N.V. Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Porto

Year: N.V.
Appellation: Oporto
Country: Portugal
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 93
Fortified Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 20.0%
Price :
$44.95

"A warm, flattering style, with date, ginseng, toffee, caramel and mulled raisin flavors that take on a plump feel as they move through, ending with a flash of green tea that keeps this just lively enough. Leans toward the sweeter side and will have lots of fans for sure. Drink now. 15,300 cases made, 8,000 cases imported. -JM" (WS)

"The NV 20 Year Old Tawny Port was bottled in 2015 and comes in at 111 grams per liter of residual sugar. On first taste, this was simply Taylor: big, concentrated and serious. It was all that and a bag of chips, but over a couple of day it also demonstrated far more elegance. It seemed arguably better balanced than the 10 year old Tawny this issue. Simply filling the mouth on first taste, this shows fine complexity for its age and it does everything else rather brilliantly. Succulent and inviting, it finishes with waves of concentrated flavors. The fruit remains lifted and and it has a bright, transparent feel. It is hard to resist, often seeming like a bit of an overachiever. It's not the best tawny Taylor's submitted this issue, but it might be the best intersection of quality and price.

These all come with a bar top cork, i.e., you can hold them indefinitely if you wish, barring cork problems, but they are not really intended to be aged. They, like pretty much all Tawnies, are considered ready to drink on release." (WA)

Winery Notes:
If vintage port represents a rare gift of nature guided by the least possible intervention of man, tawny ports of age represent one of the highest expressions of the blender's art. Though these wines essentially begin life in much the same way, the rest of their evolution could not be more different. While a vintage port matures entirely in bottle and protected from the air, an aged tawny evolves entirely in cask in contact with some degree of oxygen, a process far more difficult to predict and to guide.

Each January following the prior autumn's vintage, Taylor, Fladgate makes a selection from among their very concentrated, full-bodied vintage quality red Ports which are judged according to their aging potential, wines which in vintage years approach the quality of the great wines destined to be declared vintage ports. Year after year, they originate from the same quintas to maintain consistency of source, and thus, to a degree, of style. These are placed in cask and set aside to be cellared for the long term. Since wines from different vintages show variation in character, concentration and rate of maturation, tawny Ports of age are blended across several vintages to maintain their freshness, balance and continuity of style, and thus show an "apparent", or average, age on the label rather than a vintage date. In the very old tawny Ports of age, the actual ages of the various Ports in the blend may spread across ten years or so, but in the younger tawnies the spread is usually more on the order of four years or less.

During this aging process, tawny ports lose their dark purple hue and grow lighter in color, hence the name "tawny," as they throw their deposit in the cask rather than in the bottle. The process of racking contributes to the oxidation process whereby the wine's fruit qualities gradually diminish and its nutty characteristics are acquired. The aging is further influenced by conditions of heat and humidity where the wine is stored. Taylor, Fladgate cellars its aged tawnies in Vila Nova de Gaia rather than in the Douro; the considerable difference in heat and humidity between these two areas produces a lush, silky richness reminiscent of caramel with an elegant, slightly austere quality which is quite distinctive. Amber in color with subtle fruit nuances underlying nutty, caramel flavors and a long, balanced finish, Taylor, Fladgate Twenty Year Old Tawny is superb with foie gras, cheeses, nuts and desserts based on nuts, caramel, coffee and chocolate.