The Flatgate Partnership releases trio of 2018 Ports
In keeping with tradition, The Fladgate Partnership has chosen St. George’s Day to release a trio of Ports from the 2018 vintage from its Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft brands.
Conditions in 2018 were excellent in the Douro Valley and “exceptional” in the Douro Superior, leading Adrian Bridge, managing director of The Fladgate Partnership, to declare 2018 to be a “classic” vintage for Taylor’s.
“As Taylor’s is the only one of our companies with extensive land holdings in the Douro Superior, it has been able to make a classic vintage in 2018. All our properties are farmed so that every grape has the potential of being made into vintage Port,” Bridge said.
Head winemaker, David Guimaraens, added: “The Douro Superior enjoyed the combination of abundant ground water and hot summer weather which often produces great vintage Port.
“It has given us the excellent phenolic maturity typical of a hot ripening season but the fine multi-layered fruit, fresh acidity we normally see in cooler years.”
While a classic declaration normally only happens about three times a decade, the exceptional run has meant that Taylor’s is able to make a third in a row.
“This is very unusual, but our principle is that we only declare a classic vintage when the quality is there and this is dictated by the year.
“In view of the economic situation in which we find ourselves, we will bottle in July as usual, but will not offer the wines until early 2021,” Bridge confirmed.
Meanwhile, Fonseca will release a 2018 Guimaraens Vintage Port – the first bottling under the Guimaraens label since 2015.
“The Guimaraens concept is unique, a wine with the same make up and character as the classic Fonseca vintages but made in a more approachable, early drinking style,” Bridge said.
Guimaraens added, “The 2018 is one of the finest recent examples of a Guimaraens vintage, with its rich, dense woodland fruit and sturdy but well integrated tannins.”
Finally, Croft will release a 2018 single quinta vintage Port from its historic Quinta da Roêda estate.
“The Quinta da Roêda 2018 delivers the characteristic ripe fruit and scented quality, which are the hallmarks of the Roêda wines together with the taut tannins and freshness of the year,” Bridge said.
Commenting on the year, Guimaraens noted, “The 2018 harvest has produced outstanding vintage Ports, but the year was not without its challenges, which included the severe hailstorm that devastated many Pinhão Valley vineyards, including those of Taylor’s Quinta do Junco.
“It is important to note that the 2018 wines have the highest colour intensity of recent vintages, which is a sign of good extraction and longevity.”