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2018 Vintage Port - The Fladgate Partnership

Vintage Port is on an incredible run in recent years. The newly released 2018s join lofty company with another stellar array of wines. Favourable weather and improved winemaking have raised the bar of what is now possible in the Douro. In 2018, both these elements came together to produce deep, intense and yet elegant Ports. The conditions were particularly excellent in the Douro Superior - leading to Taylor's being declared for an unprecedented third vintage in a row. We are delighted to offer a trio of superb Fladgate Partnership 2018s. 

The 2018 growing season was complex but ultimately excellent for making Vintage Port. Heavy spring rains replenished dangerously low water reserves and saved a potentially disastrous year. Late spring and early summer were cooler than normal, with yet more rain and occasional hailstorms putting pressure on yields. July was dry but again cooler than normal - leaving the vines behind schedule. Extreme heat in August that advanced the slow-ripening fruit, before harvest in hot and dry conditions through mid-September.

The wines are deeply coloured and rich in structure but elegant and fresh, ideal for long-term ageing. Taylor's has drawn universal praise from critics and we can see why, it is powerful but wonderfully poised. Neal Martin of Vinous gives it 97 points, saying it is "pure class" with an "aristocratic bouquet" and "very harmonious" palate. It is available for £650 per dozen (or £325 per six) in bond.  Fonseca Guimaraens has been declared for the first time since 2015. This impressive yet approachable Port is superb value at £230 per dozen in bond. It receive 95 points from Neal Martin who "admire(s) the harmony of this Vintage Port". Last but not least is Croft's Quinta da Roeda, a single quinta that Martin describes as "well defined" with "very attractive and complex, structured finish", giving it 93 points. It is £170 per dozen in bond

The 2018s from The Fladgate Partnership are testament to the superb work done in the Douro to elevate the quality of their Vintage Ports. They are a superb addition to any collector's cellar. 

 

Minimum Order – 12 bottles OR 6 bottles of Taylor's
These wines will be available for delivery in Autumn 2021

Taylor's

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts Price IB GBP Per Score
Vintage Port2018Taylor, Taylor Fladgate

6 bottle minimum order

BT106650.001297 NM12672.22222133333397.0097.00Taylor0.75
Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

It has a classy, aristocratic bouquet, a signature note apropos Taylor’s Vintage: dense black fruit with touches of melted tar, cloves and white pepper. This just builds and builds in the glass. The palate is very harmonious with fine tannins, perfect acidity and very pure with a gentle, almost caressing second half. White pepper interlaces the black fruit with a very precise finish. Pure class. 2032 – 2075

97 points, Neal Martin, Vinous.com, 2020

Remarkably harmonious already, with a beautiful display of unadulterated blueberry, blackberry and plum sauce flavors that fan out, while anise, ganache and cassis accents fill in. So lush and seductive through the finish, it’s nearly drinkable. But just wait. Best from 2030 through 2050.

96 points, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, 2021

Aromatic and expressive, this adds a big bang for a finish that reminds you that it is, indeed, Taylor's. After opening it on the first day tasted, it tightened fast and showed the structure I like to see in serious Ports. It has that classic flavor profile as well and shows fine concentration. Even 48 hours later it had no problem showing off a little muscle, even though it drank decently at that point. The fruit is expressive, as noted, but it is still a bit closed just now.

95 points, Mark Squires, Wine Advocate, 2020

Opaque and saturated, black in colour. An intensely aromatic nose packed with a multitude of nuances. Plush, polished & peppery with notes of cassis, fig, date and Xmas pudding. A whiff of tar, menthol and charcoal too. Nutmeg & cloves. On the palate it is immediately super concentrated with a generous, rounded, thick and velvety, svelte mouthfeel. A punch of warmth too. Lots of ripe raisin fruit. The tannins are firm but smooth and there is a lift of freshness more reminiscent of the 2016 Taylor than the 2017. A really elegant, poised and precise wine. Power and finesse combined – a classic Taylor.

