhora de Ribeira are used to make Dow’s Vintage Ports in the great and rare ‘Declared’ years. In the good year’s when Dow’s does not ‘declare’ a Vintage, the best wines of ‘The Lady of the River’ are bottled as Dow’s Quinta de Senhora da Ribeira Vintage Port. They will tend to mature a little earlier than the very rare ‘Declared’ years, but can be every bit as good as some other Vintage Ports.
Romariz Vintage Port is made from Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto CÃ£o, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca
Deep inky purple color. Intricate nose with aromas of blackberries and logan berries, subtle hints of amber and spring blossom and delicate spice. A tight, well-formed palate with an abundance of dark berry fruit, rich chocolate and liquorice, culminating in a long finish. Firm, closely woven tannins that give the wine great structure and body. An elegant finely constituted Vintage Port which will drink beautifully now or age quietly in the cellar.
A vintage port is made from blended grapes, all from the same vintage year. Vintage ports are historically only declared every 3 out of 10 years. Romariz vintage ports age for up to two years in oak, then go unfiltered into the bottle for further aging.
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port.
Taylor's finest and rarest wine, the very pinnacle of port. Only in a year when everything is perfect does Taylor's ‘declare' a vintage. With the company's reputation at stake, ‘declaring' is not taken lightly, since it invites a knowledgeable and worldwide audience to judge whether perfection has indeed been achieved. The ultimate collector's wines, Taylor's Vintage Ports will last for fifty years or more. They are renowned for their massive structure, concentration of flavor and distinctive ‘masculine' style. Bottled after two years in wood, they continue to mature for decades in the cellar, slowly attaining the sublime elegance and power which are the hallmarks of the Taylor's style. view vintage charts Taylor's Vintage Ports are classically served after lunch or dinner, in a relaxed and unhurried atmosphere when their powerful aromas and rich flavors can be fully appreciated and discussed. They can be enjoyed without food, but cheese is a fine accompaniment, as are nuts or dried fruits.
Scent of tropical woods, black cherry and assam pepper, allspice, poivre long. Short soft part, firm acidity, then a gripping, dry but ripe tannin. With contact with air, the port becomes more and more floral and slate-spicy.
-Falstaff 98 Points
For many, Taylor Fladgate is the archetypal Port house and its wines the quintessential Ports. Established over three centuries ago in 1692, Taylor Fladgate is one of the oldest of the founding Port houses. It is dedicated entirely to the production of Port wine and in particular to its finest styles.
Above all, Taylor Fladgate is regarded as the benchmark for Vintage Port. Noted for their elegance and poise as well as for their restrained power and longevity, Taylor Fladgate’s Vintage Ports are blended from the finest wines of the firm’s own quintas or estates, Vargellas, Terra Feita and Junco. These three iconic properties, each occupying a distinct geographic location and with their own unique character, are the cornerstone of the company’s success and the main source of its unique and inimitable house style.
Taylor Fladgate is also respected as a producer of wood aged ports and holds one of the largest reserves of rare cask aged wines from which its distinguished aged tawny Ports are drawn. The house is also known as the originator of Late Bottled Vintage, a style which the firm pioneered and of which it remains the leading producer.
Above all, Taylor Fladgate is an independent company in which some family members play a leading role in all areas of the firm’s activity. The firm’s long and unbroken family tradition has provided continuity and clarity of purpose, essential attributes of any great wine house. It has also allowed the skills and knowledge required to produce the finest ports to be constantly refined and added to in the light of experience as they are passed down from one generation to the next.
Based in Oporto and the Douro Valley the company is closely involved in all stages of the production of its Ports, from the planting of the vineyard and the cultivation of the grapes to the making, ageing, blending and bottling of the wines. The family’s commitment to the future of Port is demonstrated in its single minded dedication to the highest standards in Port production, its continued investment in all aspects of the firm’s operations and its determination to preserve the unique environment of the Douro Valley through the promotion of sustainable and responsible viticulture.
Delas Hermitage Les Grandes Vignes Ligne de Crete is made from Syrah.
The nose discloses aromas of spice and leather intertwined with deep berry aromas (blackberry, redcurrant) and heady floral notes, liquorice and incense. Its richness, complexity and elegance are by no means a contradiction. The finest granite soils of the Hermitage hillside are to thank for this wine's incredible minerality and finesse. The wine is rich and dense on entry to the palate, where it shows an elegant, broad and flavorsome character. The ripe, smooth and well-integrated tannins contribute to the wine's powerful yet harmonious structure. The palate reveals the same aromas as those found on the nose with nuances of blueberry, raspberry, violet and bitter chocolate. Ligne de Crête is characterized by its exceptional structure, harmony and balance.
This remarkably smooth and elegant wine makes the perfect partner for a pigeon pie, beef tartare ravioli or a roast fillet of deviled duckling with cranberries. It also makes an excellent choice for woodcock, hare "à la Royale" or even a roast rack of lamb in a herb crust.
Whiffs of espresso, ore and charred meat mingle into thunderous flavors of crème de cassis and roasted plums in this wine. A single-site expression of Les Grandes Vignes from a ripe yet fresh vintage, it's a showstopping Syrah marked with a creamy texture and ripe tannins. Hermitage is not known for youthful pleasures but this rare bottling embraces the hedonism of adolescence along with its potential to gain power and complexity far beyond 2050. Anna Lee C. Iijima
-Wine Enthusiast 97 Points
Inky ruby color. Expansive, smoke- and mineral-accented black and blue fruits, licorice, smoky bacon, mocha, violet and licorice on the highly perfumed nose. Appealingly sweet, mineral-accented cassis, boysenberry, fruitcake, floral pastille and vanilla flavors show superb depth and become spicier with aeration. Shows superb detail and mineral lift on the youthfully tannic, extremely persistent and incisive finish, which features resonating floral and exotic spice notes.
-Vinous 97 Points