2015 Taylor Fladgate Quinta de Vargellas Porto

Year: 2015
Appellation: Oporto
Country: Portugal
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 94
James Suckling: 95
Wine Enthusiast: 95
Fortified Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 20.0%
Price :


"Fleshy and inviting in feel, with enticing warm plum and blackberry cobbler notes backed by cocoa, black licorice and fruitcake flavors. Alluring juniper and alder edges underscore the fruit. This stretches out nicely, with floral and mint details running through the lengthy and refined finish. Best from 2030 through 2045. 4,500 cases made.–JM " (WS)

"The 2015 Quinta de Vargellas Vintage Port is a field blend aged for 18 months in used French oak vats. It comes in with 103 grams per liter of residual sugar. This is the first look in bottle, after the original was seen last June as a tank sample in Porto. It is very much a creature of the vintage. Like most 2015s, this is on the lighter side in the mid-palate, but also like most, it is fresh and lifted, refined and graceful. It is the type of wine that doesn't hit you over the head but becomes ever more appealing as it sits in the glass. It's all about finesse and elegance. Suddenly, you realize how much you like it. After some aeration, it adds to its mid-palate refinement the dry, tight and steely edge it had in Porto. Compared to last June, it is oddly more expressive now (I find that they tend to close down after bottling and shipping), opening nicely with some air. It does eventually close down more, but it drinks well again the next day, showing very good balance. When all three of the Fladgate group wines I re-evaluated for this issue (Croft, Fonseca Guimaraens and this) were tasted again the next day, this was plainly the best, beautifully balanced and lingering nicely on the finish. It does everything well." (WA)

"This is top class with so much perfume and flower aromas. Violets galore. Full body yet refined and tight with very powerful and polished tannins. This is racy and linear. Turns juicy, fresh and medium sweet. Reminds me of the excellent 1967 Vargellas." (JS)

"This wine is ripe with tannins and powerful with ripe fruit. A solid character gives it density. The tannins and the richness of the wine are ripe and concentrated with fruit. Drink from 2026." (WE)

Winery Notes
Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca

Single-quinta, or single-vineyard, vintage Porto is produced only in exceptional years in which a general vintage is not declared. Quinta de Vargellas, celebrated as one of the top 100 vineyards in the world, has been part of the Taylor Fladgate estate for more than a century. It has the highest percentage of old vines of any quinta in the Douro, with 60% over 75 years old. All grapes undergo the traditional foot treading method, ensuring their fullest expression. Fermentation is halted by the addition of grape spirits before all the residual sugar has been fermented, creating a sweet, fortified wine. Following two years in wood, the wines are bottled unfiltered and will continue maturing for decades.

Following an unusually dry and cold winter, budburst occurred in late March. Welcome rainfall in April and early May preceded flowering in May's last 2 weeks and favorable weather through July. Vines showed lower than usual vigor, resulting in smaller berries, bunches and lower yields. Véraison was inevitably later than usual. In mid-August, the grapes were still very low in sugar and with high levels of acidity. Significant and continuous ripening of the crop took place during the duration of the harvest. Picking started on September 20th at Vargellas.

Pure woodland fruit aromas combine with notes of wild herbs, gum cistus and discreet hints of vanilla. The floral scents, hallmark of Vargellas, include characteristic violet along with delicate blossom notes. Clean, vibrant berry fruit flavors. Wiry tannins on the mid-palate which provide plenty of grip and an attractive touch of austerity. Wonderfully fine and harmonious.

Most often served after a meal, alone or with cheese, nuts, dried fruits or fine dark chocolate.