The 2017 Croft Vintage Port was picked from August 31, the earliest since 1945. Deep purple in color, the nose is initially standoffish, checking you out before opening intense black plum and crushed violet aromas, orange blossom and veins of Seville orange marmalade. Yet it is extremely well focused, disguising the warmth of the growing season. The palate is medium-bodied with a luxuriant, velvety smooth opening that lacquers the mouth. Beautifully balanced, effortless even, it gently seems to roll across the senses towards its surprisingly controlled, clove and bayleaf tinged finish that leaves a discrete tingling sensation on the tongue. Superb and probably one of the 2017 Vintage Ports that will drink sooner than others. Total production is 3,900 cases.
|Score: 94||Neal Martin, vinous.com, June 2019|
A beauty in the making, with waves of dark currant preserves, warmed fig and steeped blackberry fruit, all infused with chai spice, tobacco, singed alder and espresso cream accents. Very grippy on the finish, but this is long and smoldering too. Best from 2035 through 2060. 500 cases imported. — JM
|Score: 97||James Molesworth, WineSpectator.com, May 2019|
The 2017 Vintage Port is a field blend, not quite bottled but the final blend set for bottling in about a week. It was aged for approximately 20 months in French oak and comes in with 97 grams of residual sugar. Fresh and lively, showing vivid fruit and a clean finish, this is also nicely lifted on the finish. It is surprisingly accessible. This is also a bit more expressive at the moment than its S?rikos sibling this issue, but it's also lighter and a little less powerful. This can be one to approach young, but I wouldn't do it unless you want to sacrifice complexity and harmony. 2025 - 2060
|Score: 93/95||Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (July 2019 ), July 2019|
Deep in colour and pure in fruit on the nose, there is lift and refinement with violets, baked vanilla and nutmeg framing the cassis and black cherry at the core. The palate is silky, refined and voluptuous, with succulent tannins fully integrated into the fleshy fruit. This is seductive and soft but cut by refreshing acidity. The finish is long and refined, with the sweet black fruits lingering in tandem with subtle toasted spices.
|Score: 17.5+||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, June 2019|
Deep purple with wide purple rim. The most red-fruited of all the Fladgate 2017s so far but lots of sweet black cherry too. Much more gentle on the palate than the Fonseca and Taylor's and less obvious length, or at least much softer and chocolatey as it fades on the palate. This is all about the fruit and has lovely freshness and lively fruit purity. Mouth-watering finish of sweet-sour cherry flavours. Drink 2026-2047.
|Score: 17.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2019|
Croft has developed its own rather ripe, voluptuous and rather jammy style in recent years, distinguishing the wine from the firmer, perhaps more challenging character of Fonseca and Taylor. Perhaps 2017 has been kind to Quinta da Roêda which provides the ‘cornerstone’ of this Port: surprisingly closed on the nose with plump juicy fruit underlying, ripe plums and cherries; similarly plump and voluptuous initially with a wonderfully ripe, broad tannic core rising in the mouth, dense and rather gorgeous all the way through to a fresh, vibrant finish. This has it all and maybe the wine of the vintage.
|Score: 19||Richard Mayson, richardmayson.com, May 2019|