23rd April, 2013 by Gabriel Stone
The Fladgate Partnership has joined other major houses in declaring its 2011 vintage Ports, having held off until its traditional timing of St George’s day.
All three houses within Fladgate’s portfolio – Croft, Fonseca and Taylor’s – will release a 2011 vintage, as the company’s managing director Adrian Bridge hailed “textbook” styles that are “classics in every sense.”
In common with Sogrape, Symington and Churchill’s, each of whom have made declarations within the last month, Fladgate’s head winemaker David Guimaraens was emphatic in his praise of this vintage.
“The 2011s stand out for the purity of the fruit and the quality of the tannins, which are silky and well integrated but provide plenty of structure,” he summarised.
Although for most other houses 2011 represents their first declaration since 2007, Fladgate broke ranks by declaring in 2009.
Having defended its quality at the time, Bridge reaffirmed this decision, saying: “Our 2009 declaration showed that demand remains strong for new release vintage Ports and we expect it to grow further as new fine wine markets come on stream.”
In particular, he emphasised the interest that has developed outside vintage Port’s traditional markets, noting: “Wine consumers all over the world are realising that vintage Port continues to deliver astonishing value compared to many other classic wines.”
Alongside this growing global demand, Bridge revealed: “We have recently seen strong demand for large bottle formats, reflecting interest from collectors and investors.”
As a result, he confirmed that all three houses will release a “limited” number of large format bottlings, including double magnums and imperials.
In addition to these three vintage Ports, Fladgate will release three-bottle cases of its Vargellas Vinha Velha 2011, which is produced in small quantities from the oldest vines on its Vargellas estate.