18+ points, Farr Vintners, 2021

Fonseca Guimaraens

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts Price IB GBP Per Score
Vintage Port2018Fonseca Guimaraens, Fonseca PortoBT146230.001295 NM17425.55555466666795.0095.00Fonseca Guimaraens0.75
Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

The 2018 Guimaraens Vintage Port, the first release since 2015, has a rich and opulent bouquet with black cherries, stewed figs and dates. It has a little more warmth than the Quinta da Roeda 2018 tasted alongside, certainly one of the more decadent aromatics. The palate is sweet and fleshy on the entry with black fruit, tar, desiccated orange peel, Xmas cake and juniper berries. I admire the harmony of this Vintage Port. The firm structure only becomes apparent towards the finish. Wonderful length on the aftertaste, the mouth stained with Port for 60 seconds after. Excellent. 2030 - 2065

95 points, Neal Martin, Vinous.com, 2020

Warm, soft-edged and generally open, with a core of steeped plum, blackberry preserve and blueberry reduction flavors leading the way, backed by hints of ganache and licorice root on the finish that add a grippier feel. More bass than treble, but well-packed and should age well. Best from 2030 through 2045.

94 points, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, 2021

The 2018 Guimaraens Vintage Port is a field blend that comes in with 98 grams of residual sugar. It was aged in large wooden vats for approximately 18 months. Elegant and aromatic, this is laced with a little eucalyptus up front. It is ultimately a focused Guimaraens that has a graceful demeanor and fine structure. On first taste, though, it was flat and seemed thin overall. Two days later, it fleshed out and demonstrated that it had enough mid-palate depth to match its pure power. It became more complex as well, although it is not exactly the most expressive Port that the house has made. Of the three from the Fladgate Partnership this issue, this is the least expressive today by far. Closed? Or just missing something? At the price, however, it is a very fine value, and the superb structure—it's best feature—gives this a chance to develop in the cellar.

92+ points, Mark Squires, Wine Advocate, 2020

Dense, purple to black in colour. A very spicy nose with black damson fruit and an attractive overlay of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Smooth, round, juicy and supple on the palate with a creamy rich texture and ripe, plush tannins. A freshness in acidity and appealing minty flavour add balance and tension. It has a wonderfully long, spicy and enduring finish. This is a versatile Port which will both be approachable relatively young but also has ample concentration to merit longer term cellarage too. Impressive stuff at a very sensible price.

17.5 points, Farr Vintners, 2021

Croft Quinta da Roeda

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts Price IB GBP Per Score
Vintage Port2018Croft Quinta da RoedaBT86170.001293 NM10218.88888893.0093.00Croft Quinta da Roeda0.75
Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

The 2018 Quinta da Roeda Vintage Port has an intense nose of black fruit mixed with raisin, fig, cloves and a touch of boot polish. This is well defined, but it requires a few years in bottle, as if I really need to say that. The palate is well balanced with quite a strict, terse opening, very spicy with black pepper, cloves (again) and bay leaf. Broody at first but opening with time to reveal a very attractive and complex, structured finish with hints of tobacco and smoke. This is a lovely nascent Quinta da Roeda but, as if it needs to be said, it will need time. 2030 - 2065

93 points, Neal Martin, Vinous.com, 2020

Sleek in feel, with a mix of raspberry and plum reduction, melted black licorice and fruitcake notes that stretch out over a graphite edge on the finish. Has good energy from start to finish. Best from 2030 through 2045.

93 points, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, 2021

The 2018 Vintage Port Quinta da Roeda is a field blend aged for approximately 18 months in very large used wooden vats. It comes in with 104 grams of residual sugar. Ripe and expressive, this delicious single-quinta Porto also has fine concentration and some pop on the finish. Indeed, as this sits and airs out, it proves it has a real backbone. Two days later, it was pretty tight. This is more about fruit than structure, though, and this sexy, nuanced and succulent Port is going to be hard to resist as it ages. Likely to be accessible on the younger side, it should still hold very well. I need to see a bit more to be fully convinced, but right now this seems like the steal and sleeper of the Fladgate Partnership trio this issue (the Fonseca and Taylor's being the others). For the moment—and young Ports do change notably as they age—this would be my favorite of the trio.

94 points, Mark Quires, Wine Advocate, 2020

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