2017 Vintage Port Declaration – modern day legends!
Rarely have we seen a back to back vintage declaration for vintage Port. Taylor Fladgate can last recall the 1846 and 1847. The 2016 and 2017 marks the first for The Symington family. We loved the cool, aromatic, elegant style of the 2016s. The 2017 Ports are more masculine, being denser, more layered and powerful. That said, they still possess silky tannins, vibrancy and balance.
The 2017 vintage was marked by a hot dry growing season until early July when rain storms revived the heat stressed vines. The harvest began around the 25th August, some three weeks earlier than the norm. Many grapes were small with thick skins, hence the richer results from less juice to vinify. Charles Symington said the growing conditions were close to the legendary 1945 vintage. His family houses (Dow's, Graham's, Warre's, Cockburn and Vesuvio) suffered a lower production than usual by 30%-40%. Adrian Bridge, Managing Director of Taylor Fladgate Partnership, preferred the multi-dimensional quality of their 2017s to the 2016s. Christian Seely says that the 2017 old vine ports from Quinto do Noval “are right up there with the best of them”.
From initial tastings, we believe that both the 2016 and 2017 vintages are great and equally deserve space in our cellars. However, the age-defying 2017s will need more time to mature.